Thursday 17 October 2019

Brendan O'Connor: 'A bit of Sunday common sense'

Stock: Getty Images
Stock: Getty Images
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

We are trialling a new section in the paper this week. We like to call it Old Fashioned Common Sense.

1. Quantitative Easing

So the ECB has kicked off QE again. This is pumping money into the financial system in order to stop us from turning into Japan. This money helps to inflate the prices of property and shares. From November, the ECB will buy €20bn of government bonds every month.

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Our common sense view:

Why not inject the money directly into the economy? For €20bn they could give every man, woman and child in the EU €40 a month, and you could even give it to them in vouchers that have to be spent that month. Hey presto! The money goes straight into the real economy and pushes up price inflation, just like Draghi wants.

2. Oughterard

Some people who should know better are disgracing themselves down in Oughterard, freaking out about a possible direct provision centre. There are a lot of decent people complaining about this and the odd slightly racist person.

Our common sense view:

Why not consult with communities and get them on board and get some local businesses involved and discuss providing some services - before you present people with a direct provision centre that might have a big impact in a small town?

3. The Beef Crisis

Nobody can tell who is making the money in beef. Beef baron families seem to be very rich, but apparently profit margins are only about 1pc. Most farmers aren't making money. Supermarkets are making money, but we're not sure how much of it is on meat.

Our common sense view:

Meat is too cheap, isn't it? Meat used to be somewhat of a luxury, something you had a little bit of, bulked out with plenty of veg. Now chicken and even beef is regarded as an everyday cheap commodity. It's dead animals that it takes people months if not years to grow. Let's respect the dead animals and put some value on them.

And now a few common sense quickies to finish up:

4. The Downton Movie

The consensus seems to be it's not great but people are reluctant to admit it.

5. Peaky Blinders Season 5

We probably got a bit too hyped up over this.

6. AppleTV+

It may only be a fiver but it needs some decent shows. A fiver for crap is still bad value.

7. VSCO Girls

This is the hot new trend among tweenies and early teen girls. Your natural instinct will be to think it's a bad thing. It's actually not the worst, if slightly conformist. Google it. You will need to know about it.

No economists were involved in this article. This series is being discontinued.

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