Category Archives: Irish tax haven

6/5/20: Trump, Irish Pharma and Amazeballs Economics Stats


The Mondo Bizarro of Irish Economics:

Industrial production activity:


And yet, 
  • Irish Manufacturing PMI plummeted to 36.0 in April, from 45.1 in March, the lowest since March 2009
  • Irish Services PMI "continued its historic descent in April to 13.9, indicating the fastest decline in Irish service sector output in the 20-year survey history. The month-on-month decrease in the Index, at 18.6 points, was smaller than March’s 27.4-point plunge, but still far exceeded anything else in the series to date."


So actual industrial indices are showing booming Manufacturing across both turnover and volumes of production in March, yet PMI surveys showing collapsing activities. You really can't make this up. But, wait, worse: energy-generation is down, apparently, in volume by 0.2% y/y, yet 'modern sectors' activity is up 35.4%. Which points to the heroic efforts of the Irish economy to be the most energy-efficient in the Universe. 

Of course, the entire circus of Irish economic statistics is driven by the 'dotted-out' sectors in the industrial activity tables - the CSO's way of saying "you, peasants, don't need to know what multinationals are up to".

Amazeballs! Just in time for Mr President to muse about taking US pharma out of Ireland's tax [non] haven... https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2020/0504/1136374-pharma-trump-ireland-coronavirus-vaccine/

18/2/20: Irish Statistics: Fake News and Housing Markets


My latest column for The Currency covers the less-public stats behind the Irish housing markets: https://www.thecurrency.news/articles/9754/fake-news-you-cant-fool-all-of-the-people-all-of-the-time-on-property-statistics.

Key takeaways:
"Irish voters cast a protest vote against the parties that led the government over the last eight years – a vote that just might be divorced from ideological preferences for overarching policy philosophy."

"The drivers of this protest vote have been predominantly based on voters’ understanding of the socio-economic reality that is totally at odds with the official statistics. In a way, Irish voters have chosen not to trust the so-called fake data coming out of the mainstream, pro-government analysis and media. The fact that this has happened during the time when the Irish economy is commonly presented as being in rude health, with low unemployment, rapid headline growth figures and healthy demographics is not the bug, but a central feature of Ireland’s political system."

Stay tuned for subsequent analysis of other economic statistics for Ireland in the next article.

9/1/19: Corporate tax inversions and shareholder wealth


Our new paper "U.S. Tax Inversions and Shareholder Wealth" has been accepted for publication in the International Review of Financial Analysis:


The paper abstract:
"We examine a sample of corporate inversions from 1993-2015 by firms active in the U.S. markets and find that shareholders experience positive abnormal returns in the short-run. In the long-run, inversions have a deleterious effect on shareholder wealth. The form of the inversion and country-pair differences in geographic distance, economic development and corporate governance standards are determinants of shareholder wealth. Furthermore, we find evidence of a negative and non-linear relation between CEO total return and long-run shareholder returns."

9/1/19: Corporate tax inversions and shareholder wealth


Our new paper "U.S. Tax Inversions and Shareholder Wealth" has been accepted for publication in the International Review of Financial Analysis:


The paper abstract:
"We examine a sample of corporate inversions from 1993-2015 by firms active in the U.S. markets and find that shareholders experience positive abnormal returns in the short-run. In the long-run, inversions have a deleterious effect on shareholder wealth. The form of the inversion and country-pair differences in geographic distance, economic development and corporate governance standards are determinants of shareholder wealth. Furthermore, we find evidence of a negative and non-linear relation between CEO total return and long-run shareholder returns."

21/9/16: Apple Tax Case: Not the Rate, the Loopholes


My column for the Village covering the Apple Tax fiasco: http://villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2016/09/not-the-rate-the-loopholes/


As it says on the 'tin' - the problem with Apple Tax is not the rate of corporate taxation set in law in Ireland (the 12.5% 'red line' rate), and not tax competition, nor the benign nature of tax exemptions that Ireland bestows on all companies, including the MNCs. The problem is that these competitive aspects of the Irish regime are simply not enough for the likes of Apple, which pursued and obtained access to exemptions that any ordinary company operating in Ireland cannot avail of.

Hence, the red herring of the arguments that the EU Competition ruling is an attack on Irish tax rate. It is, instead, a challenge to the asymmetric preferences granted in the past (and still in use during the ongoing phase-out period) to a handful of MNCs over and above domestic companies. Lest we forget, for decades, Irish State had no qualms operating an openly discriminatory taxation regime that treated foreign investment-backed companies differently from domestic companies. Lest we omit considering the present, Irish State still has no qualms taxing human capital of its residents at rates far in excess of those applying to physical and financial capital. Lest we fail to think about it, Irish State has no qualms asymmetrically allocating the burden of the crisis to Irish people over and above our banks, foreign investors, foreign bondholders and vulture funds.

I am one of the most vocal advocates of low (benign) taxation, flat tax, competitive regulatory regimes (coupled with robust enforcement) and other means for improving the functioning of the private markets. Always been one and remain. I support real investment in the economy, both foreign and domestic and believe in a level playing field for entrepreneurs and enterprises, alike. But, folks, the debate around Apple Tax is not about 12.5% tax rate and Ireland's tax autonomy, but about asymmetric nature of privilege.