What did Mrs Thatcher ever do for us?

‘She saved the country’. This was just some of the hyperbole evoked by David Cameron following the passing of Margaret Thatcher last month. Well I’m sorry, Mr Cameron, I must have missed that! Mrs Thatcher is largely remembered in Northern Ireland for her misjudged response to the hunger strike and for the much reviled Anglo Irish Agreement, which some now say paved the way for the eventual success of the Good Friday Agreement. But her economic legacy in Northern Ireland has been largely overlooked. Unfortunately, it was even less successful than her political interventions. Continue reading

2011 Catherwood Lecture: Money, Magic, Greed and the Power of Illusions

Money, Magic, Greed and the Power of Illusions:

A Christian Critique of our time

The 2011 Catherwood Lecture was given by Bob Goudzwaard on 1 December 2011. Economics is a major issue of our time. The economic system operates at an international level. Each one of us is also part of the system as consumers or investors. As Christians we should be actively considering one of the most pervasive aspects of our world. Bob Goudzwaard brought a Christian critique of our current economic situation. Philip McDonagh, a local economist with over 30 years experience and currently a Charity Commissioner, gave a response to Bob's lecture from the local perspective. Click below to hear the lecture and the response: The text of the lecture can be downloaded by clicking here: Catherwood_2011_text   Bob Goudzwaard is professor emeritus at the Free University in Amsterdam. He was elected to the Dutch Parliament in the 1970s and served for a time in a Christian policy research institute in The Hague. He is the author of numerous books including ‘Idols of Our Time’, ‘Capitalism and Progress’ and ‘Hope in Troubled Times'.

In Conversation With … Philip McDonagh

On Tuesday 18 January, Philip McDonagh looked at the subject of "Northern Ireland - Subvention City Or Still A Special Case?" What mechanisms determine the level of public expenditure here? Are they linked to need? Why is public expenditure so high? What choices does the NI Executive have? Should we do more to pay our way? What is the role of the Voluntary sector? Can the Big Society, Welfare Reforms or even the next generation help us through? What about those in need? You can also download the audio of the talk and discussion - though you'll miss the context of reading the slides in the video above.

Catherwood Lecture 2009- Paul Moore

On Thursday 26 November, Paul Moore spoke at the annual Catherwood Lecture on the subject "Finance and Faith: Can Mammon and the Common Good be Reconciled?". Paul Moore is the former Head of Group Regulatory Risk at HBOS and was the only senior risk and compliance executive in the UK banking sector to speak out publicly in the aftermath of the financial crisis about what he saw from the inside of a bank. His influential evidence given to the Treasury Select Committee in February 2008 was widely publicised in the media and led directly to the resignation of Sir James Crosby, the Deputy Chairman of the FSA. He maintained that failures in governance, risk management, compliance and regulatory supervision were at the primary causes of the banking crisis. Prior to HBOS, Paul was a Partner at KPMG in London advising banks, insurance companies and asset managers on regulation, risk management and compliance. He has 25 years of experience in the financial sector in these areas which encompasses both working in industry as a "coal-face" practitioner as well as in professional services as an adviser to the largest financial sector clients. Paul was educated at Ampleforth College, an independent school run by a Benedictine Monastery. He re-found his faith in the last ten years. This has given him the strength he needed to speak up.