The legacy of the “Double Irish” loophole

The “Double Irish” was one of the most notorious tax loopholes, used by large firms for decades since the 1990s. It was base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) method used by many notable entities, including but not limited to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and more. Though closed in 2014, the loophole remained open to firms already using it until 2020. Even since its closure, there are concerns that firms that had used it previously will just shift to using different methods. Overall, this and similar methods used have had a substantial impact on Ireland’s financial system and records, something that is still being addressed today.

The Double Irish was conducted via the following steps. First, a U.S. corporate entity would develop a product or software for a price, and then sell it to a wholly owned subsidiary in Bermuda. Next, the company in Bermuda would revalue it as an intangible asset of a far greater price, as Bermuda is tax free. The Bermuda subsidiary would then license it to another subsidiary in Ireland for the same price. Important to note is …

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KBC latest in Irish bank exodus

Belgian-based KBC has become the latest lender to announce its intent to leave the Irish market. The announcement came on the morning of Friday, April 16, and is part of a broader exodus of retail banks from the country. Just weeks prior, NatWest, the UK-based owner of Ulster Bank, stated that it would scale back its operations in Ireland considerably over the course of the next year. KBC is also in talks with Bank of Ireland to sell its existing loans and deposits.

Why have banks been so keen on exiting the Irish loan market? In the case of Ulster Bank, it had been struggling to make returns on investment deemed acceptable by NatWest. KBC’s chief executive, Johan Thijs, stated that talks with Bank of Ireland were being conducted in light of “…the challenging operational context for European banks…” One potential explanation for this trend is the relatively low interest rate environment of Ireland making it difficult for banks to see adequate returns. Further, the market saw a general trend downward from 2015 to 2020, with an average industry …

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The Gender Gap is still Prevalent

The Bank Of Ireland has recently reported that there has been a slight decrease in the gap between the pay received by their male and female employees. However, the bank is still working to reach a 50:50 balance for its workers.  Currently, the bank of Ireland is reporting a gender pay gap of 23.8% across all their departs, which is a 0.4% improvement from the last year. The bank has stated that a large proportion of this comes from the under-payment of their female employees at senior levels and junior grades.

The system that the Bank of Ireland uses to calculate the pay-gap difference is by working out the average pay of all women in the company and comparing then to the average pay of all the men in the company. The Bank of Ireland is currently introducing more flexible ways of working with all employees, as well as pulling career development and leadership programs for their female employees.

It was reported last year that nearly 41% of all senior appointments in 2020 were female, which is an improvement from …

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State of the European Stock Market

European stocks have seen better days than the dip they are currently experiencing. This dip has largely been due to the rising bond yields seen in the market. These have spurred hopes of seeing a solid economic recovery in the European markets. As of this past Thursday, the Dublin market closed virtually unchanged compared to recent numbers. Banks, on the other hand, had been affected more wildly with the Bank of Ireland up nearly 2.5% and the AIB up nearly 3.6%.

Housebuilders have also seen some changes in the market with Bairn Homes closing at nearly 1.9% higher. For other industries such as food stocks, Glanbia closed at nearly a 1.6% increase. For London’s Ftse 100 reversed, they were able to close with a relatively strong week. The total of the Gtse 100 index closed at 0.4% higher, which is the second consecutive week that investors have seen a rise despite the coronavirus still being prevalent. Even though there has been looser COVID-19 restrictions and the vaccination program picking up speed.

Other Bank stocks such as HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, …

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It is an Emergency! Do you have an emergency fund?

Oh no, you just got into an accident on Tuesday during the rush hour during the rain. Do you have the money you can come up with right now to pay for the accident, could you do it? Although it might not be a greatly rewarding goal or cool, the emergency fund is the foundation of what your entire financial health is built upon. Without it, it could be a matter of time before it comes tumbling down.

Many common unexpected costs come weekly or monthly for an individual. Your car could break down in the middle of the highway, maybe your toilet broke, or many other things that could have happened. Most commonly, people throw these unexpected costs on to their credit card rather than paying out of their emergency funds. That’s to say the same as running but with a backpack full of books. Financing is on a credit card can easily climb not the thousands when people could have easily paid it off in one year.

The lack of an emergency fund costs you more than just …

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Money Questions for Couples

Things are going great with you and your significant other. You have been dating each other for a while and things seem to be going great, but until you start asking about their financial history. Being asked or asking about someone’s financial history can always be daunting. Many young couples spend hundreds of hours planning their fabulous wedding but forget to prepare for their financial mergers. People treat money as a scary monster, so we tend to avoid bringing it into the conversation.

Almost one-third of couples say finances cause the most stress in their relationship. Couples who fight about money once a week are 30% more likely to be divorced than those who fight about money a few times a month. This can all be avoided in the beginning by having an honest and open conversation about their finances before getting married. Here are some questions to ask to start the conversation.

What do you earn, owe, and owe?

It may be hard to open up about this question, but the lack of money is better than the lack …

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Is combining Finance the right thing to do?

Finally! Today is the day, your significant other is moving in with you!  A dream that finally came true and you both are dancing happily. But then, the first rent bill comes, and you are stuck. How should I handle or now how do WE handle it? Back in the day, typically couples were married and combined all aspects of their lives together. All was now family property. Times have changed, couples are moving in together before marriage without any legal binding and it leaves them wondering, how do we handle our finances? Should you and your significant other consolidate your finances or maintain your own finances independently?

How many couples have their finances shared, separated, or some of both? Millennials that live together are more likely to keep their finances separated than any other group. There are many advantages to keeping them separate. One may be in a situation where they hold debt. With debt in their shadows, it is easy to understand why they may feel guilty to burden the other with their problems. Or you may have …

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What is the Real Cost of your Pet?

Aww is not the puppy cute? Dogs, cats, and many other little creatures have been our companies for many years now. Especially during these times, many people are adopting to have someone to keep us company at home. Humanity has had these animals for tens of thousands of years. It started off as a mutual relationship, the animals receiving shelters and food from us to eat and in return, they keep predators away from us and our homes. In today’s word, that is not the case anymore. Now it is more of a one-way relationship, as we choose to bring them home in reward for companionship.

We spend lots of money on our furry friends, but we do not receive any financial reward back from them, excluding the internet sensation pets. What is shocking is 98% of pet owners significantly underestimate the lifetime cost of their pet(s). Well, how much are we expected to spend on our pets? According to the PDSA in the UK, the average lifetime cost of a furry friend is about 30 thousand euros on dogs …

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Two Budget cuts that hurt you in the long runs

Oftentimes, we try to better our financial budgets by cutting things or cutting back on how much we spend to make healthier financial decisions. If you are in a situation where the money is tight, is common to cut back on things you do not need. Being honest with yourself if you are spending way too much on items is a great step to be stepping towards improving yourself. But not all budget cuts are created equally, some of these budget cuts will be costing you more in the long run. It could be not looking into the cost peruse or not paying something in the short term which could accumulate to a large expense in the long term. These are some examples of things that are likely to cost you more than saving money. Here are some examples that can hurt you more than save you.

Regular Car Maintenance

Lots of the population avoid paying a little bit each month for car maintenance like it is the plague, many of them always end up with disastrous car problems which …

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How our brains destroy our finances and how to avoid it

Typically, we want to focus on the good habits we do and improve further on them. Of course, these are good things to know about like managing your money, budgeting, and so much more. Although we try our best to stay on track, the reality is it will not always finish the pathway. Our brains have developed to have a certain way of perceiving and understanding things. Our brains have default habits and modes it follows which can get in the way of even the most knowledge and objective people’s finance. It tends to steer away from logic and make us choose worse options even though we hold the information to do better. With the right precautions, we can teach you how to outsmart your brain. 

Hyperbolic discounting.

To start, hyperbolic discounting is when there is a temporary discount for our preferred immediate over future rewards. We value something more that happens now rather than waiting for it in the future. Credit cards are one of the prime suspects of this action. We purchase an item we might not be …

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