The manifestos of the two largest UK parties matter given that we may be about to enter a period of direct rule. Even if the post-election talks in Northern Ireland (NI) are successful, when devolution was operating from May 2007 to January 2017, much of the time social and economic policies were cut and pasted from Whitehall in any case. Thus, it really does matter to the economy what the two parties are proposing to do.
There's the old joke about buses - you wait for ages and then two come along at the same time. At the end of January two consultation documents were published - one on an industrial strategy for Northern Ireland (NI) and other a green paper on a UK industrial strategy.
What's your favourite Christmas movie? For many it will be one of the versions of A Christmas Carol such as The Muppets Christmas Carol. Consider what Scrooge says about the poor in Victorian England when told they might refuse to enter the grim workhouses: "If they would rather die they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."
Thursday's decision was a shock - to sterling, the markets and the economic system. And, as we start a new week, not much has changed. The pound resumed its historic slide, down 14% since Thursday, hitting a fresh 30-year low as traders shrugged off the Chancellor's attempts to calm the financial markets.
At the risk of sounding a bit like Prime Minister Terence O'Neill in a speech he made in 1968, our economy really will stand at the crossroads in the next few months. The decisions we make now will strongly influence not just the next five years but probably the next decade or even longer. And this is not simply because of the EU Referendum - other internal and external developments are also of very great significance.
Desolation or bonanza? What might be the impact on Newry or other border areas if the UK votes to exit on June 23? Given that Northern Ireland has the UK's only land frontier with the rest of the EU, there is obviously great interest in questions like this one.
According to the International Energy Agency, the world is awash with oil. But, at a time when a litre of petrol costs under a quid and 900 litres of home heating under £250, you could be forgiven for telling Russia, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the oil producing countries to keep on pumping.
Around 45 billion Lego bricks are produced every year - that's about seven for every person in the world's population. And having overcome a serious financial crisis, it won't be too long before the total number of Lego's Mini Figures in circulation will be greater than the world's population.
One of the few genuine surprises in the summer 2015 Budget was the announcement of the National Living Wage (NLW). Due to be introduced at a level of £7.20 per hour in April 2016, for those aged 25 and above, the NLW will progressively rise to 60% of the UK median wage level in April 2020. But for those aged 21 to 24, the National Minimum Wage remains unchanged.
There is some cynicism about the frequent use of public consultation. Is this just a way of postponing difficult decisions or even of sharing responsibility for tough decisions? However, I do feel sympathy for the position the Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry finds himself in.
Napoleon allegedly said: "China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world." Well, the sleeping giant is now well and truly awake, and last week fears of economic turbulence were moving not just Chinese, but global stock markets. But why does China now matter so much to the world economy, let alone to Northern Ireland?
Just 12 months ago, a major report from the Centre for Cities and McKinsey, identified the 31 most significant UK business clusters. These clusters are home to fewer than 10% of the nation's businesses but employ one in seven UK workers and generate 20% of national economic output. Not one was in Northern Ireland, the report said.
It is not often that there is a subject that Chancellor George Osborne and Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman agree on but productivity is that subject. Krugman has declared: "Productivity isn't everything, but in the long run it is almost everything."
What concern has government and politics, often said to be the world's second oldest profession, with prostitution - sometimes called the oldest profession? Actually, quite a lot. Recently we've seen the publication of the Home Office's long awaited document outlining policy on prostitution. This is bound to have implications for our situation in Northern Ireland.
When the UK joined the then EEC in 1973 (confirmed by referendum 30 years ago this month), we were assured this was simply a matter of a "Common Market"; about increasing trade and therefore jobs. We were told by Prime Minister Heath that there would be no constitutional implications; this would not entail: "? erosion of essential national sovereignty".
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