Musk fires Twitter’s top executives; how high will interest rates go? and Mark Paul on new licensing laws

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

In breaking news this morning, Elon Musk has finally completed his $44 billion takeover of Twitter, taking control of the company and firing several of its top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal.

How much higher will interest rates go? As mortgage-holders digest Thursday’s 0.75 percentage point rate hike from the European Central Bank (ECB), Cliff Taylor delves into the data and plots a course for where things might go next. Whatever happens, the era of super-low interest rates looks to be closed, he writes.

Mortgage-holders in the State have so far been reasonably insulated from rate hikes, but this is unlikely to last for too much longer, as Joe Brennan reports. Eoin Burke-Kennedy meanwhile explains what’s behind the ECB’s new direction.

Elsewhere, Arachas Corporate Brokers, the largest Irish insurance broker group, saw its net profit soar by 63 per cent last year, fuelled by acquisitions Joe has that story.


Barry O’Halloran reports that specialist accountancy firm DM Financial is buying Dutch reporting and assurance firm Solutional in a move that will grow both businesses’ services. DM Financial provides specialised accounting services to alternative asset managers around the world from its headquarters in Limerick.

Barry also has details of plans from housebuilders Cairn Homes and Glenveagh Properties plans to challenge the Wicklow County Development Plan in the High Court. The builders say the plan cuts the number of new homes that the council will permit by 45 per cent to 8,467 between now and 2028 compared to the previous six years.

More than $550 billion (€552 billion) has been wiped off the value of the biggest US tech companies this week, with headlong growth stalling because of the slowing global economy and mounting cost pressures. Facebook-owner Meta came under pressure early on Thursday, but negative attention turned to Amazon when it issued disappointing forecasts after US markets closed. Apple meanwhile bucked the weaker trend, beating revenue and profit estimates with its latest update.

Job vacancies across a number of sectors in the Irish market fell for the first time in almost two years, new data from has suggested. The recruitment site’s latest data also points to a reduction in the number of positions offering remote working opportunities, reports Ciara O’Brien.

And in our weekly Work section, Olive Keogh considers the benefits of lifelong learning and upskilling for workers, asking if employers need to provide more opportunities in this area.

Businessman Dermot Desmond has agreed again to bail out Mountain Province Diamonds (MPD), the Canadian miner that he has kept afloat in recent years with a succession of funding deals. Mark Paul has details of the latest arrangements, which come soon after a ratings agency warned the business could be in danger of defaulting on its debts.

In his Caveat column, Mark reflects on this week’s plan from Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee to overhaul the Republic’s licensing laws. He argues that the move has been necessary for a long time, asking what has taken successive governments so long.

And finally, John FitzGerald is looking ahead today, considering the fiscal needs of the State as its population grows and ages in coming years. He surveys what he sees as the sensible recommendations that emerged from the Commission on Taxation and Welfare last month and warns that ignoring our future challenges won’t make them go away.

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