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The briefcase

Here's everything you need to know about business this week

Everyone was talking about the euro on a downward spiral, a solid-gold Apple Watch and Blurred Lines.

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EVERY WEEKEND, gives its readers the chance to put their feet up and take a look back at all the goings-on from the world of business.

Once again it’s time to delve deep inside The Briefcase for the important – and sometimes less-important – financial news that has come out this working week:

The euro went into a downward spiral. The common currency kept delivering new, 12-year lows against the dollar this week as the ECB officially pressed the go button on its quantitative easing programme. The most dire predictions (for consumers, not exporters – who are cheering) put the euro at a potential 85 US cents within a couple of years

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Apple Watch pricing and other details were released. And an Apple-loving segment of the world, predictably, went mental. The cheapest version, the Apple Watch Sport, will cost $349, while if you’ve got a lazy $10,000 to spare you can get an 18-carat gold version from April. That’s if you live in the US, UK or seven other countries… that don’t include Ireland

The National Lottery’s new operator got a grilling. Premier Lotteries Ireland, which recently bought the 20-year licence to run the lottery, had its bosses hauled before an Oireachtas committee to explain the myriad technical failures which have blighted its new systems. And while there, they were also quizzed on potential plans to make the business more profitable by adding numbers to draws or raising ticket prices

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The battle of Gorse Hill raged on. One-time millionaire developer Brian O’Donnell was allowed to stay in his palatial home at Killiney for another six days after appealing an order that he hand over the property to creditor Bank of Ireland, which says it is owed €70 million

Blurred Lines took a walloping in court. The controversial song’s two creators, superstar Pharrell Williams and lesser-star Robin Thicke, were ordered to pay Marvin Gaye’s children $7.3 million for the track after a US jury found they had copied parts of the now-dead artist’s track “Got to Give it Up”. The decision inspired the dire warning that the entire music business could now be in danger because of copyright claims

Josh Chesterfield / YouTube

Revenue doesn’t seem to like prosecuting tax evaders. That accusation came at an Oireachtas committee hearing over HSBC’s Swiss arm, which was used to illegally avoid millions in Irish taxes. But despite details of over 300 account holders with Irish links being leaked to authorities, only three people have been successfully prosecuted – with the harshest penalty so far a €25,000 fine

A Finnish wholesaler had to rename its meatballs just “balls”. It was because the foodstuff didn’t have enough material in it identifiable as meat to qualify for the tag. Apparently “machine-recovered” animal parts don’t qualify

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A new hotel name is about to start popping up all over Ireland. The country’s biggest hotel owner, listed company Dalata, announced it was rolling out the Clayton Hotels brand across 13 properties it now controlled

And one for the road…

Australian Prime Minister has a well-worn reputation at home for being prone to gaffes and this week he copped renewed flack for an attempted light-hearted tribute to the Irish for St Patrick’s Day.

The green-tie clad, conservative politician offered this as the Irish contribution to the building of his nation:

It’s been said of us that the English made the laws, the Scots made the money, and the Irish made the songs.”

Some (36% to be exact, according to a poll) found the speech patronising, while others like Cork-born, Melbourne-based media lecturer Dr Liam Burke said the Irish were partially to blame for their own perpetuation of national stereotypes.

Liberal Party of Australia / YouTube

First published 7.45am, 14 March

MORE: Have a look at our business wraps from previous weeks >