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The briefcase

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

Everyone was talking about falling house prices, a big payday and how to make it rich.

Briefcase Brigade visualthinker visualthinker

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:

House prices are actually falling across the country. A little bit, at least. The latest CSO figures showed a 0.4% average drop in prices during February after a bigger decrease in January, although on an annual basis prices were still up nearly 15%. Meanwhile, the ESRI warned the Central Bank’s new mortgage rules could put a dampener on supply – further pushing up rents

Dublin’s Realex Payments was sold for a tidy €115 million. The 15-year-old online payments company was bought by New York-listed Global Payments, delivering a very nice return for founder Colm Lyon and his wife Niamh. Together they own about 75% of the company shares

Realex twitter Colm Lyon

Want to get rich? Study engineering. Or maybe nothing. Those are the findings from an analysis of Forbes rich list entrants and their college credentials. Some 32% had no third-level qualifications, while engineering, business and arts qualifications dominated the list of top degrees

A landmark privacy case against Facebook began in Europe’s highest court. Austrian activist Max Schrems first launched the case in Ireland against Facebook’s local arm in a move with the potential to shut down the controversial 15-year-old “safe harbour” data-sharing agreement for companies operating across the EU and the US

Facebook Animated GIF Giphy Giphy

Pubs and off-licences want higher prices for alcohol. Their lobby groups are pushing for the government’s new laws to make the minimum price for a can of beer at least €2, while wine could cost over €10 per bottle. Meanwhile, alcohol companies were accused of taking some lessons from Big Tobacco in their softly-softly approach to fighting tighter controls

The IMF thinks the water charges ‘issue’ is cooling down. That assessment came from a staff report after the fund’s January visit, although it added there was a risk Irish Water would add significantly to the government’s deficit if not enough customers signed up for the semi-state to meet revenue targets

Water Protest. Pictured the Right To W Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

It really pays to shop around, particularly for car insurance. A comparison from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission showed some drivers could save over €1,200 on their insurance if they took the time to compare quotes

Geo-blocking might soon be consigned to the scrapheap. The system, which means you can’t access your favourite shows or sporting events in certain territories, could be overhauled in a European Commission move to create a “digital single market”

Netflix Animated GIF Giphy Giphy

And one for the road…

Think the potholes on your local roads are bad? You haven’t seen anything yet…

The passengers on this Brazilian bus disembarked just in time – before the vehicle was swallowed up by a giant sinkhole.

CNN / YouTube

We’ll never complain again.

First published 28 March, 7.45am

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

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