David McWilliams is one of Ireland’s leading economists, broadcasters and commentators. He is also the country’s best-selling non-fiction author. He is often cited has one of the first economists who didn’t buy the hype surrounding the Irish economic boom in the 1990s after predicting that the economy would ultimately decline.
McWilliams was born in 1966 in Dun Laoghaire, but his eventual upbringing took place in Monkstown, Dublin. He received his early education from Blackrock College in Dublin, after which he pursued a degree in economics from the Trinity College in the city. In order to pursue further education, McWilliams traveled abroad to Belgium, where he enrolled in the College of Europe. He eventually graduated with a Masters degree in the field of economics in 1989.
McWilliams kick started his professional career by entering the banking sector straight after completing his education. He was employed by the Central Bank of Ireland in 1990 as an economist, but he chose to leave the institution three years later when he had the opportunity to work for UBS in London. McWilliams endeavors saw him work at the Bankque Nationale de Paris (BNP) as the head of Emerging Markets Research, as well as a hedge fund named Rockwest Capital in New York.
However, McWilliams soon returned to his native Ireland and began a career in broadcasting thereof. He started off by hosting ‘Agenda’, a program elaborating on current affairs aired on the TV3 network. In 2002, he started hosting another show called “The Breakfast Show”, this time on the radio station Newstalk 106. After being replaced as host on The Breakfast Show, McWilliams returned to television, presenting the topical chat programme “The Big Bite”. McWilliams broadcasting exploits have seen him converse with renowned personalities and thinkers such as Rudi Guilianni, Mikhail Gorbachev, Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger.
David McWilliams has also made significant inroads in the field of journalism. He manages columns writing on economic issues on both the Irish Independent and The Sunday Business Post, two of Ireland’s biggest newspaper heavyweights. He is frequently invited to television and radio shows to provide insight on prominent economic subjects.
As a writer, McWilliams has managed to publish four best-selling books. One of these books, titled ‘The Pope’s Children’, spent almost a year through out on the list of the top five best sellers. In 2007, McWilliams published ‘The Generation Game’ which soon also achieved best-seller status. This book landed him widespread acclaim as he emerged as one of the few economists who accurately predicted that the unforeseen growth of the Irish economy was artificial and would eventually crash the economy, leaving the next generation to bear the brunt of the credit bubble in the housing market. David McWilliams other two best sellers, ‘Follow the Money’ and ‘The Good Room’, were subsequently published to these two in 2010 and 2012 respectively.
McWilliams also conducts his show, ‘Outsiders’, at the Abbey Theater in Dublin. In 2010, he co-created Kilkenomics, the first economics festival in Europe. It elaborates on economic matters by combining it with stand-up comedy.
McWilliams has made a name for himself for being self-governed in his thinking and ruthless in his analysis. He possesses a great pedigree when it comes to financial, political and economic matters concerning Ireland. His contributions were recognized by the World Economic Forum in 2007 when he was selected as part of the 250 Young Global Leaders. The organization acknowledged his status as an aspiring economist with the potential to make significant breakthroughs in his field.