David McWilliams Alina Kisina

Fee Band

David is ranked the tenth most influential economist in the world. As well as writing a weekly column in the Irish Times, he is active on social media and was named Ireland’s “most influential Twitter user”. David uses new ways to explain our economic world to make economics digestible for everyone.


David McWilliams is one of Ireland’s leading economic commentators. He was one of the first economists to see that the Irish boom was little more than a credit bubble, and one of the few to predict it would all end in a monumental crash with bank failures, negative equity and rising unemployment and emigration. He was also the only economist in Ireland who accurately forecast a strong UK Brexit vote and the Trump victory.

He has devoted his entire professional life to the objective of making economics as widely available and easily understandable on as many platforms and to as many people as possible –and is having a laugh doing it. As a result, he co-founded the world’s only economics and stand-up comedy festival Kilkenomics, described by the FT as “simply, the best economics conference in the world”.

David also brought economics to the theatre with his one-man-show Outsiders, a partnership with the Abbey Theatre. He writes weekly economics columns in the Sunday Business Post and the Irish Independent and is a regular commentator in the media in Ireland and the UK.

Amongst David’s books are The Pope’s Children, the bestselling examination of the so-called Celtic Tiger boom centred on the generation born around Pope John Paul II’s visit to the country and described by the Sunday Tribune as “the definitive guide to the Ireland we live in”. The book was the first in a trilogy and was the basis of an award-winning TV series, In Search Of The Pope’s Children. The second of the trilogy was The Generation Game, which predicted the 2008/09 crash and the fact that one generation would be left suffering negative equity for years. It also explored the redemptive economic power of the Irish global diaspora. This book and subsequent TV series proved to be the catalyst to the Global Irish Economic Forum at Farmleigh. The final book in the trilogy Follow the Money continued to look at the sale generation and examined who was to blame for the crisis along with an optimistic look at the future.

As well as writing David hosted the current affairs show Agenda on TV3, The Breakfast Show on Newstalk 106 and the topical chat show The Big Bite on RTE1. He has interviewed some of the most influential and thought-provoking characters from Henry Kissinger to Mikhail Gorbachev and Hillary Clinton. Prior to his time as a writer and commentator he worked for a decade in banking, first as an economist with the Irish Central Bank, then with the investment banks UBS and BNP.

More Details


Book written by David McWilliams (Ireland)
Book written by David McWilliams (Ireland)
Book written by David McWilliams (Ireland)


We’re on hand to help you find the perfect speaker, presenter or performer for your events. Call or email our London office and use our agents' experience to expertly match you with the right person for your programme!

From time to time we send out emails announcing new speakers and free tickets to our showcase events including Speakers Breakfasts and the JLA Real Variety Show. Please tick the box below if you would like to receive these emails.

Don't miss anything!

We will never share the data you submit here with a third party. Information is stored in a database in order to service your enquiry, but is deleted once it is no longer required. You may request to have this data removed at any time.

JLA Presents

Event - 30/04/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Understanding AI Now

Priya Lakhani and Anne-Marie Imafidon

We were joined at 87 Barts Close by three brilliant speakers on a panel that delved into the complex world of Artificial Intelligence. Over the hour our panellists de-mystified AI, speaking about AI’s immense promise for enhancing our lives, alongside the apprehension it has generated regarding job security, privacy infringement, and ethical considerations.


87 Barts Close, 87 Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7EB


Event - 06/02/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Looking Ahead to International Women’s Day

Samira Ahmed, Eniola Aluko, Julia Gillard, and Alex Mahon

We were joined by four fantastic speakers to look ahead at International Women’s Day. With the theme of this year’s event being #InspireInclusion, we were lucky enough to hear from four women who have each blazed a trail in their respective fields: CEO of Channel 4, Alex Mahon; the former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of Kings’ Global Institute of Women’s Leadership, Julia Gillard; one of the leading voices in football, Eniola Aluko MBE; and broadcaster and journalist, Samira Ahmed.


Bishopsgate Institute, London