The Saint: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Paul Egan: Lying on the grass back home in Ireland on a summer’s evening with the sun on my face.
TS: What is your current state of mind?
PE: Nervous and slightly embarrassed.
TS: Which talent would you most like to have?
TS: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
PE: That’s an easy one: three golds and one silver at the Tralee Christian Brothers School’s under-12 swimming gala (May 1998).
TS: What is the quality you most like in a professor?
PE: Someone that is approachable.
TS: What is the quality you most like in a student?
TS: Who was your favourite teacher/professor and why?
PE: Professor Alan Ahearne. Loved his lectures on China and current account imbalances.
TS: What are you currently researching?
PE: State-owned enterprises and inflation in China.
TS: Which person in your field do you most admire?
PE: Joeseph Stiglitz.
TS: What inspired you to pursue your current career?
PE: Studying macroeconomics at the start of the financial crisis as an undergrad was fascinating.
TS: When did you know what you wanted to do in life?
PE: Ask again in 20 years.
TS: What has been your favourite experience as a lecturer?
PE: There are many, but [I] always enjoy helping a struggling student to understand and become comfortable with a concept.
TS: What has been your most challenging experience as a lecturer?
PE: When a student asks a question in a large lecture hall and you don’t know the answer –– there is nowhere to hide.
TS: If you could not work in your current field, what would you do instead?
PE: As an undergrad, I wanted to become a trader, but don’t think I have the nerve for it.
TS: If you could fix one problem in the world, what would it be?
PE: Serious: inequality. Frivolous: ban selfie sticks
TS: What is the best piece of advice anyone has given you?
PE: Never thatch a roof on a windy day.
TS: What is your motto?
PE: Always try your best.
TS: Where is your favourite place to travel?
PE: Asia. I have been a few times but want to go again.
TS: What are you currently reading?
PE: The Silk Roads: A New History of The World (Peter Frankopan 2015).
TS: What book should everybody read at least once?
PE: Keane – The Autobiography (Roy Keane & Eamon Dunphy 2002). You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll get angry. It has everything! The chapter on the missing skips of training gear is life changing.