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Archive for September, 2008

Joe Laughs All The Way To The Bank

JOE Higgins twinkled. The former socialist TD was back in Leinster House on Tuesday.

“The system is collapsing,” he told me triumphantly, surveying the shell-shocked faces of TDs and senators all around him. Joe was trying to get up my nose.


Paddy Whacks Wrong Target

Bravo, Paddy. A scapegoat has been found. But I have news for poor Paddy the Regulator: Short sellers are good guys.

Last Friday morning we all awoke to the news that a small group of stock market traders had been vilified.

Paddy Neary, the boss at the financial regulator, had fingered short sellers. They were banned from dealing in bank stocks. The implication was clear: behold the bad guys who had sent Irish banking shares into a tailspin.


Bash The Banker, Not The Bank

Is your money safe in the bank? My telephone has been ringing all week. Not the usual angry auctioneer giving out dog’s abuse. Nor the bitching banker. This past week it was worried widows; parents of small children; even the cute guys who piled out of property, out of equities and are now flash with cash.

Suddenly, even the smug are sweating. Their life savings are buried in their local bank. The dogs in the street are asking: should we still trust the last bastion of financial stability, Ireland’s banks? Is the mattress the answer?


Milk the sacred cows, Brian.

OK. Let’s be vindictive. Time for a bit of satisfying revenge. Who is to blame for the economic collapse? How did innocent Ireland ever come to depend on the construction industry for its boom? Was it the Government? The unions? Property developers? Or the global credit crunch? All played a part, but none deserves the lion’s share of the blame.

First, let us point the finger. Afterwards it will be time to punish the offenders. A bit of old-fashioned retribution is overdue. The culprits: the bankers.


M50 Directors Unmasked

WHO will be the first victim? Someone will soon go to jail for not paying a €3 toll fee on the M50. Come back, National Toll Roads, all is forgiven.

The smuggest AGM in Irish history will be held on Thursday. Tom Roche and Jim Barry of National Toll Roads will do a lap of honour in Dublin’s Westbury Hotel.

First, the duo wiped the State’s eye by buying the West-Link. Next, they crucified the M50 motorists. Finally, the Government took them off the pitch in an expensive buyout. Yet within weeks, the buyer has turned a triumph into a shambles. What a lucky escape for the NTR monopoly. The flak they took for so long has been deflected onto the State.

Did those of us who campaigned to dismantle the toll barriers win a hollow victory?