Shane Ross

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Archive for December, 2008

Regulator Is ‘Cosy Irish Capitalism At Its Worst’

LAST week Brian Lenihan was browsing through the annual report of Anglo Irish Banks. Not a rivetting way for a Minister for Finance to spend his spare time.

Lenihan is not a natural number cruncher , but according to witnesses, he scratched his head. Observers say that the minister called one of the eggheads in Finance.

How in the name of God, he asked, did the Anglo directors clock up such loans to themselves? Anglo revealed a far bigger concentration of loans to board members than other banks. A good spot by the minister.

The ball started to roll. The hapless Financial Regulator was back on the carpet.

We know the rest. Chairman Sean FitzPatrick — the €87m loan man — was gone in 24 hours. David Drumm followed immediately.

Only the wretched Regulator failed to put its hands up. Instead, it started another investigation! A small problem for the investigators: the investigator is the chief suspect.


Charlie is still our darling

THERE was a wicked rumour doing the rounds in Leinster House last week.

Charlie McCreevy was back in town making waves. He stirred it up a bit — as only he can — left people puzzled, and then headed for Brussels.


Bankers Living In Lala Land

Another week in wonderland for Ireland’s bankers. Terrible results from Anglo, but its boss David Drumm pronounced them a triumph. The big chief of the crippled bank came out fighting. His message was unreal, but familiar.

All is well at Anglo. No dividend maybe, but no consolidation, no recapitalisation, no merger, no panic. Two fingers to the Government


First Blood At Fortress Fás

THERE is something of the dark about Fas headquarters in Dublin’s Baggot Street. In recent weeks, my colleague Nick Webb and I have visited Fortress Fas.

Please God, we will never need to do so again.

Fortress Fas has been politically protected for decades.

For several years I have been battling with the bosses manning the Baggot Street barricades.

They have always fought like tigers to avoid publicity. No holds have been barred.

Luckily, the Sunday Independent is strong enough to resist threats from bloated State agencies.

A few months ago, Fas point-blank refused to release basic information about its use of public money, telling us to jump in a lake.

Now we know why.