Shane Ross

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Archive for October, 2010

Hawk Will Make Feathers Fly

SHOULD we give a hero’s welcome to Ireland’s new tormentors? The likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who wants to punish us for our economic sins. Or Finnish hawk Olli Rehn, who is hovering over the land.

Olli is coming to town. Are he and Angela European saviours or menacing outsiders tightening a noose around our necks?

No Time to Swim in the Swamp

LAST Monday morning, opposition big shots headed for the Department of Finance to examine the nation’s books. The Fine Gael team had a spring in its step, chests out, every inch the government-in-waiting.

They savoured the moment, posed for a few photographs and entered the normally forbidden city. On Monday afternoon, they emerged, spooked. They gave the impression that they were sorry they had touched the nation’s corpse. Could they be infected?

Hail Mary, Chocolate Goddess


Conor Foley, the head of WorldSpreads, is a fine example of an Irish entrepreneur. Unfortunately, like so many Irish business stars, he has relocated to the UK. On Monday, he asked me to rabbit on about bankers and wasters to the Irish International Business Network (IIBN) in London.

The Network turns out to be full of bankers. Representatives of Anglo and AIB are lurking somewhere in the 175- strong audience.

Partnership Beast Rages On

The darker side of partnership is suddenly surfacing. Do not believe that partnership is dead. There is plenty of life left in the damaged doctrine.

Two weeks ago, the appointments to the board of the Central Bank were announced.

There was Mike Soden the banker, John Fitzgerald the economist, Max Regling the one-time director of the IMF and Blanaid Clarke the corporate law expert.

And then there is Des.

AIB Follows the Anglo Road

‘The bank is dead. Long live the bank.’

LAST week they came to bury Anglo. And they came to rescue AIB. Brian Lenihan’s insistence that if he had allowed Anglo to go to the wall it would have torpedoed AIB, began to ring true.

The accepted view in government circles was that abandoning Anglo would have toppled Ireland’s banking dominos; that AIB was particularly vulnerable as it shared dodgy developer clients; that the liquidation of one could bankrupt the other; that they shared an addiction to property. What was not so apparent was that they shared a flawed culture. The big news last week was not Anglo at all.