Senator David Norris' address to Seanad Eireann (the Irish Senate)

In Sept. 2007, fourteen months before Ireland's bank bailout, I resigned from my position as the Risk Manager of UniCredit Bank Ireland. I did that in order not to incriminate myself. I have spent the last 4 years seeking justice. On Feb. 23rd., 2010, I was fortunate to have Senator David Norris raise the matter in Seanad Eireann (the Irish Senate), and request a response from the Minister of Finance, Mr. Brian Lenihan. Senator Norris concluded by stating that:
"...there is ministerial responsibility in this matter. This is a grossly serious matter which has been reported to the Financial Regulator. A man has lost his job as a result. He honourably resigned. The degree of breach was 40 times the accepted margin. This is a disaster. If we are not prepared to face the issue and investigate it when it has been laid before the House, there is absolutely no hope for the financial system or its reputation worldwide...How can the Financial Regulator investigate himself? He was in breach of his responsibility."
In Nov. 2011, Emma Alberici, Europe correspondent for ABC TV, told my story as part of her documentary 'Going Rogue' which featured Nick Leeson and Sir John Vickers among other interviewees. It is ironic that at a time when the Irish tax-payer is bailing out un-secured bond holders, my story which occurred in Dublin, is deemed of interest to the Australian TV license payer. Please click on 'play video' on the following link:
VRT, Belgian state-TV, aired this interview with me on March 6th., 2013. My Interview begins in minute 27:
Het verdriet van Europa: Zeepbellen blazen (The sadness of Europe: Bursting bubbles)
VRT, Belgian state-TV, released extra footage of my interview on March 8th., 2013. (in English):

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Another Irish bank bites the dust - a rumour from across the pond

Today, I was informed by a source in New-York that our very own movers & shakers have been hitting the streets of the Big Apple in a last breath attempt to attract the finance needed to prevent the nationalisation of yet another major Irish bank.

That would be another of the Irish banks that according to Matthew Eledrfield, Head of Financial Regulation at the Central Bank of Ireland, were well on the way to recovery. That would be due to all the generous help they have received - the billions you and I have given to them.  Let's remember that this regulatory genius wrote just last April in the Irish Independent:

"It will take time to recover to a stronger banking sector, backed by more effective regulation, and to sounder public finances. But the road to recovery has started.

The recent Central Bank stress tests are an important milestone on that road....

How much do we pay this man? For those of you who perhaps don't know him. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. He was also the official at the British Financial Regulator, the FSA, who was responsible for Northern Rock in the months before it collapsed (way to go Mathew!). That was apparently more than enough of a recommendation for our government to hire him.

Back in the Independent in April, Mathew went on to gush,

"...I meet so many people in Ireland who want to get on with it and demonstrate a hugely impressive determination to face up to the task. I'm determined that the Central Bank builds a regulatory system that learns the lessons of the past and works hard to rebuild the banking system step by step. And I'm optimistic that the recent stress tests were a very big step in the right direction."

Nice that he was determined.  Sadly not determined enough to stop another bank going under, on his watch just 3 months later. To paraphrase a famous Irishman, Oscar WiIde, "To lose one bank may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness, Matthew."

And so here we are with another bank rumoured to be going broke and the financial titans of Dublin desperate to flog it to whoever will take it off their hands. And remember, they've had practice at this sort of grovelling. Our Fine Gael leaders were practising bank-flogging even before they came to power. No sooner had the Fianna Fail government raided our tax payers pockets to resuscitate our defunct banks, our ex Fine Gael Prime-Minister was out in the Arabian Gulf flogging said banks:

Ireland looks to Persian Gulf to buy its banks - Tehran Times, December 2010

"Top Irish officials have approached Persian Gulf sovereign wealth funds to gauge interest in the sale of Ireland’s banks after the €85 billion (Dh412.26bn) bailout from European governments and the IMF.

John Bruton, a former Irish prime minister, is leading a delegation from the country on a whistle-stop tour of the region as Ireland prepares to sell assets...."

So, where are we? We have a new Irish government and a new Financial Regulator. What has changed? Very little.