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):

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

My comment to Golem XIV's blog post - 'Final Destination Europe'

David Malone, in his Golem XIV blog, wrote the following today:

"Three years ago Europe's and America's banks were supposed to die in an horrific accident.  Their own rampaging greed and corruption had finally caught up with them. But somehow they cheated death. They did it by selling the lives of others; the tax payers in their own nations and those of nations, like Greece and Ireland, whose leaders had long since sold their own rotten and threadbare souls and were now keen to sell the souls of others.

But Death doesn't like to be cheated.

And so here we are with Death picking them off one by one: Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain. Who's next? Italy?

Who would have seen Strauss-Kahn arrested on suspicion of Rape? One moment in the lap of luxury the next in Rikers Island trying not to end up in anyone else's lap.  Fate? I think so.

The Irish Celtic Tiger was the first to go. The whore master of Europe's best little banker's brothel, the IFSC (International Financial Services Centre) . Come to Dublin and do whatever you want. What could go wrong? Answer - almost everything. Anglo Irish began to puke up everything it had ever swallowed. Depfa and Hypo Real Estate broke out in pustules and blamed each other. While all over Ireland property and land developers began to choke and suffocate in a cloud of their own lies and unpaid bills.

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and his finance minister Brian Cowen saw Death coming for them. And tried to buy him off by selling the soul of Ireland's future.  €70 billion and counting which is what has been crammed into 'saving the banks' but which is more accurately described as saving their bond holding creditors and the foreign banks who lent to them. Ireland is being tortured to death. Water boarded with debt.

Then came Greece. €340 billion in national debt. €100 billion in 'emergency loans' from the EU and IMF. Strapped to a table with tubes pumping blood into a bulging and livid vein. Being told it will help but not realizing that the blood coming in is being sucked straight back out from the other arm making its devious way to the intended recipient - the bloated, syphilitic, sick men of European banking.  Greece is just there to wash the blood through. A "pass through" to protect the identity of the real recipients. Papandreous will enforce austerity and watch Greece wither.

Watching the grisly spectacle has been Jose Luis Zapatero. Who's one contribution so far has been to blubber "Not me. I'm not like them. Spain isn't Greece."  While doing as little as possible to recognize the undeclared debts being hidden away in the regions, municipalities and their pet Caja's.  No Spain isn't Greece. It's bigger. Will Spain be next, crushed under falling masonry in some obscure town?

Or will Italy go first? Giulio Tremonti, Italy's Greenspan, suddenly finds that the 'friend' in whose apartment he has been living, is required to help the police with their enquiries. Will Tremonti go? Will Berlusconi fall from power before him? If either does will UniCredit suddenly find it has bad loans surfacing like the dead from unmarked graves all over Italy?  Word has it that their American operation, Pioneer, which they tried to sell then suddenly decided not to, is floating like the Marie Celeste. Silent, ragged, becalmed. Not a soul on board.

There was a time when the strong thought they might survive by feeding Death with the weak. Give him Greece and maybe he'll go away. But Death is as patient as he is voracious.

Now panic is not far beneath the surface of calm. Bloomberg today quotes Suki Mann, senior credit strategist at Societe Generale as saying,
“Greece appears beyond repair, Italy is on the brink and the chances are that the euro might be no more very soon.”
Herman von Rompoy and his boys and girls at the ECB and beginning to wonder if they have put themselves on Death's list.  If Greece defaults, will Portugal or Spain be pulled over after them? And if so will the ECB be inexorably after them? The ECB is stuffed with bad paper from all the debtor nations. If they go what will happen? Wil the ECB be downgraded? The ECB doesn't want to find out. It wants Germany and France to pay for their own European experiment in bank blackmail.

But in Berlin Angela Merkel of Germany is closing the doors and windows. No one is to be allowed in or even near.  She has seen how the film ends and doesn't want to star in the final reel. Let America and the Fed default. Bernanke is there printing and praying. Let him die. Let China crash land, let the ECB bleed, but Germany will not go down.

Let Greece default. Today the ECB seems to have bent to Germany's will and is saying it will consider a 'temporary Greek default'. The yield on Greek two years bonds just went into orbit.

Perhaps even France will struggle as she drowns in the defaulted sovereign and corporate debts that BNP Paribas', Credit Agricole and Societe General are nurturing like a cancer within them.  But when Death calls no one wants to be next. One more breath, just one more. Take my friend. Just not me. Not yet.

One more European summit in which the defenceless will be sacrificed to protect the wealthy.

My comment:
Dear Golem,

Grudgingly, I would have to agree with your comments regarding what was allegedly the Celtic Tiger. However, I whole heartedly agree with your observation about the current state of affairs in Ireland as that in which "Ireland is being tortured to death. Water boarded with debt."

Our elected government and our Prime Minster especially, began with a show of strength in front of Angela Merkel, intended to impress us, gullible Irish folk. This soon turned into Fianna Fáil mark II, where Dublin takes its orders from Berlin. Anything else might result in Pandora's box being opened - an extremely embarrassing prospect to the authoties, banks and elected politicians both in Germany and its newly acquired vassal state of Ireland (Land Irland).

Call it Pandora's Box, or Death knocking at the door, it would seem that we are about to witness a crack, a knock, or a bang of colossal magnitude.

UniCredit Ireland's EX Risk-Manager


For readers who might not be familiar with the source of the reference that Golem made above to the IFSC in Dublin:
David McWilliams, an Irish economist & journalist who began his career at the Central Bnak of Ireland, and then went on to work for UBS and BNP, was interviewed by ZDF, the German TV channel about the collapse of Hypo Real Estate. In that interview, McWilliams uses the metaphor of German bankers behaving in Dublin like 'Men in a brothel' with the blessing of the Irish Financial Regulator. This observation makes it a bit harder to lay the blame fairly and squarely at the door of a particular nation, but reminds us that we are all paying for the greed of bankers and the criminal stupidity of the authorities.