Anglo revelations and the banking guarantee
Sir, – While I have some sympathy with the sentiments expressed by Fintan O’Toole (“The smartest guys in Ireland”, Weekend Review, June 29th) I believe he has failed to recognise the foundations of the problems which led us to where we now stand and where the true culpability lies. The “smartest guys in Ireland” were of our own creation and while they were weaving their “magic” we loved them. The world heaped its praise on us and made us believe we could do anything.
In hindsight, it is clear that the true origins of the mess lie in the regulatory framework that allowed the Anglo monster to grow, a regulatory framework put in place to attract foreign financial institutions to Ireland and “create jobs”. Had there been properly formulated and resourced regulation in place in the preceding years (like in Canada) slipshod practices would never thrived in the sphere of banking.
But of course the lure of “high quality jobs” was irresistible and while it all meant that we (the public) had unlimited access to cheap money, we were happy to cheer it all along. How quickly we forget. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Leo Varadkar’s stomach was churning in reaction to the Anglo Irish debacle (Home News, June 28th). I know how he feels – my stomach was equally disturbed when I heard him on radio on the same day posturing on the Fianna Fáil ducking and diving but without giving any idea what this Government planned to do – inactivity is obviously a core value of this Government. – Yours, etc,
Bray, Co Wicklow.
Sir, – President Michael D Higgins is to be complimented on taking the opportunity to comment on the Anglo tapes and asserting that the voices we heard in the tapes were not those of the Irish people (Front page, July 1st). I wish we could be this sanguine in making this distinction, because while I fully support his constant anthem applauding the Irish spirit, courage and fortitude, I fear we do not fully understand that a large dollop of this greed and entitlement mentality has seeped into the pores of our society.
This is not to be wondered at, since we have truly experienced the existence of a failed State during the period since the turn of the century. Over the past 15 years the political, financial, business, law enforcement and legal leadership has utterly failed this country. This occurred through a toxic mix of commission and omission – a blend of cavalier behaviour, political inertia and stroke-pulling allied to a corporate governance and supervision system populated by incompetents, and worse, those who had the competence but chose not to exercise it.
It is no wonder, therefore, that a large wedge of our population took a lead from this polluting scenario and adopted similar, morally corrosive behaviour in order to advance their interests. Ireland has developed a coarse and self-centred edge that wields undue influence in current affairs. As a result we are left with a massive challenge in trying to reassert the values of which President Higgins speaks so eloquently. We are fortunate to have him leading us in this effort and it would be even more reassuring if our other elected leaders showed any inclination to do likewise. That is a hope too far, I fear, as they employ themselves in carving up the political pie and throwing pieces of it across the floor at their opponents. That’s tough work and leaves little time for real statesmanship. – Yours, etc,