Reforming corporate law, Ryanair results and YouTube’s copyright plea

‘Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from ‘The Irish Times’ business desk

“There will be another crisis, that’s for sure. And it may not be in banking,” says the former governor of the Central Bank Patrick Honohan

“There will be another crisis, that’s for sure. And it may not be in banking,” says the former governor of the Central Bank Patrick Honohan


In the wake of the banking crisis the former governor of the Central Bank Patrick Honohan had the “common sense view” that some of the reckless behaviour of bankers had to be a criminal offence under the common law system, but he was told to “dream on” and that there was not sufficient case law to support such prosecutions. He was speaking prior to the launch on Tuesday of a major report from the Law Reform Commission which, among other matters, considers his view that the law should be able to address what he described in 2015 as “egregiously reckless risk-taking” by senior bankers. He also warned: “There will be another crisis, that’s for sure. And it may not be in banking.”

Ryanair has pressed the pause button for at least six months on further stock repurchases amid uncertainty about the outcome of Brexit talks. Speaking on a call with analysts after Ryanair posted a 7 per cent slump in first-half profits to €1.2 billion, group chief executive Michael O’Leary said that “it’s appropriate” to wait for some clarity on the UK’s exit from the European Union before buying back more shares.

Joe Brennan writes that few can sell fear quite like O’Leary.With fares falling, oil prices up almost 45 per cent on the year, and the threat of industrial strikes lingering after a summer of discontent, there were few obvious excuses in Ryanair’s first-half report on Monday for investors to climb aboard. But having lost as much as a quarter of its value so far this year, the stock was due a relief rally and so it soared by as much as 5.6 per cent despite the profit slump.

Plans for a €35 million extension of the Dawson Hotel in central Dublin and a refurbishment of the Royal Irish Automobile Club’s private members club next door have received a setback as Dublin City Council has raised a number of concerns about the project.

Irish recruitment group CPL Resources has a “strong relationship” with Facebook, and has retained the contract to moderate content for the tech giant despite controversial revelations in a Channel 4 documentary earlier this year. Colin Gleeson reports from yesterday’s agm.

Businessman and restaurateur Peter White, other members of his family and a company are being sued at the Commercial Court over alleged non payment of commercial loans and debts now amounting to more than €5.6 million.

Irish Central Bank deputy governor Sharon Donnery faces a grilling from MEPs today as part of a process to choose the new chief of the Single Supervisory Mechanism when her five year term ends in December. With two other candidates in the running the competition will not just determine who will preside over the ECB’s banking watchdog and the health of the eurozone’s largest lenders.

Cantillon considers YouTube’s impassioned plea to creators to help take action against proposed EU copyright legislation, arguing it will strike many as being a touch hypocritical. In a blog post, YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki warned specifically about the EU’s Article 13, which would put platforms such as YouTube on the hook for copyright violation. “When Wojcicki warns about the impact on livelihoods and the ability to share your voice, it is worth remembering that the current control over that is exercised by YouTube.”

Bill Corcoran reports from Cape Town on what has been titled “The Great Bank Heist”. An official probe into the failure of South Africa’s VBS Mutual Bank has alleged that €115 million (1.9 billion rand) was looted by 53 beneficiaries, including senior management at the institution, politicians and tribal royalty.

In our personal finance coverage, Fiona Reddan identifies seven financial mistakes you need to avoid in your 70s and 80s, while Prionsias O’Mahony explains why the global economy is in late cycle for investors, and Dominic Coyle answers readers’ queries on capital gains tax.

Finally, it seems like Halloween and Christmas are vying for shelf space in the shops these days and Laura Slattery reckons the overlap between the two provokes visual overload and consumer weariness. “But expecting retailers to wait until after the skeletons and brooms have been swept out of the shop to ‘start’ their big sales event is missing the point. At a time of intense online competition, bricks-and-mortar retailers need those Halloween browsers to keep them top of mind come Christmas time.”