Ming’s report on banks not so mighty

Irish MEP’s document asks whether ECB and Irish banks colluded to hide losses

The evidence in Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan’s report  doesn’t seem to add up. Photograph: Mick McCormack

The evidence in Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan’s report doesn’t seem to add up. Photograph: Mick McCormack

 

A report commissioned by Luke “Ming” Flanagan has managed to gain worldwide traction in spite of its content.

The report, which asks whether the European Central Bank and Irish banks colluded to hide losses and distort their own balance sheets, made a series of allegations – one quite serious allegation was made against a prominent political figure in the United States.

As a result, the great and good of US media, including Newsweek, Mother Jones and Vanity Fair, have all published their own reports citing Ming’s commissioned work.

The report itself conflates a number of issues and has been damned by a number of people familiar with its context. One analyst advised Flanagan to “get back to the day job”.

Glimmer of hope

What’s most worrying, however, is that people who lost money due to the banking crisis, either by losing on the value of shares or by losing property investments, are being offered a glimmer of hope where there is none.

Launching the report, its authors advised one former bank investor to consider taking a class action in the United Kingdom. Ming himself was confident that this report would lead to action in Europe – although he conceded nothing had happened just yet.

Other Irish political figures, including Mick Wallace TD, attended the launch to give support to Ming’s merciless campaign. The report complains about the use of an accounting standard by the banks. Additionally, it says that banks hid losses, and it claims to give evidence as to how.

Cantillon is no defender of wrongdoing – but in Ming’s report the evidence doesn’t seem to add up. It complains of a world where everyone except the average punter is in cahoots, and promises that the only person who’ll stand up for the man on the street is the mighty Ming.