The “other banks” specifically AIB and Bank Of Ireland have always called the shots (they still do) and if they wanted to could have shut Sean Fitzpatricks operation down overnight. Remind me again of the great and good who sat on the AIB and BOI boards while all this was going on? The people who ran Anglo into the ground are responsible for their own actions and must be held accountable for those, however, using them as the whipping boy to justify AIB and BOI claims of diminished reponsibility is contemptible and typical behaviour of official Ireland.
I think AIB & BoI would have loved for Anglo to have been shut down; but the problem they had was that the Markets loved fucking Seanie, & their own shareholders were continuously in their ear looking for the same kind of dividends that Seanie was giving his shareholders.
It’s too easy to complain that the boards should have been responsible, & not gone throwing loans at developers; but if they had been responsible, they’d have been kicked out on their ears. The share/bond holders got exactly what they asked of the board; nothing more, or less !
AIB and BOI had the muscle to influence the conduct of the regulator, DoF and political body through their political connections and lobby groups such as the Irish Bankers Federation. Had they wanted to pursue a “prudent” lending policy they could have. The fact that that during the boom they attacked those who called them out speaks volumes, they are every bit as culpable as Anglo. Sure the boards could have been voted out by the pension groups for not being reckless, but I remember some pensioners (small shareholders) who tried to call the AIB boards attention to this and the efforts AIBs board went to avoid or dismiss awkward questions at their AGMs. My point is blaming Anglo for AIB (now on their second taxpayer bailout) and BOI behaviour during the boom does not stand up to scrutiny and it should be called out as the redirection attempt it is to allow business as usual to resume ASAP for the remaining members of the IBF whose debts are underwritten by the taxpayer.
Every tom dick and fucking harry had this muscle throughout the worst of the period of Irish style light-touch regulation and freemarketism.
I wish we would be more honest with ourselves regarding this. There are only two choices unless our current property paradigm and industry (of which banking is an important component) undergoes a revolution. One, the taxpayer pays. Two, the young pay as they did during the bonanza through being mortgaged to the hilt and twisted all they are worth for more rent. Honesty is needed because the inherent logic in this type of rhetoric implies we are fine with young people being loaded up with 35 years of debt for paltry semi-boxes in bleak estates. Or what other way can the ‘taxpayer’ be paid back, realistically? Money doesn’t grow on trees in Ireland; it comes from young people signing 35 year indenturships, it seems. (btw there is the significant ‘printing press’ rhetoric. More’s the pity that it was misdirected by ideological imbecility and smug apologist revisionists.)