A SUPREME Court judge has questioned why bankers should be earning bonuses on the value of loans they handed out rather than how the loans were performing.
Mr Justice Frank Clarke said many of the new laws introduced after the bank guarantee had not been "road tested" but he hoped the Government would be brave enough to review and reassess the legislation if improvements were required.
And he agreed that the public perception of extremely lax practices by banks assessing the creditworthiness of loans during the boom years was "very well founded".
Judge Clarke made the comments while addressing a conference on the legal landscape in the wake of the bank guarantee.
Having presided over many of the main commercial cases following the crash, he said that the difficulties that had been exposed in the courts demonstrated a huge amount of human misery that was not confined to "high-flyers".
"I think there is a danger that everyone who got into trouble is now being tarred with the same brush (as) greedy, stupid people who made very stupid decisions," he said. "That applies, I think legitimately, to some of those involved, but it doesn't apply in every case."
Few professions involved in the overall management of the economy could "escape a whipping", said the judge, adding that there were consequences if there were laws that criminalised gross negligence.
Opening the conference, Professor Diarmuid Hegarty, president and founder of Griffith College, said that of the four recessions he had experienced in his lifetime, this was "unquestionably the worst".
Prof Hegarty said he hoped that the new insolvency regime would be the endgame to the financial crisis.
Ed Honohan, the Master of the High Court, described the debt crisis facing many citizens as "a national emergency".