Tuesday 19 September 2017

Everything in banking has changed, but is it different?

A pivotal moment over a decade ago shone a light on the need for a change to our banking

President Michael D Higgins
President Michael D Higgins

Eddie Hobbs

THE banking enquiry, by focusing on the events leading up to the blanket guarantee, is in danger of reporting on the outcome of a disease, not on its root cause. Last year President Michael D Higgins, reacting to the Anglo tapes, told local and international audiences that these voices were unrepresentative of Irish culture, but what if he's wrong?

The tapes sounded quintessentially Irish. In a different narrative had senior bank executives passed the tab to European taxpayers, would they be lauded as cute hoors? In other words, is anger focused, not on the sin but on its personalised cost?

Judge Nolan's withering comments, which queried the credibility of evidence provided by top regulatory brass, have shaken public confidence in regulation itself. Just how far up the establishment this extends will make for interesting reading in the banking inquiry by identifying the names of the players, but what it will not tell us is how the rules of the game came to be set this way in the first place.

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