Thursday 8 December 2016

The law is an ass -- but what are we going to do about it?

Why do we continue to pay enormous prices for such bungling incompetence, asks James Fitzsimons

Published 24/04/2011 | 05:00

THE Nyberg report on the causes of the banking crisis in Ireland is fundamentally flawed. It blames everybody, but names nobody. The bankers didn't realise what was happening; the regulators thought it was someone else's job; the auditors didn't ask the right questions . . .

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Not only does Peter Nyberg blame bankers and public servants, his criticism extends to politicians, entrepreneurs, experts, media and households. Nobody did their job. So why do we continue to pay such high prices for this bungling incompetence?

We all jumped on the financial bandwagon, blinded by the euphoria of our newfound wealth. Bankers led the charge, abandoning regulation, and supported in their belief that financial markets were efficient (full information in the public domain leads to best practice). But that's only one side of the argument. As Warren Buffett said, "If the market was efficient I'd be a beggar on the street with a tin cup."

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