Friday 24 February 2017

There are degrees of what is incredibly unjust

The no-loans-for-bank-shares rule is something bankers like Whelan and McAteer should know, writes Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan

Pat Whelan, left, and William McAteer
Pat Whelan, left, and William McAteer

It's hard to know which is more silly – some of the remarks made by the judge in the Anglo trial, or the widespread gasps of surprise when he declined to jail the guilty bankers. The silly remarks were extremely silly, and the surprise was unwarranted for two reasons.

One: it was always at most 50-50 on whether Pat Whelan and Willie McAteer, alone of all involved, would be sent to jail. And, two: in your heart, knowing what we know about the Irish legal system, did you really expect a banker to go to jail?

The Anglo case in one short paragraph: bloody fool gambles billions on buying bank shares, destabilises bank; bunch of rich men are invited to borrow hundreds of millions from Anglo to stabilise the bank by buying Anglo shares. It's illegal for a bank to lend money to anyone specifically to buy shares in that bank.

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