Sunday 21 December 2014

Bankers need not fear men of straw

Published 11/11/2012 | 10:17

WHEN this newspaper sparked the ongoing furore over the pensions of retired bankers, we were informed in the most grandiloquent tones by the Finance Minister that such pensions resided on a legal bulwark that could not be challenged.

Three days later, the first crack appeared, courtesy of the niggardly concession by the former AIB CEO Eugene Sheehy.

We live in a strange State when the campaigning instincts of a free press can secure more change than a Finance Minister backed by all of the powers of the State. There again, the relationship between this Government, banks and the many-roomed mansion of Irish vested interests is all too redolent of the tale of the wolf and the three little pigs -- but with one difference. When it comes to reform, our bankers need not live in fear of the wolf of reform; for despite all the wind that gusts from ministerial orifices, when reform is led by straw men, those residing in straw houses have little to fear.

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