Justice must be done on crisis
Published 04/10/2010 | 05:00
ANGLO Irish Bank has written off €2.3bn of the prodigious debts, totalling €2.8bn, owed by Sean Quinn, once the richest man in Ireland. Nevertheless, Anglo -- now nationalised and with "public interest" directors on its board -- intends to pursue Mr Quinn for the full amount.
Clearly the bank, and Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, cannot hope to recover more than a small fraction of the debt. But it intends to pursue Mr Quinn and his family for as much as it can get. Legally it is entitled to seek to take some of his valuable personal assets.
Not only is this the correct course of action, legally and morally, it should remind everybody concerned -- not least the banks themselves, whose greed and recklessness have brought the country to the brink of ruin -- that actions have consequences and even the most lavish bailouts have bills attached.