Monday 20 November 2017

Everybody to blame for crisis, says ex-regulator

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

FORMER Financial Regulator Brian Patterson has hit out at the media for being overly gloomy in a speech which saw him blame "everybody" for the country's economic woes.

Mr Patterson -- who led the regulator at a time when banks such as Anglo Irish and Allied Irish Banks were recklessly lending billions to builders -- made no reference to the role the failure of regulation had in the collapse of the economy.

He instead suggested that people who had bought houses or shares during that period were somehow responsible for what has happened.

"We were all responsible," he said several times in a speech that also extolled "our wonderful health system" and a democracy that allows a change of government without military coups.

Mr Patterson, who retired as chairman of the Financial Regulator back in 2008 when Patrick Neary was still chief executive, used a Christmas speech to Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce yesterday to criticise his former employer, the 'Irish Times', and several other news organisations for allegedly stoking gloom across the country.

He reserved particular criticism for UCD academic Morgan Kelly, who correctly predicted the collapse in house prices and, more recently, predicted that the number of people defaulting on mortgage payments will jump.

The current chairman of Vodafone Ireland added that he intends in future to avoid negativity, and no longer reads Morgan Kelly, no longer watches Vincent Browne, reads Shane Ross or listens to Joe Duffy.

Irish Independent

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