Monday 22 July 2019

The Punt: Behold the wily business hand of the Jesuits

The Jesuits
The Jesuits

MICHAEL Noonan was in fine form at the launch of the 'Sunday Independent's revamped business section the other night. Pressed on the ECB's annual report, which expresses some disquiet about the promissory note deal, the Finance Minister noted that Mario Draghi was Jesuit educated. Mr Noonan added that while he did not have the benefit of a Jesuit education himself, he had been a Jesuit educator from his time at the Crescent School in Limerick and therefore understood what the wily central banker was up to.

All this talk set the Punt thinking about whether a Jesuit education can be discerned in the business and political worlds. Are, for instance, the Jesuit-educated IFSC czar and former Taoiseach John Bruton and his brother Richard somehow different to other ministers? Was Garret FitzGerald a better Taoiseach or economist? Did Peter Sutherland run Goldman Sachs International or BP differently because of the Jesuits?

The Punt doesn't know the answer to what could be called a Jesuitical question but Sutherland at least seems to think so, telling a Gonzaga College magazine not so long ago that "business activities have played a role in my life but the invisible hand of the Jesuits has always pointed in another direction".

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