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The Punt: We're lucky to have him...


Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

HEAR ye, hear ye! All hail the great leader, for he is glorious and worthy. If Enda Kenny had been going through a private bout of self-doubt this week, it would have been quickly dispelled at the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday.

For leader Kenny was given a very, very warm welcome to Killiney for the gathering of local business leaders – introduced as a great leader of dignity and decency, with a work ethic to match. And boy, it seems, we're lucky to have him.

"The country needs Enda Kenny," said Tony Spollen, the former head of internal audit at AIB and whose questioning eventually led to the DIRT inquiry.

We fought back the need to fall on our knees in veneration. "Every great leader is doubted at some stage. Is he going to be as good as he seems?" asked Mr Spollen.

"How many of us were surprised when he was on the cover of Time magazine? Not too many, because this is a man of the highest calibre."

Who is The Punt to argue?

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber aims to make the area the "premier location" in Ireland for foreign direct investment and indigenous start-ups. It is looking for help from the Government to rejuvenate the town to be strategically placed to respond to the economic recovery. The Punt wishes it well.


BOI in bust-up with survey firm

Bank of Ireland is involved in a legal spat in the UK with a surveying firm there, the Philip Pank Partnership, the Punt spies. The surveying firm proudly mentions BOI on its website as being among its many clients.

"We act as an interface between our clients and the developer/contractor, adopting a partnering approach to our role as employer's agent," says the Pank website. In ongoing case management proceedings, an argument between Bank of Ireland and Pank arose related to legal costs budgeting in the case between the pair, and obliquely hinged on a ruling delivered last year involving that famous 'Plebgate' row at Downing Street.

In that case, the solicitors for former government minister Andrew Mitchell hadn't furnished him with a budget for his costs within a specified timeframe. A judge then limited his budget to court costs only. But that meant he would also be unable to recover any legal costs from defendants in the case if he was successful.

He appealed that ruling, but lost.

Whatever the bust-up is between BOI and Pank, there is an argument over whether or not costs budgets had been exchanged on time. Pank argued they hadn't been. The judge disagreed.

The Punt finds it all difficult to follow, but you can be sure that somewhere a lawyer just got richer.


Nun takes on banking giant

Plenty of people got hot under the collar when Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein told staff at the bank that they were "doing God's work."

So imagine our surprise when Sister Barbara Aires of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, in the US, turned up in a regulatory notice in the Irish Stock Exchange yesterday.

The Sisters of Charity was one of a group of shareholders of JPMorgan who have been pressing the banking giant on a number of issues, including a demand for greater transparency and to split the chairman and chief executive roll currently held by Jamie Dimon.

The shareholders lost the latter battle, but did get the bank to agree to prepare a report into how the bank is handling what are described as a "number of challenges."

"Through fruitful and instructive dialogue we were able to reach a mutually agreeable solution with the company," said Sister Barbara.

The nun previously faced off against Goldman's Blankfein at an investor day. After a grilling from the nun, the Wall Street titan jokingly compared her tack with the approach he sees in Goldman's own management team.

Asked if he would hire Sister Barbara, he is said to have quipped that Goldman Sachs didn't think it could outbid her "current boss".

Irish Independent