The return of bankers' bonuses just sticks in my craw
I'm sure I was not the only one to choke on my corn flakes on Tuesday morning upon hearing that Finance Minister Michael Noonan had "cleared the way for bank bosses to get bonuses", and this was going to start as early as next year.
No matter what way he tried to sell it as "needing strong oversight, and linked it to the achievement of the banks' business plans', the idea that bailed-out banks will be paying bonuses with my money, to bankers who scuttled the country, is hard to digest and even harder to believe.
Was it not only as recently as December 2010 that these same banks were "found out" by the Central Bank in their pay processes? There was little evidence that banks had self-consciously made a link between their risk appetite and their incentive structures. This exposed banks and, by extension the State, to the consequences of inappropriate risk taking.
The Central Bank report went on to state that in the majority of banks, procedures to determine remuneration were not clear, well documented or internally transparent.
There was little evidence of consideration of risk, or collaboration with risk management functions to ensure remuneration policies were aligned with long-term strategic plans.
However, Mr Noonan has decided to forgive and forget and allow bonus payments to the bailed-out bankers, directors and executives.
I'm sure that this news has gladdened the hearts of small and medium business owners the length and breadth of the country who have been refused credit by these same bankers. The bankers who produced fictitious financial statements to get the bailout on that awful "blackmailnight" when they hoodwinked the two Brians.
The same bankers who continue to terrorise entrepreneurs, threatening foreclosures, bankruptcy and personal ruin.
Thank you very much Mr Noonan.