McAleese condemns crippling greed of corporate sector
PRESIDENT Mary McAleese yesterday condemned the corporate sector for becoming "overwhelmed with greed" which had left the global economy "with all the stability of a stack of tarot cards".
Speaking in Arizona at a business meeting organised by Enterprise Ireland, the President said: "I think that every one of us would have to say with our hands on our hearts that we were all consumed by that same element of consumerism.
"We've all got elements of that story to tell."
President McAleese, who is nearing the end of her seven-day tour of the west coast of the United States, said there were lessons to learn from excessive global consumerism.
"Somewhere along the line we began to think that we weren't happy with deferred gratification. We had to have it now and in this moment, and I think that we have paid a very, very big price for that very radical shift," she said.
"And now the balance presumably is going to swing back the other way and it will be no harm," she said.
The President also criticised those involved in the mortgage lending crisis, that led to corporations and investment banks reaping huge profits from high-interest mortgages that ordinary home owners struggled to pay.
"It's a wonderful thing to be able to help people have their own homes and to build up community in that way," President McAleese said. "But it seems to me that somehow we've lost sight of what we're all about here."
The President is visiting Los Angeles, where she will meet with former Hollywood action hero and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today.