Saturday 16 December 2017

Banks should be afraid of regulator – Anglo was not

The structure is familiar to any Irish person. The stout walls, the battlements designed for heavy artillery, perched on an elevated site with good views around it, normally on a military road or overlooking a large river or a bay. The Martello Tower is something we in Ireland hardly even notice now, but spotting a Martello Tower here in Quebec City prompts a double-take.

The Martello Towers in Quebec City remind you that this was a British garrison town deep in French territory for nearly 200 years. The towers were designed to keep watch over the colony and to ensure that the authorities had an early warning system to signal trouble.

The last time I was in Canada, I was working in a restaurant in Toronto in the 1980s, and there was a perception that the Quebecers were far too radical in their approach to language. The other debate that was raging in Canada at the time was whether the banks were being too reckless in lending to the construction sector. Ontario was in the middle of a housing bubble.

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