Sunday 19 November 2017

Human sacrifice is order of day as oblivious banks appease profit god

Bank of Ireland Group Chief Executive Richie Boucher, pictured at the bank's AGM
Bank of Ireland Group Chief Executive Richie Boucher, pictured at the bank's AGM

Iron Age Celts in Ireland practised human sacrifice, as we know from scientific examination of the bog bodies in the National Museum. But I understood the habit of ritually slaughtering victims to appease a primitive god was no longer regarded as civilised.

Someone forgot to tell Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank: the chief executives of both institutions continue to insist there will be no debt write-downs for distressed homeowners. It seems human sacrifices must continue to be made to the profit god, keeping shareholders appeased.

It was all about bowing the knee to profit – not discredited after all, despite the lessons of the collapse – with bankers appearing before an Oireachtas Joint Finance Committee this week. The frustration of politicians attempting to engage with them was evident.

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