Banking on monkeys
Those with long memories will need little reminding that during the Celtic Tiger economic boom, positively obscene pay rates for company bosses, particularly bank chief executives, were justified on the grounds that if companies paid peanuts they would get monkeys.
This led to former Anglo Irish boss David Drumm being paid €3.27m in 2007, a year in which we now know the bank was rapidly going bust. His counterpart at AIB, Eugene Sheehy, was paid €2.1m the same year. With these two institutions having swallowed almost €50bn of taxpayers' money between them, one would be justified in wondering how, after paying a heck of a lot more than peanuts, we still ended up with monkeys?
Given the previous excesses it is hardly surprising that the Government imposed salary caps of €500,000 a year for the bosses of both AIB and Bank of Ireland when it was forced to unconditionally guarantee the deposits and bonds of the Irish banks in September 2008.