Ireland: financially accident prone?
5 July, 2010
During my living memory, I have seen a succession of financial/commercial scandals or controversies played out in Ireland. Some involved suspected corruption or illegality, some were the fruits of disastrous business decisions, and some were attributable to poor regulation. I suspect that, per capita, we have far more such issues than other countries. I also believe that the main reason for this is that the protagonists in Ireland seem to be able largely to escape the consequences of their actions, thus creating a climate where history repeats itself.
As an exercise, I sat down the other day and tried to recall all the main scandals or controversies which have blighted our commercial, financial or regulatory reputation. I have limited this to the past 30 years or so, and thus excluded classics such as the mysterious origins of Charlie Haughey’s wealth, and the Shanahans Stamp Auctions scam.
- PMPA – a Ponzi type insurance bubble?
- GPA – spectacular rise and spectacular fall
- Goodman Group collapse (and dodgy export credit insurance claims)
- Patrick Gallagher / Merchant Banking Limited
- AIB/ICI and the State bailout
- DIRT scandal
- Bogus non-resident accounts scandal
- Baltimore Technologies’ crash
- Anglo-Irish Bank (and all its myriad subplots)
- Quinn/Anglo debacle
- DCC / Fyffes insider trading scandal
- Bertie Ahern and his tribunal evidence
- etc etc etc
I invite readers to add to the above depressing list, and comment upon whether it confirms that we are particularly accident-prone or corrupt.