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Michael Collins, JFK and the banking inquiry

Michael Collins, JFK and the banking inquiry

Tuesday, 16th December 2014
Who shot Michael Collins? Was the person behind him or above him? Did Dev order it or was it one of his own? Was there more than one gunman that shot President John F. Kennedy? How many people were on the ‘grassy knoll’? Who was to blame for the Irish banking collapse? Was it Seanie, Patrick or Brian? Who was to blame for an economy out of control?

Life’s too short…

The Collins shooting was almost a century ago, the Kennedy killing half a century ago and it won’t be too long before a decade will have passed following our banking collapse. Still, otherwise intelligent humans can spend years speculating about the whats, the ifs and the maybes, as if something can be done about it.

The 11 second conclusion…

At ISME we can do the State some service. These are our inquiry conclusions. There was no financial regulation, not even regulation light. This was a failure by the State. There was collusion between bonus driven bankers and politicians keen to party. This was a triumph of greed. There you have it. The bank inquiry findings, less acres and acres of newspaper coverage and hours and hours of ‘guff show’ chat. And our ISME inquiry-lite conclusions will save the State many €millions.

And we already know what happened..?

This is what today’s Irish Times editorial says about the inquiry. “We already know a lot of what happened, but the inquiry can fill in important gaps …The Nyberg report was an excellent and insightful summary of what happened. It did not name names but it outlined very clearly the widespread failures in government, bank boardrooms and in regulation, as well as the “national mania” that led to a grave underestimation of the risks.”

A spell in the slammer would sort future problems…

So that’s it. We may get some more names, mostly of people we have never heard of, who most likely have taken their unfunded State pensions away with them as they retired into happy anonymity. Equally there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that a banker, any banker, will ever have to pay back bonuses paid out on – let’s avoid the courts here – creative accounts. And not one partner in any of the major audit firms will ever take art classes in Mountjoy for aiding in that creativity.

It is panto season after all…

Meanwhile this pantomime will serve to distract from the real business of government, helping enterprises to get people back to work. There won’t have to be any discussion as to why the self-employed pay more tax than anyone else. There won’t be any room on the business pages to ask why, six years later, SMEs still can’t access working capital. And there won’t be any room for informed analysis of the latest airy fairy suggestions that a country with hundreds of thousands unemployed needs to raise the minimum wage while restoring public sector wages to the previously unsustainable levels. Oh, and we have cast a pantomime villain, a TD who thinks it’s his job ‘to break the law’.

You couldn’t make it up!