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by Ross Shane

Download The Bankers: How The Banks Ruined The Irish Economy fb2, epub

ISBN: 1844882160
Author: Ross Shane
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Ireland (November 24, 2009)
Pages: 288
Category: Economics
Subcategory: Money
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 116
Size Fb2: 1188 kb
Size ePub: 1568 kb
Size Djvu: 1216 kb
Other formats: rtf lit lrf docx


Shane Ross knows the stories of these people and what they got up to, and in The Bankers he makes sense of a. .As recently as 2007, the Irish economy was still booming and the state coffers overflowing; by the end of 2008, the state faces an unprecedented crisis.

Shane Ross knows the stories of these people and what they got up to, and in The Bankers he makes sense of a scandal that will haunt Ireland for years to come. The story of the Irish banking collapse is a tawdry tale of collusion, back-scratching and denial among bankers, developers, regulators and politicians.

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As recently as 2007, the Irish economy was still booming and the state coffers overflowing; by the end of 2008, the state faces an unprecedented crisis. This is the story Shane Ross - independent Senator, long-time champion of citizens against misbehaving corporations, and Journalist of the Year 2009 - tells in The Bankers, going behind the scenes and the headlines to explain what happened, how it happened and who made it happen.

As recently as 2007, the Irish economy was still booming and the state . For the latest books, recommendations, offers and more. Shane Ross knows the stories of these people and what they got up to, and in The Bankers he makes sense of a scandal that will haunt Ireland for years to come.

Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross (born 11 July 1949) is an Irish Independent politician who has served as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport since May 2016. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin Rathdown constituency since 2016, and previously from 2011 to 2016 for the Dublin South constituency. He was a Senator for the University of Dublin from 1981 to 2011.

The Bankers: How the Banks Brought Ireland to Its Knees. Penguin Ireland; 312 pages; £1. 9. Gill & Macmillan; 298 pages; £1. Get our daily newsletter. Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger. Faber & Faber; 240 pages; £1. To be published in America by PublicAffairs in March.

Shane Ross has spent his political and journalistic career as a voice for .

Shane Ross has spent his political and journalistic career as a voice for individuals and minorities ablishment including big business, the banks, political parties, and other vested interests. Shane’s 2009 Number 1 bestseller, ‘The Bankers: How the Banks Brought Ireland to its Knees’, lifted the veil from those who took Ireland from boom to bust.

Two years ago, the Irish economy was still booming; now, it faces an unprecedented crisis. There is, of course, an international context for these developments, but the Irish story - a story of extraordinary collusion between banks, regulators and the government - is perhaps unique in its tawdriness. This is the story Shane Ross - journalist, independent Senator, and long-time champion of citizens against misbehaving corporations - tells in "The Bankers", going behind the scenes and the headlines to explain what happened, how it happened, and who made it happen. They're all here: Sean Fitzpatrick and the other bank bosses; Patrick Neary and the other members of Ireland's failed regulatory apparatus; the property developers, who dominated the banks' lending to a ruinous degree; and the politicians, who inflated the property bubble and have allowed the banks to dictate the terms of their bailout to an astonishing degree. Shane Ross knows the stories of these people and what they got up to better than anyone, and in "The Bankers" he makes sense of a scandal that will haunt Ireland for years to come.

Comments:

Berkohi
self aggrandizement at its worst. The author would have us believe he was the only voice of sanity in a country gone mad, My recollection of his newspaper articles are somewhat different to the picture he portrays
Arcanescar
Very good. Unfortunately all true.
caster
I have the greatest respect for Shane Ross, a colourful but upright character who has been a business editor of the Sunday Independent, a Senator and TD, but that doesn't affect my review of this book.

To a degree the reader needs to have lived in Ireland during some of these times, or paid close attention to newspapers, because so many well-known figures are introduced who do not make it to lifestyle pages. However there is a brief tag for each new player so even if you had never heard of the O'Reilly Hylands you understand that they ran an Irish oil firm, Burmah, for instance, and there is an index at the back of the book.

Now we see why Bob Geldof was calling Ireland a banana republic so many years before the Celtic Tiger arrived. One rich family was feeding off another and every crony inviting school mates to join him on a board. Politicians feted builders and builders paid politicians. Banks were run by people who used deposits as personal piggy banks for their millions and billions of pounds of speculations. In which developed country is it not considered a conflict of interest for directors to sit on multiple boards such as a cement firm and a bank which makes loans to builders, shopping centre developers and house mortgage buyers?

The real tragedy is that during the early part of this story, the people able to make money were those who already had it, such as hotelier PV Doyle, buying and building, while 99% of the people had to take out 20 year mortgages for a 7,000 pound house because they could not earn enough to pay it off faster and raise a family. As prices began to soar two working incomes were suddenly required. When the Gallagher Brothers (only one of whom is mentioned in the book) bank and building firm collapsed, so did Ireland's economy and we entered the 1980s in deep recession. Not like today, when everyone has a TV and computer. The kind of recession where you passed down clothes, books and prams to family and neighbours. You didn't go on holiday and farmers put secondhand tyres on vehicles.

Arising from this were the phoenix-like bankers, the wealthy with land banks, hotels and not forgetting all those well-remunerated bank board positions. They had little or no regulation because they were the ones who controlled the country's money.
"The politicians looked after the mandarins. The mandarins looked after the central bankers and the regulators. (The governor of the Central Bank was paid more in 2008 than the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, as was the chief executive of the Financial Regulator.) The Central Bankers looked after the bankers. The bankers looked after IBEC. And IBEC looked after the government. The circle of oligarchs was watertight."

The lesser known banks to the public only dealt with developers and refused to hear that Ireland's property boom was clearly unsustainable. These banks such as Anglo Irish are now notorious as personally enriching the few at the helm while ruining the nation which tried to rescue them. But what of the two major banks? Bank of Ireland, with its leader Brian Goggin, for example. This lent to homeowners and small business as well as major industries.
"Eric Daniels, the boss at Lloyds TSB for example, was paid less than Goggin in 2007 despite delivering three and a half times B of I's profits that year. Goggins' total package was 50 percent more than that of Andy Hornby of HBOS, who collected €2.6 million in 2007. The Scottish giant made €6.988 billion that year compared to B of I's €1.584 billion."
Bank of Ireland was another bank which had to be rescued by the taxpayer, while pensioners who had invested in bank shares were left with almost worthless certificates.

The only female involved apart from bankers' glamorous ex-model wives, is Gillian Bowler who sold her Budget Travel firm and since she'd agreed not to re-enter the travel field for three years, not explained in the book, took a bank directorship. She managed to survive the board upheaval of that firm although all the men were tossed. Her personal role in supervising the bank loans is not described. We could however say that women might have taken fewer risks and fewer glad-handers. But during the early part of this story, women generally were educated in French and music and sewing. Economics was not on the curriculum at convent schools, which means most girls' schools. At the time of crisis we meet Labour politician Joan Burton as a voice of sanity speaking far too late.

People did shout stop. George Lee, referenced here, even stood for election leaving his broadcaster's job, but found it impossible to achieve anything against the crony machine of party politics. The author Shane Ross stood asking awkward questions at bank AGMs accompanied by Eamon Dunphy, another individualist broadcaster. This leads one to believe that the only people in Ireland to be trusted by the ordinary folks, are our journalists.

I could see that the boom was stupid and wrong and bound to bust. September twelfth 2001 was considered a good day to bury bad news by many major American firms. I noticed, although economics was not my job. These firms were already in serious trouble. I knew nothing of the sub-prime mortgages packaged as gold bars and sold to the gullible and greedy bankers, but I could see that house prices here were stupid and unsustainable and I knew booms always bust. I understood that this was a bad time to take on debt, so I worked at shrinking my mortgage and I changed my mortgage to track the European Central Bank interest rate. That rate briefly rose, then collapsed and has never done anything but sink since. Banks have been losing money on every tracker mortgage they hold.

How did professional bankers not know a bust was coming and that it would hit hard and fast? This book by Shane Ross suggests that they did not want to know because they were having so much fun giving away tickets to big matches to politicians and buying dinners for the regulators. Read it and, yes, weep. "Cry, get mad and get even," to quote Joan Burton.
Faezahn
Shane Ross, a Senator and also the business editor of Ireland's Sunday Independent, gives us the inside story of how Ireland's ruling class wrecked its economy. Property developers, regulators, auditors, Ireland's Central Bank, politicians, stockbrokers, banks' in-house economists, estate agents and auctioneers, really were `all in it together'.

British firms too exploited the Irish. Anglo's blind auditors Ernst & Young got 2.2 million euros in fees in 2008. PricewaterhouseCoopers audited the Bank of Ireland in 2001, for a fee of 15.4 million euros.

When Ireland adopted the euro, it created an inflationary bubble. The capitalist class put no limits on banks' lending to property, inflating this bubble, and put no limits on bankers' pay and bonuses. The Bank of Ireland and the Allied Irish Bank competed in a lending frenzy: "The two big banks ran their own rackets." As Ross writes, "The black economy was entrenched in the financial system and underpinned the mortgage market."

Before the 2002 election, Fianna Fáil claimed, "no cutbacks are being planned." After the election it at once imposed what the Economist called `the country's toughest Budget in years, raising taxes, cutting spending in real terms'. As a result the Green Party, Fianna Fáil's partners in government, was crushed in 2009's elections (LibDems, note well).

Professor Morgan Kelly warned in The Irish Times of 28 December 2006 that housing could go into freefall, "There is an iron law of house prices. The more house prices rise relative to income and rents, the more they subsequently fall."

The government fixed a 440 billion euro bailout, which gave the bankers all the taxpayers' money they wanted, with no obligation to lend. It underwrote all the bankers' past and future dealings, and again put no limits on their pay and bonuses. Taxes were raised, to pay the bankers; services were cut, to pay the bankers; more loans were raised, to pay the bankers.

The government also endorsed the bankers' lie that Ireland was the victim of the world's problems, which let the bankers off the hook. Ross sums up, "The mess had been created by builders and bankers. The people were paying the bill."

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