19 January 2009

And some good News coming through as well...

In my earlier entry from this afternoon I mentioned that some statisticians regard January 19th as "the most depressive day in the whole year" and indeed plenty of people obliged to make it so. In particular the stock brokers in Dublin and London, who sent the financial markets - but especially bank shares - down into the proverbial cellar.

Despite reassuring words from both governments - in Dublin and London - the world's financial dealers no longer trust us and the value of Irish and UK banks plummeted to another all-time low.
The hurried and quite shambolic nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank by our government was fuelling the fires of distrust instead of sending the - intended - message of stability and 'business as usual'.
And in Britain the announcement of further billions of taxpayers' money being pumped into the sinking banks did not help them a bit. Quite the opposite. Many international finance houses, especially the cash-rich ones in the Far East on whose willing to lend we now depend more than ever, regard us with great suspicion. Subsequently UK bank shares fell by 68% today, losing over two thirds of the little value they now have in one single day!

The combined forces of government ignorance, regulators' laziness and sleeping on their watch, and bankers' criminal greed have holed both Britain and Ireland in a serious way well below the waterline.
The question by now is no longer when we can stop the ships sinking, but if we can stop them at all.

But even on this "most depressive day in the whole year" there is a little bit of good news as well. Five more directors from the disgraced board of Anglo Irish Bank have today announced their resignation from the board, in order to "make room for a new leadership team".
And not a moment too soon. In my opinion their resignation comes actually quite late, and I have not the slightest bit of empathy for these reckless bankers. They are responsible for the biggest financial and political crisis since the 1930s, and if I had the power, I would send them all to jail and throw away the keys...

An even better piece of news is that Brian Goggin (photo), the Bank of Ireland's highly incompetent chief executive, is stepping down as well.
The bank announced today that Goggin will retire this summer, a year earlier than planned. The bad news is that by retiring - instead of being sacked for the massive failure he presided over - Goggin will get his full pension, a golden parachute and many other perks he does not deserve and has not earned.

A man who presided over the collapse of a major bank that lost 95% of its value in less than two years deserves to be sacked, flogged and made to pay for his disastrous lack of leadership.
But as corrupt as our system is, this is unlikely to happen. Brian Goggin will go home as a multi-millionaire and enjoy a jet set lifestyle for the rest of his days. The bill for his folly will be paid by us - the Irish tax payers. But given the fact that for more than a decade a majority of us has persistently elected the most incompetent politicians to government again and again, we deserve nothing else. (And anyone who will in future vote for Fianna Fáil or the Green Party deserves that things get a lot worse than they are already...)

I suppose we should be content with the good news that five of the main gangsters from Anglo Irish are gone and that the arrogant fool Brian Goggin is following suit soon. All in a day's work, and not so depressing after all...

The Emerald Islander

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