Saturday, 17 January 2009

Anglo-Irish Bank to be Nationalised

The Irish Government is to nationalize the Anglo-Irish bank, a move which some critics say should have been made as far back as September when the government famously guaranteed the deposits of the six biggest Irish banks. If Cowen was hoping to get some positive press about his visit to Japan, then this will make sure it has no effect. The Commission will examine whether or not the nationalization complies with state aid rules.

It's hard not to feel outraged when you hear some of the stories about Anglo-Irish, like how Chairman of the bank Sean FitzPatrick loaned some €84-87 million to himself, and managed to keep it from the bank's auditors. This amounts to over half the bank's current market value with the bank currently valued at just over €160 million (down from €13 billion at its peak). And now it turns out that the actual figure for the loan might be much more.

The government should have replaced some of the chairmen of the six banks (one analyst called for 5 of them to go at the time of the guarantee) back in September. I can only hope that the government is keeping a close eye on the other banks which it's guaranteed, and now re-capitalizing. Though I wouldn't hold my breath.

In other news, the recently-made-ex-boss Rody Molloy of Fás, a state body set up to provide training programs, will get a six-figure severence pay packet. His is a man who had to resign following a scandel over the lavish wasting of money by Fás. Hardly a way of cutting public expenditure, is it?

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