Category Archives: Anglo

19/6/16: Irish Regulators: Betrayed or Betrayers?..

As I have noted here few weeks ago, Irish Financial Regulator, Central Bank of Ireland and other relevant players had full access to information regarding all contraventions by the Irish banks prior to the Global Financial Crisis. I testified on this matter in a court case in Ireland earlier this year.

Now, belatedly, years after the events took place, Irish media is waking up to the fact that our regulatory authorities have actively participated in creating the conditions that led to the crisis and that have cost lives of people, losses of pensions, savings, homes, health, marriages and so on. And yet, as ever, these regulators and supervisors of the Irish financial system:

  1. Remain outside the force of law and beyond the reach of civil lawsuits and damages awards; and
  2. Continue to present themselves as competent and able enforcers of regulation capable of preventing and rectifying any future banking crises.
You can read about the latest Irish media 'discoveries' - known previously to all who bothered to look into the system functioning:

And should you think anything has changed, why here is the so-called 'independent' and 'reformed' Irish Regulator - the Central Bank of Ireland - being silenced by the state organization, the Department of Finance, that is supposed to have no say (except in a consulting role) on regulation of the Irish Financial Services:

Please, note: the hedge funds, vulture funds, private equity firms and other shadow banking institutions today constitute a larger share of the financial services markets than traditional banks and lenders.  

Yep. Reforms, new values, vigilance, commitments... we all know they are real, meaningful and... ah, what the hell... it'll be Grand.

12/6/16: Few Thoughts on Anglo Trial Verdicts

A friend recently did me a small service by summing up my comments on twitter on the Anglo Irish Bank - Irish Life & Permanent roundabout loans verdict:

I have provided an expert testimony on the matter in April in a court case involving the Central Bank, the Department of Finance and the Attorney General of Ireland, focusing precisely on the nature of the relationship between the Irish Financial Regulation authorities and the misconduct by banks and banks boards prior to 2008 Global Financial Crisis.  Quoting from my expert opinion:

"Part 4: Regulatory enforcement effectiveness and efficiency

46. In my opinion, and based on literature referenced herein, objectives of the function of enforcement in financial regulation are best served by structuring enforcement processes and taking robust actions so as to:
1. Target first and foremost the core breaches of regulatory and supervisory regimes, starting with systemic-level breaches prior to proceeding to specific institutional or individual level infringements [Targeting];
2. Timely execute enforcement actions, both in the context of market participants’ timing and timing relevant to the efficiency and effectiveness of uncovering the actual facts of specific alleged infringements [Timely execution];
3. Prevent or at the very least reduce, monitor and address any potential conflicts of interest in enforcement-related actions [Conflict of interest minimisation];
4. Assure that enforcement actions are taken within the constraints of the regulatory regime applicable at the time of alleged committing of regulatory breaches, while following well-defined and ex ante transparent processes [Applicability and quality of regulation and enforcement];
5. Assure that regulatory enforcement actions do not contradict or duplicate other forms of enforcement and remedial measures, including legal settlements [Consistency of legal and administrative frameworks]."

In simple terms, systemic lack of imposition of meaningful sanctions on senior policy, regulatory and supervisory decision-makers active in the Irish financial services in the period prior to the Global Financial Crisis severely undermines the signalling and deterrence functions of regulatory enforcements. Convicting bankers for mis-deeds is fine, but not sanctioning regulatory and supervisory officials is not conducive to establishing any tangible credibility to the regulatory enforcement regime. Worse, it establishes a false sense of security that the system has been repaired and strengthened by convictions achieved, whilst in reality, the system remains vulnerable to exactly the same dynamics and risks of collusion between regulators and supervisors and the new financial services executives.

It is, perhaps, telling that my counterparts providing expert opinions in the case on behalf of the Central Bank, Department of Finance and the Attorney General of Ireland have based their analysis on the axiomatic assumption that no regulatory, supervisory and enforcement staff can ever be held liable for their actions or inactions in the events and processes that led to the Global Financial Crisis. No matter what they have done or refused to do. Full impunity must apply.

11/6/15: Full Letter Concerning IBRC Overcharging

Yesterday, I posted about Deputy peter Mathews' speech in the Dail concerning the egregious sharp practices in the Anglo Irish Bank and IBRC (link here). Today, I posted my point of view taking these practices to the macro level in relation to the remaining legacy of Anglo/IBRC (link here).

In his speech, deputy Mathews quoted from the Black & Company Solicitors' letter on behalf of Mr. John Morrissey and I quoted from the same some more in my post (linked above).

Here is the actual copy of the letter (I had to break it into segments in order to post on this platform). All sections are sequential and reproduce the letter in its entirety. You can click on each segment to enlarge.

I provide no comment beyond what has been already provided in the two posts linked above.