Monday, January 19, 2009

Its stinks

How come everything that is being done by the Govt either reeks of gross incompetence or has a whiff of corruption about it.

This morning it emerged that draft legalisation published by the Govt on the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank is to be amended. The change is that a clause that stated that people with deposits of more than 20 million are not allowed to withdraw that money if they owe more than 20 million.

It was a clever clause in a piece of legislation that, I presume, aimed to ensure that the huge debtors of the bank, who now owe the money to the state, cannot flee with some cash will owing a pile more.

The government however removed the clause and left chief blusterer Martin Mansergh on RTE today to explain why. As is his style he created a lot of heat and little light.

Its claimed that the Attorney General advised that the draft clause was "unnecessary". This is a peculiar word as the Attorney Generals role is to "provide the highest standard of legal services to the Government". His job is the provision of legal advice to the Government on the constitutionality of a bill.

Now "unnecessary" is not a word that really could be used when providing advice on the constitutionality of proposed law. Unnecessary is a political opinion not a legal position.

Either the clause is unconstitutional or its not - the AG's opinion that he thinks it "unnecessary" is irrelevant.

More and more its becoming apparent that the operation of Anglo Irish Bank has little to do with bad management or over aggressive lending but a corrupt company designed to exploit cheap credit. An impotent regulatory regime facilitated by a interested networks of compliant friends in the politics, the media and in the construction industry made it possible.

On a related note Irish Bank shares had another fiasco of a day. BoI shares today cost 34c in February 2007 they would cost €18.53. AiB can be yours tomorrow for 60c in Feb 2007 a share would have cost you €23.95.

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