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Three bankers on trial for financial crash
Please forgive my expletive, but about fucking time!

At least Ireland has some balls.

Quote:Three bankers on trial in Dublin over crash that brought Ireland to its knees

[Image: bankers.jpg]

Former executives accused in Dublin of providing illegal loans worth €450 during Celtic Tiger' boom

DAVID MCKITTRICK [Image: plus.png]

Three prominent bankers go on trial this week in one of the biggest prosecutions ever mounted in an Irish court, arising from the country's disastrous financial crash. The hearings in Dublin will be the first of a number of legal sequels to the 2008 crisis which brought the economy and political system to the brink of catastrophic collapse.

The three men face charges centring on alleged loans of €450m (£373m) said to have been arranged during Ireland's "Celtic Tiger" years. The 2008 crash plunged the Republic into a near-nightmare era of harsh austerity measures which brought high unemployment, severe spending cuts and a wave of emigration of young people to Australia, the US and elsewhere.
It also led to huge political changes which saw Fianna Fail, traditionally the largest political party, swept from power and decimated. Since then the economy has improved, with today's Dublin government arguing that the country has turned the corner, but more lean years clearly lie ahead.
The three executives who will go on trial at the Criminal Courts of Justice were at the head of the now defunct Anglo Irish Bank, which was at the heart of the financial crisis. They are its former chairman and chief executive Sean FitzPatrick, the former finance director Willie McAteer and Pat Whelan, the former chief financial officer.
Both before and after the crash Mr FitzPatrick has been one of Dublin's most high-profile bankers. He was declared bankrupt in 2012.
The three face 16 charges under the Companies Act of providing unlawful financial assistance to individuals for the purpose of buying shares in the bank. Mr Whelan also faces seven additional charges of altering loan documentation. They have pleaded not guilty on all counts.
The case, which has been in preparation for years, is expected to last between three and six months, involving 24 million documents and 800 witness statements. Interest in it is so intense that special measures have been taken to allow the public access to the court, while the judge has issued detailed warnings to the jury.
In recognition of the emotions generated by the crash, the judge warned potential jurors that they should not serve if they had such strong views about the bank that they felt they could not deal with matters fairly. They should also not serve, he said, if they had expressed strong views either publicly or on the internet or on Facebook. Reading out a list of potential witnesses, who included bankers and businessmen, he said anyone who knew any of them should not serve on the jury.
They should also exclude themselves if they had worked for Anglo Irish Bank or had held shares in a bank. The judge further warned "in the strongest possible terms" that they should not investigate relevant matters on the internet or in periodicals.
Three extra reserve jurors have been selected in case original jurors are unable to continue in what could become the longest criminal trial in the country's history. Due to the extreme complexity of the case jurors will be supplied with laptops partly because the courtroom, though the largest available, would be swamped by the scores of large boxes which would be needed to hold the millions of docuents.
Demand for seats is so high that a nearby courtroom is to be used as an overflow viewing room with a video link.
Although this week's trial is the first involving senior financial figures relating to the banking crash, it may not be the last since detailed investigations are continuing into other aspects of the collapse. When a judge commented recently that some inquiries were continuing "at a rather slow pace" he was told that investigations could take several years to complete.
The Irish parliament is meanwhile to conduct an inquiry into the collapse. Ministers have said it can begin preliminary work but should not examine witnesses while Anglo Irish Bank issues are before the courts.
In the general election which followed the crash much of the party political furniture was drastically re-arranged, with the shredding of the Fianna Fail vote leading to significant gains for other parties and groupings such as Sinn Fein and Independents.
This is taken as an unmistakeable sign that since the crash many voters continue to hold much of the political and financial establishment in low regard. Such sentiment has been if anything sharpened in recent times by a series of revelations which have led many to complain that the pain of austerity has not been shared equally throughout society.
There has been anger at disclosures that some in the higher reaches of public life, including official bodies, have been receiving very substantial salaries, pensions and benefits. There has been particular public indignation that some such money was apparently originally intended for charity.
In December, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, gave a televised address saying that Ireland's "good name and credibility" had been restored since the country had met its obligations under the the rescue operation put in place by international institutions.
Mr Kenny vowed that Ireland's stability would never again "be threatened by speculation and greed". He said: "This is an important step but it is not an end in itself. Our lives won't change overnight. But it does send out a powerful signal internationally that Ireland is fighting back, that the spirit of our people is as strong as ever."

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
What a shocker! Warm bankers infront of the beak. Now all they need to do is get the pollies who did the shock doctrine austerity and kept Ireland on its knees.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Would never happen over here. Brings to mind an old folk song by Michael Cooney "The Bankers and the Diplomats" (are going in the army...) Don't we wish. Let those who want war go.

Quote:Anglo Irish Bank chiefs' lending practices 'absolutely illegal', court told

State prosecutor tells jury that three executives flouted the rules in lending hundreds of millions of euros to 16 people

[Image: Sean-FitzPatrick-former-A-011.jpg]Sean FitzPatrick, former Anglo Irish Bank chairman, is one of three ex-bosses accused of unlawfully providing financial assistance to 16 individuals. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Former executives at the Anglo Irish Bank broke company law and carried out lending practices that were "absolutely illegal", a Dublin court heard on Wednesday.
Three ex-bosses flouted the rules when the now-defunct institution lent hundreds of millions of euros to 16 people in the summer of 2008 at a time when its share price had collapsed, the Irish state's prosecutor said.
On day one of the trial of former executives Sean FitzPatrick, William McAteer and Patrick Whelan, Paul O'Higgins, the senior counsel for the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions said the bank's lending to these individuals had "nothing whatsoever to do" with normal lending practices.
The trio all pleaded not guilty to charges that they had unlawfully provided financial assistance to the 16 individuals, who include Ireland's one-time richest man, Sean Quinn.
In his opening speech to the 15-strong jury a historic first in juror numbers in Irish legal history the state's lawyer said the bank was so desperate to get members of the Quinn family to borrow from it, even as it struggled for survival in the summer of 2008, that its executives followed some of the Quinn family to holidays in Portugal and the south of France.
O'Higgins told the trial that when holidaymakers saw their bank manager turning up at their resort they would be expected to "run for the sand dunes". But Anglo Irish bosses where so keen to convince the one-time tycoon's family to purchase the banks' shares with more borrowings that they went to resorts in the south of France and Portugal in 2008 to track them down, O'Higgins told the court. At the time Quinn and his companies already owed the bank over €2bn (£1.7bn) before they were offered more loans that summer, he said.
He said that around the time Anglo Irish Bank chiefs were offering the loans worth tens of millions of euros, the bank's share price had plunged from €17 per share in 2007 to €4.50 in the summer of 2008. The loans which the state says were illegal totalled €175m to the Quinn family and related companies, and €450m to the so-called Maple 10 group of Irish investors.
The trial in Dublin is likely to last up until 31 May, the court was told. It will hear from hundreds of witnesses and examine millions of documents. Quinn is a witness alongside several members of his family who will give evidence at one of the most complex and controversial trials in the history of European financial crime. There was no sign of any of the expected protests outside the court buildings close to the city's Phoenix Park on Wednesday morning as the three former executives arrived.
The opening proceedings, in a packed court No 19, were taken up with finding a 15th juror. At the start of the trial, the judge, Martin Nolan, told the courthouse he had received a letter from a male juror that led to him being relieved of his duties. The trial continues.

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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