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The Word on the Week

Bankers Business

Two were found to be guilty and the other released! The first of the trails into the affairs of Irish Banking during those fateful years -2007/2008, when boom turned to bust, was played out this week.

We learned that when the Bank is about to go bust the best job is to have is the non-executive chairman and the best place to be is on holiday in the South of France. So Sean Fitzpatrick goes free, that is till the autumn when he returns to the courts to answer more questions.

The interesting thing about the case was the absence of the boss David Drumm. He was enjoying his freedom in the US from where be cannot be extradited as what he was charged with is not an offence there. So for the ex-CEO of Anglo the best job to have is to be is operating as a consultant in the US far removed from the 47 day trial which has just ended.

The supporting cast of Lawyers, Advisors and the Regulator provided the defence with plenty of material till on day 19 the Judge decreed that there could be no further mention of legal advice leaving the two accused with only the Regulator to help them. He was of little use as he couldn’t remember a thing and sadly had not taken any notes of the key meetings.

The deal itself was a last ditch effort to save the bank by involving 10 of their wealthy customers to purchase shares in the bank using the bank’s money (loaned to them on unbelievably favourable terms) to prop up the share value. Sean Quinn, whose dabbling in the bank’s shares had created the mess, had his family involved in the scheme but, without the favourable terms making their loans legitimate.

The trial ending as it did in Holy Week bore some resemblance to the trial of Jesus. There Barabbas, although guilty as sin, was allowed to go free. The crowd got their way but here in Ireland things are slower and it may be some time yet before the population see justice for the €64 billion bale-out which they will be re-paying for the rest of their lives.

The glory of Jesus’s mis-trial was that in it we can see clearly the plan of God. As St Paul put it, in the death of Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

This message is that Christ died for our sins (as if he had committed them), that he was buried and that he rose again on the third day. Reconciliation with Bankers may not be possible in this life but reconciliation with God certainly is.

(2Corinthians chapter 5 verses 17/21)