Thursday, 21 April 2011

Nyberg banking report finds Irish banks, regulators, politicians, media and investors culpable - but no names

A Finnish economist and banking expert, Patrick Nyberg, who was commissioned by the last Government to look into the causes of the Irish banking collapse, published his report on Tuesday. 

For readers of the blog, there will be no surprises.  Ireland's economic hari-kari was caused by the collective greed, madness and - it has to be said - stupidity of the great Irish public... individuals and institutions alike.   They are not Nyberg's exact words mind, but that is the gist of it.

The report cited "a tendency to group think" resulting in "contrarian views" being "ignored or suppressed".   "Large parts of Irish society were willing to let the good times roll on until the very last minute".   The main cause of the financial crisis was "unhindered expansion of the property bubble" aided by loose Government policies and light touch regulation.  

'Irrational forces" along with "a national speculative mania... centred on the sale and acquistion of property" also get an honorable mention, with "culpability" for the collapse extending to politicians, media (who cheered it along) and... wait for it... investors.  

All this may come as news to those sections of the political left and right of Irish society, and those from the middle, upper and working classes, who are busily united in contending that the boom, bust, and resultant bailouts have nothing to do with the Irish public at all.  

On the contrary, it seems they had everything to do with the Irish public.   Sure, some of us who didn't get caught up in the herd's property stampede can say that we - individually - were not culpable. 

But the Irish public in general?  From whose ranks then, did the swarms of investors who "flipped" newbuilds off the plans come?  And was it not members of the Irish public who mobbed every pokey show apartment on Saturday afternoons, tripping over each other to put down their deposits?   Indeed it was.  

And we all know here - only too well - how little the great unthinking mass of the Irish public appreciate "contrarian views", don't we?  

We even had a prime minister who wondered how the few of us who did "moan" about the economy at the time did not "commit suicide".  

Says it all, really.


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Ella said...

Hi GM - The Nyberg report is the third report into the banks and cost €1.32 million. The report was commissioned by the government and paid for by the tax payer. The government got what it wanted (we were all collectively responsible) and nobody will be prosecuted. It's a complete waste of our money. If somebody broke into a bank overnight and helped themselves to a couple of million they would be sitting in jail (and deservedly so) yet these white collar criminals get away with it, time and time again.

Certainly the great Irish public do share some of the blame... but I know where most of it lies.

Tribunals and reports at enormous costs and where are we?

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes Ella. €1.32 mil is a lot of money - even for a report that does not mention anyone at the top in particular.

They could have just sent the dosh here to be told all the rest...

Anonymous said...

you dont say GM the last i heard it was those jerry banks that lent us the money in the first place next week it will be the man on the moon i suppose,anyway who is this nybery dude trying to blame our great gombeen chancers for this minor correction tht will be over next week and does he think irish people are interested in facts and figures , this calls for a thorough public inquiry lasting 15 yrs BH

The Gombeen Man said...

That's right BH. Next thing, all those aspiring tycoons and rackrenters who bought into the "morket" will be sueing the banks for lending them the money.

Now, of course, the place is full of whingeing from individuals and the Small Firms Association alike about the banks not lending...

Can't win, eh?

Anonymous said...

When are the Irish going to stop complaining and start acting. They have been screwed by the bankers Irish, European of otherwise and just to rub it in we hear that AIB are handing out bonuses. The Irish public needs to grow a pair like our Icelandic friends. Electing the Fine Girl party to replace the Feel and Fallers is an excellent joke.
I got out of this country 8 years ago and live in France ever since. French people get out on the street when they have grievances. Irish people vote for Fine Gael.


Socrates said...

The media have so far managed to escape bigger
attention. It was them who created the "mass
madness", the hype and more. There was very
little critical about the media so far, in
contrast to the US.
There is for instance one flashback video with
financial experts on TV in 06/06, forecasting
and predicting. Now, a while later, the viewer
can instantly tell how things worked and why.

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes Anon... the bonuses thing is shocking. How are they entitled to bonuses? As Alan Shatter implied, could their behaviour and performance in ruining the banks not be construed as breach of contract?

Valid point Socrates. And did the papers, in particular, not make a pretty penny in advertising?

Having said that, some journos have done sterling work in exposing the powerful in Irish society... even battling Ireland's draconian libel laws designed to protect the powerful. I think it's a sad day when newpapers go under, as even on this blog, I get most of my info from them.

But yeah, the campaigning, investigative journos are a rare breed...

anna said...

EXCELLENT point by Alan Shatter- never mind bonuses! OF Course they were in breach of contract ( to put it mildly- all the rest , creative accounting, reckless trading ( which itself, is in breach of company law) telling lies at time of bail out etc is of course criminal.

Dakota said...

e1.3 million to confuse and confounder a Finnish person and ultimately tell the Irish what they should already know?? It gets more bizzare everyday. If I didn't live through it I wouldn't have believed it. Ok Ireland wasn't alone in it's acceptace of the new capitalism but wow did they grasp the nettle? Everywhere else it was fundamentally known and accepted that the international mania was flawed it was only in Oireland that there was (and is) such ferocious group think and herd mentality.