I start the day with this link to the Guardian from yesterday. Questions are now been raised in a serious way on where the responsibility is found when it come to the 2000-2008 beserk banking: Letters: The Irish aren’t smiling as the eye their corrupt elite | World news | The Guardian
To – day must be this article in the Sunday Independent on the laws crafted to prevent white collar crime convictions: Dearbhail McDonald: Scandalous laws crafted to prevent white-collar convictions – Analysis, Opinion – Independent.ie
HARD-pressed taxpayers, absorbing the horror that the folly of banks, developers and politicians could leave them nursing a potential €50bn bill, can be expected to be cynical about the decision of the Commission of Investigation into the Banking Sector not to identify anyone in its interim or final reports. But is it a ploy to protect those in high places? Or is it the price that we must pay to have a full and speedy ‘lessons learnt’ account of the cause of the banking crisis so that we never make the same mistakes again? The public, understandably, is gunning for accountability and we look with envy to America where those found guilty of corporate wrongdoing face criminal sanctions for committing white-collar crime. It is two years since the Government underwrote a €400bn blanket guarantee for six banks to avert the collapse of the banking system and people are appalled that no one has been brought before the courts. Not yet anyway. The main advantage of an inquiry that is inquisitorial rather than an adversarial name-and-shame probe is that it can be conducted efficiently: no one wants a 10-year tribunal that morphs into the antithesis of the type of urgent public inquiry the public demands. Even if the Commission of Investigation into the Banking Sector did point the finger of blame at an individual, that verdict and the evidence supporting it cannot be used in any subsequent or parallel criminal or civil proceedings. This is because witnesses enjoy immunity from prosecution in relation to the evidence they give. There are a plethora of inquiries into the banking crisis, all with different aims and outcomes. The garda fraud squad is investigating the €7.45bn in deposits between Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent, the €450m loan support scheme to the so-called Maple/Anglo 10 and directors’ loans at Anglo. The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, working in conjunction with the fraud squad, is also investigating whether anyone is guilty of company law offences.These investigations have been painstakingly slow and are fraught with legal and evidential hurdles. Even if they bear fruit, the prospect of mounting a successful white-collar crime prosecution are remote owing to the burden of proof in a criminal trial (beyond reasonable doubt), the difficulty of proving a sufficient level of criminal intent and fears — not backed by any objective evidence — that a civilian jury will lack the time or capacity to endure a complex fraud trial. It seems unfair that the banking inquiry will not identify individuals, but other inquiries that extended full or partial anonymity to witnesses, including the Ryan and Murphy commissions into institutional and clerical sex abuse, were cathartic for Irish society. The decision not to identify anyone in the banking inquiry is a boost for the powerbrokers, including bankers and politicians, but this is a consequence, not the intent, of the inquiry team’s decision. And the last thing we want is for anyone who may ultimately be found guilty of an offence to use the inquiry’s reports to thwart their prosecution. The underlying scandal is that the State has designed a body of laws that, it seems, are crafted to ensure it is near impossible to prosecute those who commit wrongs in the banking and corporate sectors. This is unforgivable when crime in the suites poses a potentially greater risk to our national security than crime in the streets.
Peeling back the layers on ANGLO, link on structure of bond financing in 2007: Allen & Overy | Areas of Expertise | Anglo Irish Bank breaks new ground with debut UK covered bond
Legal restrictions on investigating bankers in Ireland, by Sunday Indo: Naming bankers ‘could prejudice garda probe’ – National News, Frontpage – Independent.ie