Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bank Inquiry Ruled Out 'For Now'

The Irish Times reports that senior government figures are ruling out an inquiry for now:
Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said yesterday such an investigation was not an immediate priority for the Government, strongly indicating such a vehicle would not be established during 2010.

“It’s a question of prioritisation,” Mr Martin told RTÉ yesterday. “It’s a question of . . . where the time and energy [of officials] working at the coalface and solving the banking crisis should be.”

Separately, a motion calling for an early inquiry into the banking crisis, due to be heard at the first Fianna Fáil parliamentary party of 2010, has been withdrawn.

Government Chief Whip Pat Carey confirmed the motion had been withdrawn indefinitely, with the agreement of the two deputies who tabled it, Mattie McGrath, Tipperary South, and Seán Connick, Wexford.
The government's position is rather thin on logic. They seem to be under the mistaken view that "confidence" and accountability are mutually exclusive. In fact, there can be no confidence in the Irish economy without accountability.

My view about the futility of an Oireachtas investigation is only reinforced by this quote from Michael Ahern, chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Finance, who claims, “We know well enough what’s been happening in the banks . . . anybody who doesn’t know that was living in fantasy land.

Presumably, he knows more about these matters than two gentlemen by the name of Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke - they had the humility to admit the need for a thorough inquiry into how we got into this mess!