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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 October 2012
Simon Carswell takes a look at 14 major banking scandals that have occurred in Ireland in the 30 years up to 2006 and most are aware that these calamities were the precursor of the massive banking collapse that hit the Irish Nation and more particularly tax payers in 2008. This book spells out the financial hurt to every man and woman in the country (excluding of course the fat-cat bankers)that lax practice and weak regulation in its financial services sector causes, and yet it careers on regardless. The author spells out events that clearly illustrate that the probable cause of almost non-existent control and regulation was that those senior politicians and regulators responsible for the nation's financial well-being did not have a clue what they were doing, let alone understand what was happening and the dire consequences rapidly about to unfold.

That, in the years leading up to 2007/8 the Irish authorities experienced and should have taken lessons from the plethora of financial disasters reported in this book, seems to have been totally disregarded as yet another and many times more toxic financial crisis raged through the Irish Banking System that given just a modicum of commonsense and due diligence could and should have been avoidable or at least much less severe.

The book opens with that financial buccaneer Ken Bates (of the Chelsea FC and Leeds United fame)owning the Irish Trust Bank which he successfully steered into bankruptcy leaving 1200 depositors with the loss of their savings. Other financial ineptitudes, scams and downright rip-offs include the Private Motorists Provident Society, the Insurance Company of Ireland, the Irish Permanent Building Society, Ansbacher, Irish National Bank, AIB and foreign exchange transactions.

This is a well researched and detailed look at the Irish governments inability to understand and regulate the financial sector. From this book and others that I have read I have absolutely no confidence whatsoever that after these disasters and the more recent ones that brought the Irish nation to its knees, that lessons have been learned and another dire financial crisis will not again occur in the not too distant future. Simon Carswell's book differs from the many written about the 2008 Credit Crunch in so much as he deals with the rather abysmal history in the preceding period to 2007/8 of Ireland's futile and maladroit attempts to nurture and control a Financial Services Industry. Will they never learn? And when will the country itself go bust ( already has if the truth be known) having squandered it's reserves rescuing so many banks from appalling, negligent and largely unregulated custodianship by the senior highly overpaid management.
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