The Golden Circle

21st February, 2009

There has been much ado this week about the Golden Circle -the 10 investors who were lent money by Anglo Irish Bank to buy shares in the same bank. I have been contacted by a lot of constituents about this. I want to emphasise some really crucial things about this issue.

Firstly, the names should be made public. This is needed to demonstrate clearly that the public interest and private interests in the banking system are different. It should also show ( I hope) that these people had
nothing to do with the biggest decisions since the foundation of our state. I can’t actually believe there is any debate about this. It just shows how inverted the values of our ruling class has become. Do they have a clue how people feel about this?

Secondly, company law actually allows this to happen. As Richard Bruton said yesterday:-
“Articles 81, 83 and 84 of the Companies Act 1990 give the Government the right as shareholder to reveal the names of both present and past shareholders of a bank, even if those shareholdings were purchased through nominated accounts”.

So what’s the big deal about all this? If the Government don’t do it the suspicion that vested interests were involved will only increase. Maybe they don’t want to annoy their friends?