Ireland – The Wild West of European finance

The on-going criminal action in the US against those involved in the General Re Reinsurance fraud case continues to throw some light on the ‘Wild West’ activities of the Irish financial sector.

In Monday’s Irish Times, it was reported that General Re’s Irish subsidiary Cologne Re, was seen as an ideal location for the fraud because

Dublin “did not report to anyone” and so avoided the “North American problem” of financial regulation.”

That Ireland does not ‘suffer from the problem’ of financial regulation is becoming more obvious every day.

The reason for this is simple – The so called Irish Financial Regulator is more of a facilitator than a regulator.

For example in 2004, over two hundred cases of overcharging (theft) by financial institutions were identified. Not one of these institutions was punished in any way; they were simply asked to hand back the €60.9 million ‘overcharged’.

Incredibly, the regulator insists that it is in the public interest that the identities of these institutions remain a State secret.

In recent times, the New York Times reported that Dublin was fast becoming the “Wild West of European finance”. It’s a well deserved tag.

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  1. barry’s avatar

    In the blog entry it says “an entity that the New York Times recently described as the ‘Wild West’ of European finance”

    I was interested in this; but didn’t find the link to the NYT.