On the 27th July 2007 the Supreme Court found that Jim Flavin, chief executive of DCC, had committed the crime of insider trading. Apart from a pathetic and doomed to failure attempt by the ODCE to have Flavin disqualified as a director no other state agency or authority has acted against Flavin.
Even though insider trading is a very serious crime Flavin’s activities pale into insignificance when compared to the scandal of the State’s absolute refusal to act against Flavin and DCC. It is inconceivable in a functional democracy that such a blatant case of insider trading would remain unpunished.
The case is very important because it proves conclusively what this blog has always maintained – that Ireland is an intrinsically corrupt state. Broadly speaking, a corrupt state can be defined as one that fails to act when corruption is uncovered, where the state actively protects the corrupt. We have witnessed countless examples of such inaction and collusion over the past number of decades in this country.
The Flavin case is also important because it is so clear cut, there can be no fudging on this scandal. The Supreme Court decision was unanimous and unequivocal.
“Trading on secret or privileged information is now recognised for what it is – a fraud on the market.”
(Justice Niall Fennally).
In a non corrupt state such a decision by the highest court in the land would trigger an immediate and effective train of events that would see Flavin and other board members of DCC explaining their actions in a court of law. By failing to act the State is effectively protecting Flavin and the board of DCC from being brought to justice.
It is now ten months since the Supreme Court decision and nothing has happened. The entire regulatory/ law enforcement mechanism of the State is reacting like rabbits caught in the glare of a bright light.
Disturbingly, the body politic has had absolutely nothing to say about the scandal. For over a month I have been trying to have the matter raised in the Dail. The Green party fobbed me off by saying a question has already been asked and so there’s nothing more that can be done. Similarly, Fine Gael TD, David Stanton, has been unable, for one reason or another to have the matter raised.
The scandal has been widely discussed in the media; even RTE has begun to take proper notice. Unfortunately, all analysis and comment has focused on the narrow question of whether Flavin should resign or not.
There seems to be an unwritten but widespread assumption that if only Flavin could be persuaded to go everybody could go back to pretending that Ireland is a normal functional democracy.
Apparently, the suggestion that Flavin might be hauled before the courts is an appalling vista beyond contemplation.
The Director of Public Prosecutions
The Financial Regulator
The Stock Exchange
The Revenue Commissioners
Institute of Chartered Accountants (The fraudster is a member of this organisaton)
Irish Association of Investment Managers (IAIM) (Which, allegedly, oversees corporate governance in listed companies)
All political parties