The talk will go on and on and on…

Every time corruption rears its ugly head in Ireland we automatically switch on the talk machine. We talk, discuss, waffle, argue, accuse but we never, ever act. Here’s a sample of quotes I took from some recent taped radio discussions.

“We need something quicker than the ODCE, NIB took ten years.”

“As I understand it the OCDE can order a High Court inspector to go in.”

“I’m surprised it hasn’t happened before now, before Christmas to be honest.”

“I think it’s a cynical political ploy to please the masses.”

“I can’t understand how the toxic ten will be allowed to walk away. It’s absolutely criminal, we will end up paying. Look at the education cuts, these guys are going to walk away.”

“What I find fascinating is the people who owe €300 million to Anglo Irish and can’t be named.”

“There are so many things about this that are so complacent. Take the 7 billion, Brian Lenihan said that was referred to in the note of the PWC report in October and that he didn’t really read it and he didn’t get the full detail of it until January. Why then was it only when the Sunday Business Post broke the story which said these deposits were under investigation and RTE said it actually related to Irish Life and Permanent and 7 billion that he was then suddenly interested in calling Gillian Bowler in and asking ‘what’s going on’?

“That’s one of the things that’s perplexed me. If it was worth their resignations in February, surely it was worth their resignations in January?”

“And this feeds into Ireland’s international reputation. It’s closer to Bogotá than Berlin without the coke.”

“A colleague of mine was on the phone to a London stockbroker and in the background he could hear another dealer shouting – No Irish, no Irish.”

“We’ve just been abandoned by the international community.”

“The Irish banks have been running a cartel; it will have to be investigated.”

“The auditor’s must have known.”

“I’m staggered, I’m shocked.”

“I’m terribly disappointed that the company did not have the high standards that I thought it had.”

“It’s fraudulent financial reporting.”

“That’s why I’m baffled why the Financial Regulator could say there was nothing illegal about the Fitzpatrick loans.”

“It’s like the way the Catholic Church deals with all sorts of abuse. They deny it, change the story, and protect the system at all costs. Protect the system and don’t apply the law.”

“We have made mistakes.”

“In defence of Irish Life and Permanent, they were open; they reported it to the Regulator.”

“We have taken a reputational hit and there’s a huge job to try and restore that reputation.”

“Irish Life and Permanent were trying to make Anglo Irish books look better.”

“Cosy Irish capitalism.”

“Well, the truth of it is that every country in the world is trying to grapple. Every country across the world has had regulatory failure so Ireland is not alone in this.”

“We were all caught up in the exuberance of the Celtic Tiger. This is only clear in hindsight. It was the same across the globe. We are where we are.”

“Remuneration has to change; the Government is committed to look at this. We’re in different times; the structures of the past didn’t serve us well.”

“This seems to have been an attempt, legal or otherwise, to rig the Anglo share price.”

“It beggars belief. I’ve never seen more apathy towards such a staggering piece of news (Anglo Irish scandal) from the London investment community and that’s key because it’s come to a stage now where the credibility of the Irish financial system, the Irish economy as a sensible place to do business is actually starting to be questioned and I find that quite horrifying.”

“It’s an absolute outrageous abuse, I mean if your looking at those accounts and trying to get a picture of how safe that bank is and they present it like that, that’s a fraudulent presentation, there’s no other explanation for what it is…it’s absolutely outrageous that we didn’t know until now, that’s a huge amount of money, seven thousand million euro of a fraudulent presentation.”

“Exposing a culture that existed all through those boom years that we’re now paying for and the Michael Lynn interview, it too deals with that culture, he says we were all part of a mythical illusion. There was rules for some and other rules for others.”

“The law will be followed justice will be done. That’s what has to be done because our international reputation has been damaged.”

“What I don’t understand in all of this. He (Brian Lenihan Anglo Irish report) receives this information in January, he doesn’t even tell the Taoiseach about it but then when it’s the headline on the 9 o’clock news and on the front page of all the newspapers he decides that heads have to roll. Surely if it’s right that people have to resign it was right for them to resign in January not just when it’s on the 9 o’clock news?”

“What about the Regulator, what about the Central Bank, what were they doing in relation to all of this.”

“Whatever action is taken, it has to be taken immediately.”

“People are angry and upset. There are people who have children losing employment and income. I think people feel the Government has totally lost the plot.”

“The question is what are we doing in relation to the damage to our reputation. I believe we’re taking the appropriate action and I think that further action is required in relation to the banking sector which needs to be taken immediately.”

“I think we’re faced with the perception of a lack of poor governance in the country. Just two things: On Bloomberg television – Ireland another day, another scandal. Then on Friday – The Irish bailout, one message of this bailout is that the Irish bank executive’s self-preservation society has scored another success”

“Can’t there be an element of sniffiness here in particular when it comes to the British media? It not as though they don’t have enough problems of their own. There’s a lot of enthusiasm in parts of the British media for dumping all over Ireland.”

“We don’t rank much more on a given day in any trading room around the world. Ireland pops up; it’s about a 30 second session and onto the bigger areas in the financial markets.”

“It’s been a culture of greed and avarice in Ireland over the last 25 years or more. It only opened up to the public because we’re a secret society in this country in most things. It only opened up when the tribunals came along and we did get an insight there into how big business works in Ireland. We saw that some of the top politicians were corrupt and this seems to have spread into the banking system.”

“We’re all to blame.”

For so long as the corrupt system remains in place no banker will be arrested, charged or put in jail. The only thing we can be sure of is – the talk will go on and on and on and on………