Because our financial journalism during the boom was a travesty?
Cormac ‘Sun-in’ Butler (above) offers a reason in the business section of today’s Irish Times.
“In February 2005, as minister for enterprise, trade and employment (Micheál Martin) he signed statutory instrument 116 of 2005 which, according to bankers, relaxed company law requirements.”
“Banks subsequently dropped a Statement of Recommended Practice issued by the British Bankers’ Association. That statement forced bankers to tell shareholders immediately of losses on troubled loans.”
“Its removal allowed Irish banks to delay revealing losses. The statement, if allowed to continue, would have exposed much earlier the reckless lending to property developers and might have saved shareholders, including those that took up rights issues that some banks offered while sitting on a mountain of losses.”
Later, he adds:
“Legal experts say that this statement should never have been abolished. The fault therefore lies not with Martin; it is simply that bankers have interpreted SI 116 of 2005 in a way that suits themselves.”
There you go now.