November 2012        

Ponzi ponces


Recent newspaper reports of highly paid senior judges, partners in “blue-chip” law firms and sports stars as being the financial victims of the collapse of the “reputable” financial investment firm Custom House Capital is the outer skin of an unravelling onion, representing the incredible slavish greed of Ireland’s professional elite during the so-called Celtic Tiger period.
      During this period it was obvious that the country’s highly paid professional elite adopted the mantra “Greed is good” and, being in the privileged position to influence the political classes on economic policy, ensured that their adopted mantra was physically manifest in their pursuit of it.
      While senior bankers, property developers and many politicians are rightly condemned and pilloried for orchestrating and navigating the country’s economic collapse, it shouldn’t be lost on any of us that they represented a small part of the very class that rushed to get on the financial gravy train, either by seeking to make more money from their vast accumulation of wealth or, even worse, by taking out investment loans from their banker friends to make a quick buck.
      This was fuelled and financed by increasing the “debt mountains.” The building of this house of cards, which was labelled a “growing and prosperous country” and “one to do business with,” was aided and abetted by our political masters, no matter their political hue.
      Even when in opposition, parties failed to police a system that was clearly rushing headlong into a wall. Many of them are complicit in what has happened.
      As the country’s economic woes continue, there will be more and more reports of high salary-earners experiencing the financial effect and possible ruin when their financial gambling in what were clearly well-run Ponzi schemes crash. The professional elite—or what should be better termed the upper-class ponces—have massively contributed to Ireland’s economic misery by doing what they do best: profiteering. But one would have thought (erroneously) that the judiciary and its important impartiality would be precluded from indulging in such supposed wealth-generating schemes and investments.
      And whereas the real economic impact of these indulgences is passed off as unfortunate financial miscalculations, there are those in society who are and will be economically forced to act in a manner that—if they are caught—will make them face the full rigour of the law and, quite possibly, face the very same judiciary and legal personnel who handsomely contributed to the country’s bankruptcy and potentially put the unfortunate in the dock!
      The only problem is that one of them will experience the confines of a legal judgement . . . I wonder who.
[CC]

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