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Published on October 28th, 2017 | by sligoadmin

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A Short History of Banking in Ireland

“My daddy was a bankrobber,” Joe Strummer of the Clash sang. Now the banks are the robbers.

Banker

In ancient Ireland there was Brehon law and when you traded you bartered. If you had your eye on a long winter cloak you could perhaps give the cloak-maker a chicken to get yourself kitted out.

Along came the English. They said we had to use “money” to carry out such transactions. Eventually this was facilitated through the latest and greatest innovation – a bank.

A bank could look after your money. Lend you more than you needed, so you could buy lots of cloaks and sell them for a profit. Then you would repay the loan. They’d even give our money back to us when and if we needed it. And when we got our independence from the English all was good we had our own banks and we could determine our future. Everything was still fine – until that is thirty years ago.

You see the people who found themselves in charge were greedy bastards. They plotted and devised all manner of schemes in order to keep all the wealth and keep the majority of the people of Ireland indebted.

These people adopted an air of respectability simply because they “babysat” our money. They knew better than us. But when they fucked up and lost everything they came begging to us. That’s where we made a great mistake. We gave them money to sort themselves out. They did it again when they realised they were “too big to fail”. They kept coming back to the trough when they messed up and we kept bailing them out.

How did they repay us, they stole our money, that’s how.  They did it in stages to begin with so they could see how much they could get away with. First were minor overcharging schemes and the deliberate cooking of books. In order to help the ruling and political classes avoid taxes the banks kept their money in “off-shore” accounts. It was a bit of a game.

Until now – You see the people in charge now are very, very greedy bastards. This time they stole money from thousands of hard strapped people. And they would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for * that pesky central bank and the government. The CB like a rabid dog waded in and ripped the throat out of those fucking scumbags and gave them what for.

The government played their part magnificently.  They jumped up and down like a seriously deranged person. They railed against the bank’s outrageous behaviour and threatened sanctions. Everyone got the message.

So we can all relax now, sit back and watch the regulators and government do their thing as greedy bank bastards are brought to heel. And it’s about time too. Soon everything will be fine. Maybe we’ll go back to bartering.

 

* To be honest if it wasn’t for the courage of a number of individuals who challenged the banks on this it would all have gone away.

 


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