So times have moved on and Fintan O'Toole of Irishtimes tells us that Peter Sutherland played a key role in making Allied Irish Bank "the toxic mess it is." Here is an excerpt:
Fine Gael Banking strategy in meltdown
by Fintan O'Toole - Irishtimes
The party about to go into government is unable to take a coherent position on the biggest problem facing the country, writes FINTAN O'TOOLE
IF YOU’RE of a certain age, you’ll remember the story of the heroic Dutch boy who put his finger in the dyke to prevent the land from being flooded. If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be that boy, look in the mirror. There is a tide rising against the euro and the European banking system. Our brilliant Government volunteered us to stick our finger in the dyke.
Our masters have now gone off to high ground and are shouting at us through a loudhailer to keep that finger in the hole. We’re tired and cold and starving and we don’t want to do it any more. So how do we get this message across? There’s only one way – threaten to pull our finger out of the dyke. Nothing else will get more than a few cosmetic concessions.
Fine Gael is now on course to form a single-party government. Voters need to know whether the party is at all serious about facing up to the immorality and impossibility of the official approach since September 2008. (The money still at stake is €75 billion of debt securities held by Irish banks, including €7.3 billion in subordinated bonds and €17 billion in senior unsecured bonds.)
Leaving aside the rhetorical posturing and the photo opportunities, is there the slightest chance that Fine Gael in government will get the finger out? The evidence so far is that Fine Gael is bluffing.
Before looking at that evidence, it is worth remembering the background to the party’s approach to the banks. Much attention is rightly paid to the role in the crisis of Fianna Fáil’s hinterland – its social, intellectual and cultural closeness to the likes of Seán FitzPatrick.
But Fine Gael’s banking hinterland is every bit as murky. Two of the party’s most prominent intellectuals (both former Fine Gael attorneys general), Peter Sutherland and Dermot Gleeson, played key roles in making Allied Irish Bank the toxic mess that it is. Sutherland, as chairman, responded pitifully to the Dirt tax evasion crisis – a crisis that should have marked a watershed in the culture of Irish banking. And Gleeson, also as chairman, oversaw AIB’s disastrous attempts to out-Anglo Anglo.
Read the entire article here