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Government was bullied by the banks.

IT is now clear that the banks put serious pressure on the Government to enact laws that would be favourable to them.

At the centre of this bullying was Anglo, which wanted the law changed so it could use commercial mortgages as collateral to borrow even more cash.

This was in turn lent out to developers who now cannot repay their loans.

To round off this vicious circle, the Irish taxpayer is having to pick up the tab for this cosy cartel between Government, banks and builders.

There is no doubt that the bankers exerted great pressure on politicians and top civil servants to bring in laws which would benefit their institutions.

The banks were a law unto themselves and their, now disgraced, bosses had easy access to the Finance Minister of the time, Brian Cowen.

On two occasions, which we know of, Mr Cowen met Seanie FitzPatrick and spent a considerable amount of time in his company.

There is no doubt that the disgraced former Financial Regulator failed to rein in the banks.

But it has now been disclosed that the Regulator had serious misgivings about new laws being sponsored by Anglo chief executive David Drumm.

This legislation was passed just before the last General Election with little or no debate.

The incoming Government must ensure that the vested interests do not exert undue influence on lawmakers.

Access to wealth should not give anyone access to ministers who are elected to govern for the good of all the people and not just the people with money.
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Title Annotation:Editorial; Opinion, Leading articles
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 14, 2011
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