Call it bizarre or stupid or corrupt if you will, but the Irish finance minister paid €6.2 million to Anglo-Irish Bank bondholders Rothschild for advice and what it should do about the debts it owed to Anglo-Irish Bank bondholders.

In a parliamentary question tabled by Richard Boyd-Barrett TD,

revealed that in 2010 the NTMA paid put €6.2 million to bond traders and wealth managers Rothschild for advice to the Minister for Finance on how to deal with the banking crisis.

Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed out that this means that on the absolutely most important issue facing Ireland in terms of an unprecedented economic crisis and whether or not to pay off senior bondholders, the Irish government actually paid bondholders to advise them on what to do.

It is hardly surprising the representatives of bondholders advised the government to prioritise bondholders with devastating consequences for the country and for Ireland’s economic future.

This raises the question of how long have we been taking advice from these private corporate interests and are we still.

It also raises questions about conflicts of interest when the state is taking advice from private interests with a stake in government decisions.

Were we, for example, taking advice from the Rothschild Group or other similar companies at the beginning of the crisis in 2008 and at the time the blanket bank guarantee was established?

It opens the door to corruption in public decision making when senior public officials are taking decisions that affect the public interest on advice from private sector golden circles. These senior public officials often end up working for these same private interests when they leave office.

 

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