Please click on Case Study
Please click on Case Study
See further developments on my appeal to the High Court of Ireland (note: during my FOI requests to different Irish Government bodies as detailed in my Reports, it seemed a common practice to be asked if I wanted to withdraw my requests before a decision was made on whether my requests would be granted . Had I done so, particularly my final FOI request, which was made to the Information Commissioner, I would not have subsequently been able to appeal to the Irish High Court and would therefore have lost the opportunity to try and hold the Irish Government and other public and private bodies accountable. Seems a suspicious thing for FOI units to do – see quote from the Office of the Information Commissioner below…so much for the independence of reviews and appeals! Obviously, they didn’t want this proceeding to the High Court). Having profiled the Irish oversight and legal system in Ireland in my Reports and determined how disgraceful it is as regards holding the Irish Government accountable, I decided to appeal to the Irish High Court a decision by an Irish statutory body related to my case/Reports. I’m hoping as a last resort that the Irish court system in 2020 will hold the Irish Government accountable and to the proper extent. I will provide the results of my appeal including my case/argument shortly.
“Having carefully examined NTMA’s submissions, it would appear that no records exist or can be found in relation to your FOI request. Presently, I am of the view that NTMA has conducted all reasonable searches to locate the relevant records and that Section 15(1)(a) of the FOI Act applies. Therefore, should this case proceed to a formal legally binding decision, I intend to recommend to the Senior Investigator that he affirm the decision of the NTMA under Section 15(1)(a).
Having considered my view above, you may wish to consider withdrawing your application for review at this time. If you choose to do so, this case will be treated as closed.”
On the other hand, it seems ‘some’ positive changes are already being made, but time will tell (Below (A)).
Consideration of revocation by the ICAEW Regulatory Board and the ICAEW Board
The ICAEW Regulatory Board considered during 2020 the increasing issues raised by the divergence of law and standards and third country statutory obligations, including the dwindling number of ICAEW registered firms on the Irish Audit Register and the likelihood of this reducing further. It was also cognisant of the tension caused by changes it wished to make to the ICAEW bye-laws and regulations and the need for all such arrangements to satisfy IAASA despite the limited amount of work falling within the scope of the bye-laws / regulations.
In December 2020, after IAASA indicated it thought ICAEW should consider a possible revocation of its RAB status, the issue was considered by both the ICAEW Regulatory Board and ICAEW Board and a decision was made to confirm ICAEW’s agreement to start a process to revoke its RAB status, which will also lead automatically to the revocation of ICAEW’s Prescribe Accountancy Body (PAB) status.
Thank you for your email.
The Law Society of Ireland are no long handling complaints regarding solicitors. The Legal Services Regulatory Authority are now looking after complaints. Their telephone number is 01 8592911 (10-12.30pm and 2-4pm). Their email address is [email protected]
Gail O’Donoghue | Receptionist
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Tel: +353 (0) 1 672 4800 | Email: [email protected] | Web: https://www.lawsociety.ie
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In the tribute I made to my father in my ‘One Pager’ (See p. 9 One Pager ) after his passing, I referred to a case he won in Irish court, Allied Pharmaceutical Distributors v. Walsh.
I received an email from the son (I never met the man) of the lawyer who represented my father in the above case, where he expressed his condolences while confirming their great friendship down the years. He is now working for the law firm O Brien Lynam Solicitors (OBL – www.obl.ie).
Having effectively been denied the internal audit plan by the Information Commissioner in his decision on my appeal, I subsequently contacted the son and his firm requesting that they represent my appeal to the High Court of the Information Commissioner’s decision, which according to the Information Commissioner’s decision, had to be initiated not later than four weeks after notice of the decision was given to me. My communications with this law firm are below. It’s no surprise to me whatsoever that they declined my request. In fact, based on my experience with Irish law firms as detailed in my Reports, I expected it, and I had contacted the Irish Courts Service a day before I followed up with this law firm on my request for representation, for guidance on how to represent myself.
The point I would like to make here is that the only people who ‘own’ the case my father won, Allied Pharmaceutical Distributors v. Walsh, are my parents, their lawyer, their accountant Sean Slattery, and some others i.e. nobody at obl.ie or any other Irish law firm. Sometimes, based on my experience, one can get the perception that the good practices of a lawyer who had the courage to practice in an ethical way regardless of the consequences to his own practice, also apply to the law firm his son now works for. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I wouldn’t like any law firm to inadvertently give this impression, particularly those who don’t have the courage to take on cases against the Irish Government (and that would be every law firm in Ireland based on my experience). If as a client or potential client you ever hear a law firm quote cases they were never a part of, like when they introduce you to an associate or partner of the firm as a relative of so and so who won such and such a case, not that I’m saying that this is or will be the case here, ask them to instead quote the cases they were a part of.
It’s interesting to note that I’m capable of representing myself, while the law firm O Brien Lynam Solicitors states, “Its not our area at all”. Well, is it really the ‘area’ of any lawyer? There are no lawyers that I know of in Ireland who specialize in Freedom of Information (FOI) appeals. That’s like a CPA saying that he/she can’t add up the totals of their clients’ accounts because their area is not mathematics. It’s part of every lawyers’ area (general practice) if such a FOI request is necessary as part of a case they’re working on, be that in banking, commercial, private client services, or whichever area of law they specialize in. This also applies to a case simply requiring the filing of some documents with the High Court to appeal an FOI decision (where I have the argument already prepared). I’m not a lawyer and yet I can file these documents with the Irish High Court (unfortunately, there’s a risk when you represent yourself in the High Court by not having the guidance/representation of a lawyer/solicitor. It’s unfortunate that Irish law firms put you in this position).
According to OBL’s website, they state in part, “We have extensive experience in all forms of commercial litigation, having acted in many large and complex commercial disputes. We attend at the Commercial Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court regularly on Commercial Disputes.”
Thank you for your email I’m flattered you would consider me.
Its not our area at all, I do mostly residential conveyancing and mortgage works for the banks and the litigation side of things which I’m not really involved in at all is mostly insurance defence work and personal injury.
I hope it goes well for you.
|xxxxx xxxxx | xxxxx xxxxx
firstname.lastname@example.orgO’Brien Lynam | OBL Solicitors
Ph: +353-1-6787446 | Fax: +353-1-6787447
15 Upper Fitzwilliam Street
DX 109036 Fitzwilliam
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|STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL Please note that this encrypted email and the files transmitted with it are privileged, confidential and intended solely for the Addressee only. If you have received or been passed this email in error please notify O’Brien Lynam Solicitors, Patrick Hanlon IT Director at [email protected] by return.|
From: maurice landers <[email protected]>
Sent: Thursday 30 January 2020 13:10
To: xxxxx xxxxx <[email protected]>
Cc: Info | OBL <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Legal request
Just following up on my previous email to you.
Perhaps my case is under consideration by your law firm. If so, could you confirm whether or not this is the case in the meantime so that I can plan accordingly. Otherwise, I’ll have to pursue other options, and as you know, my appeal to the High Court has to be initiated not later than four weeks after notice of the decision was given to me (notice given Jan. 24, 2020).
Therefore, I have no time to delay if I am to prepare my case.
If I don’t hear back from you by 5 pm tomorrow, I’ll take it that your firm is not taking my case.
On Monday, January 27, 2020, 11:46:57 AM EST, maurice landers <[email protected]> wrote:
I hope all is well.
I would like your firm to lodge an appeal with the High Court under Section 24 of the FOI Act regarding the Office of the Information Commissioner’s decision on my request for a review. See link below:
Since I’ve boiled down my case to the release of just one document, the internal audit plan (engagement letter) between the NTMA (NPRF) and PwC, perhaps there are thirteen rounds in this fight. I believe it’s worth taking this final step before I give up.
However, I’m of the opinion, based upon the responses I’ve received from every law firm in Ireland, that your firm will not be willing to take my case. If this is the case, can you refer me to someone who will take it (maybe a retired solicitor who is still registered with the bar) or an organization that can refer me to a law firm.
You can access my argument at the link below, specifically under (B):
Thanking you in advance.
Note by author (Maurice Landers) re. above email:
It’s nice to know tho that I’m making progress with Irish law firms in that their replies have gone from “Go fuck yourself” a few years ago to “I’m flattered you would consider me” in 2020. Progress is certainly being made on the “Go fuck yourself” front!
Re. the second link in the email above dated January 27, 2020, at the time of receipt of this email, part (B) was completely different. It is now part of my appeal to the High Court, and will be uploaded onto this section again (‘New developments after my Reports published’) once a ruling is made on my case by the Judge.
I contacted another Irish law firm recently and I asked them if they could just assist me filling in the required documents that I need to file with the High Court, so that I could represent myself. This way they could remain confidential/anonymous. Their refusal has just demonstrated again that which I’ve said all along about Irish lawyers and firms. It’s no surprise, really. But what’s amazing is the reach the Irish Government has in being able to influence Irish law firms to not even anonymously assist those who are trying to hold them accountable. Mind boggling!
I contacted LSRA.ie, FLAC.ie and the Irish Courts Service (courts.ie) all of whom provided me with relevant assistance. FLAC provides certain services but in my case are limited i.e.
“For legal advice you will need to attend our volunteer run centres where you can speak with a solicitor or a barrister free of charge. A full list of these advice centres is available on our website – Need legal help? | FLAC – Promoting access to justice or you can call us to assist you locate your nearest centre.”
and “Kindly note that we cannot and do not provide information or advice by email. Please note that FLAC does not provide legal representation from its centres.”
However, I’m cautious using FLAC in that its 2018 Annual Report ‘Forward’ states in part (last paragraph):
I’m still waiting to hear back from the FSPO regarding their decision on my case. I followed up on their initial communication with me (Nov. 14/15, 2019) with an email (Feb. 14, 2020) requesting an update on whether they can “possibly assist you”, but have not yet heard back from them.
In the meantime, below are some additional insights that I believe add context to my case against the Irish Government, in particular I direct you to points 6 and 6(b) further below since there are similarities between the recent Davy (Ireland) scandal and my own case soon to be heard at the High Court, including John Corrigan’s (NTMA) involvement in both cases.
I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal (first link below) that indirectly highlights Ireland’s complete lack of effort to tackle foreign bribery. As I keep saying, it’s business as usual in Dail Eireann. Nothing ever changes.
The link below takes you to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) mentioned in the WSJ article.
Corroborating the allegations I have made in my Reports, in a statement by the OECD working group on bribery back in 2016, it said in part:
“11/10/2016 – Ireland still needs to make substantial progress on key recommendations issued three times since March 2007 by the OECD Working Group on Bribery with regard to improving its domestic criminal law as it applies to bribery by Irish individuals and companies in their international business transactions. As a party to the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, Ireland is subject to systematic monitoring by the Working Group on how well it implements the requirements of the Convention. The Working Group comprises the 41 parties to the Convention.
In December 2013, the Working Group urged Ireland to make several changes to its domestic criminal law without delay to rectify three major weaknesses in how foreign bribery is addressed. Ireland is subject to enhanced reporting to the Working Group on account of its failure to address these weaknesses.”
Had Ireland adhered to the OECD’s recommendations when it should have, perhaps I wouldn’t have had to go through all the cheating and covery ups I’ve already gone through these past years by both the Irish Government and Irish Government oversight bodies? It seems the OECD has to rely on individuals (citizens) like me to fill the gap between theory and possible correct action taken (practice) by countries like Ireland? Is this what it has come down to?
The Irish Times article below further supports what my Reports have alleged over the past six or so years, however it’s unsurprisingly kind to the Gardai and SIPO in that it blames a lack of resources (Gardai) and a strengthening issue (SIPO) as being the cause of their deficiencies. I have very few resources and yet I can do research myself and put together a credible case over many years as detailed in my Reports. You don’t need extensive resources (that invariable end up being mismanaged) to do the right thing, to know right from wrong. You have enforcement authority that I don’t have.
Note in the article, the reference to the GNECB, which is the same bureau I was in contact with regarding investigating my case (update Report February 2018, p. 198). See email string below. So much for having ‘faith in the system’. As of May 2021 (over five years), no member of the Assessment Unit has reverted to me. I assume to the Gardai “in due course” means ten, twenty, perhaps even fifty years from now? The Gardai are some piece of work protecting these gombeens in the Irish Government from committing all sorts of crimes, and then being unbelievably disrespectful to those who try and assist them in doing their job. As someone who was brought up to respect the Gardai, I can now understand why so many don’t trust senior officers.
Dear Mr. Landers,
I wish to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail dated 2nd February 2017.
I can advise you that your email has been forwarded to the Assessment Unit and I have requested an update on this matter.
A member of the Assessment Unit will revert to you in due course.
Jean Bolger – Executive Officer
Office of the Detective Chief Superintendent,
Garda National Economic Crime Bureau,
‘ 0 353 1 6663518 / 087 2286014
From: Failte32 Failte32 [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 02 February 2017 08:42
Subject: Re: Opportunity Ireland – Part 3 (final part): My experience of bringing new Investor Groups to Ireland, and Irish Government business practices.
Dear Sergeant Mills,
I’m following up on my email to you on December 1, 2016.
In my prior emails, I had asked you if my case was being re-opened or investigated, which is what I would like done. Since I haven’t heard back from you that it has been closed or has remained closed, which you have informed me of in the past, I can only assume that it has been re-opened and is being actively investigated (open case). Since it is usual practice that Gardai are obliged to inform complainants of the process, could you inform me where in the process the investigation is currently.
If on the other hand my assumption is incorrect, and the Gardai have decided, based on the new information I provided on January 26, 2016, not to re-open my case and not to investigate it, can you confirm, as you have in the past, that my case is closed or has remained closed.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Maurice D. Landers
On Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 4:37 AM, Failte32 Failte32 <[email protected]> wrote:
Dear Sergeant Mills,
I’m following up on my email to you on October 23, 2016.
Have you any update on my case? Is it being investigated? If not, could you let me know.
Maurice D. Landers
On Sun, Oct 23, 2016 at 2:17 AM, Failte32 Failte32 <[email protected]> wrote:
Old Ref: FB11.324/14
Dear Sergeant Mills,
I’m following up on my email to you on May 17, 2016.
Did you receive an update from the Assessment Unit since May 17, 2016?
I still haven’t heard back from a member of the Assessment Unit at GBFI.
Maurice D. Landers
On Wed, May 18, 2016 at 12:02 AM, Failte32 Failte32 <[email protected]> wrote:
Thank you Sergeant Mills.
Maurice D. Landers
On Tue, May 17, 2016 at 3:41 AM, GBFI_DV <[email protected]> wrote:
Old Ref: FB11.324/14
Dear Mr. Landers,
I wish to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail dated 17th of May 2016. I have requested an update on this from the Assessment Unit and I trust that they will revert in due course.
Sergeant Barry Mills,
Office of the D/Chief Superintendent,
Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation,
From: Failte32 Failte32 [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 17 May 2016 05:36To: GBFI_DV
Subject: Re: Opportunity Ireland – Part 3 (final part): My experience of bringing new Investor Groups to Ireland, and Irish Government business practices.
Dear Sergeant Mills,
I’m just following up on my email of January 26, 2016. I haven’t heard back from a member of the Assessment Unit at GBFI.
Has any consideration been given to my request for a re-opening of my case?
On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 3:14 AM, GBFI_DV <[email protected]> wrote:
Old Ref: FB11.324/14
Dear Mr. Landers,
I acknowledge receipt of your e-mail dated 26th of January 2016. This new information has been passed to the Assessment Unit at GBFI for their consideration. A member from this unit will revert to you in due course.
Sergeant Barry Mills,
Office of the D/Chief Superintendent,
Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation,
From: Failte32 Failte32 [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 26 January 2016 06:42
To: GBFI_DV; Press_OfficeSubject: Re: Opportunity Ireland – Part 3 (final part): My experience of bringing new Investor Groups to Ireland, and Irish Government business practices.
Dear Sergeant Mills,
I had been in contact with your office in 2014 regarding the matter below. Your office closed my case after an exploratory meeting it had with me, and due to lack of evidence presented by me.
I spent some time in 2015 seeking an investigation into my case by a number of oversight bodies, but with little success.
Attached is my report.
Does my report provide sufficient information to justify the re-opening my case?
Maurice D. Landers
On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 3:37 AM, GBFI_DV <[email protected]> wrote:
Mr. Maurice D. Landers,
I acknowledge receipt of your e-mail dated 30th of September 2014. This information has been passed to the Assessment Unit here in GBFI further to your e-mail dated the 27th of September 2014. A member from this unit will revert to you in due course.
Sergeant Barry Mills,
Office of the D/Chief Superintendent,
Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation,
I just include some additional comments here and in (5) below for further context.
Re. Supreme Court judge Seamus Wolfe, he had no reason to attend a dinner by the Oireachtas Golf Society. A Supreme Court judge should in my opinion stay as far away as possible from any event with the word ‘Oireachtas’ in it, let alone one that is contrary to Irish Government guidelines regarding Covid-19.
This is again another example of how few degrees of separation there are between the Irish Government and even the Supreme Court. That said, it’s reassuring to hear the Irish public outcry over Judge Woulfe’s attendance at this dinner, in addition to the Chief Justice suggesting that he resign. Although the opposition’s response seems reassuring at this stage, I remain unconvinced until I see the final resolution to this matter.
If the Irish Government doesn’t impeach him, will this send a strong message that there are likely many Irish judges, including at Supreme Court level, that are in the Irish Government’s pocket?
Following are links to a couple of articles that demonstrate the close ties between some large accountancy firms and US Government intelligence agencies. I alluded to this in my Final Report 2019 , under the heading PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), p. 15. In Deloitte’s case, a possible attempt to be another Booz Allen of the accountancy profession, like possibly PwC and even some of the other large auditing firms are. As is clear from my Final Report, I have no issues with US intelligence agencies, I think they’re amazing patriotic organizations. My concern is with large auditing firms (and the Irish Government) that compromise US intelligence agencies by being involved in criminal activity that personally benefits these firms.
Based on the contents of the first article (first link below), who in their right mind would do business with a firm like Deloitte? How could you trust them? Hiding out in the men’s and women’s bathrooms “and taking notes on conversations they overheard”. Is this ethical behavior?
BearingPoint probably assumed that any trash/notes they made would be discarded appropriately by the cleaning crew, since after all, BearingPoint I assume paid for the high level meeting space/s (inc. clean up), and even after hours had past, what right had Deloitte employees to take anything from a space that was probably paid up for the complete day. Banks and other institutions for example that store personal client information, have a responsibility to discard this information when they are required to in a way that protects the privacy of their clients. So, it’s reasonable to conclude that BearingPoint relied on the cleaning crew in the same way, and Deloitte’s shooing away of the cleaning crew possibly represents criminal activity. If Deloitte was a financial firm, wouldn’t some of its behavior come under the heading of insider trading at the very least?
The article states:
“Deloitte’s team decided that any paperwork the BearingPoint managers left behind would be fair game for the agents to pick up — but only after several hours had passed, making it clear that the material had been officially abandoned.”
That was very nice of Deloitte to make the unilateral decision that after several hours (is that two, three?) had passed, they could grab whatever privileged information belonging to BearingPoint they liked. What a very ethical world Deloitte operates in! Did Deloitte not contact the company that rented out the high level meeting space (I emphasize the words ‘high level’) to ask them if it was okay to enter it, if BearingPoint’s time in the space was up? Did Deloitte make any other efforts to ensure that it was “fair game” to take any left over privileged paperwork by BearingPoint? Would BearingPoint, or indeed any company that any of us work for, have agreed to Deloitte taking this private paperwork/documents? Are companies like Deloitte allowed to “staked out” potential acquisitions?
The second article (link below) discusses PwC’s acquisition of Booz and Company, formed when Booz Allen Hamilton split into two companies, and the research paper (second link below) further corroborates my experience that Ireland’s accountancy oversight bodies (ICAI and others) are meaningless and protect their members rather than the public.
Or http://ssrn.com/abstract=1688283..5 (b).Below is a link to a recent article in the Irish Times that gives further perspective on Ireland’s tax haven operations and organizations such PwC and how they seem to be facilitators of many dodgy business schemes as opposed to being reputable honest auditors that support a healthy financial system..https://www.irishtimes.com/business/health-pharma/ireland-central-to-alleged-1-4bn-abusive-tax-shelter-by-pharma-giant-1.4527583.5 (c).As regards ties between accountancy firms and others (non-US Government intelligence agencies e.g. apparent authority relationships), referring you back to my ‘one pager’, page 10, Allied Pharmaceutical Distributors v. Walsh (link below), I believe this a very important concern in terms of the knowledge, good or bad, that accountancy/auditing firms possess on their client companies..I remember around the time of my father’s case, hearing from reliable sources that there were possibly multiple companies (ten or so?) in a similar situation as we were in. It could have put us out of business had we been unable to cover the working capital. I remember the stress it put on my parents..However, if my recollection is correct, very few took action against the accountancy firm/Mr. Walsh for whatever reason. Did such an accountancy firm/Mr. Walsh dynamic enable Mr. Walsh to choose multiple companies that he believed would not take a case against him were he to act the same way as he did with APD? His judgement was seriously wrong in the case of APD. He picked a fight with the wrong man, my da!......
Below are comments (copied and pasted) on a couple of Irish Times articles which show the importance of the comments facility in terms of a well informed public. The first article/comment below demonstrates how comments can reveal/prove action on the part of the Irish Government that promoted Ireland as a tax haven to international companies, and the other demonstrates how comments made by the public can influence appropriate action on the part of Irish Government agencies who alone likely would not have acted this way....FIRST ARTICLE:....
Ireland in the 1980s ‘lost interest in people like me’
Wild Geese: Hugh O’Donnell, Bermuda...YOUR COMMENTSSign InWe reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.
Mr O’Donnel’s narrative is not correct, particularly as it relates to the efforts of the IDA. I believe the opportunity to return to Dublin to use his skills was available to Mr O’Donnell had he chosen to do so.
In fact, IDA was actively promoting in Bermuda in the late 80’s and early 90s when Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre was launched. IDA lobbied the top international insurance entities in Bermuda to set up operations in the IFSC. Bermuda’s XL and Centre Re were among the first to set up international insurance operations here. They formed the nucleus for the IFSC which has become a major employer in Ireland with tens of thousands of very well paid jobs.
IDA also maintained close contact at that time with the Irish community of financial professionals in Bermuda to inform them of the opportunities arising in Dublin’s IFSC. Many Irish people have returned to Ireland to very senior and rewarding positions in the international financial services sector based on their experience gained abroad and their quality Irish education (which in most cases was funded by the Irish State).
How do I know all this?…I was that IDA man back in the late 80s!
So, it’s true what the US and other nations have been saying all along…that Ireland is nothing more than an offshore tax haven. Why else would the IDA have been trying to reach a target market in a well known tax haven, Bermuda. Obviously, Ireland had to have been offering a more attractive tax offering to these Bermuda based companies. I’ll have to save this comment (print screen), perhaps it can be submitted as part of a future Congressional hearing?
Pat can comment more on what he was trying to achieve but my thought would be that he was trying to persuade large insurers to open up European operations and to do so in Ireland. In a similar vein, insurance and reinsurance is a highly skilled business. The business requires professionals and to get the IFSC going, there had to be a nucleus of these folks.
Pat, my comment was aimed at the earlier stage when I was among those starting out – in my case in in London. -Hugh.....SECOND ARTICLE:.To: [email protected] <[email protected]>; [email protected] <[email protected]>; [email protected] <[email protected]>; Suzanne Lynch <[email protected]>Sent: Monday, March 8, 2021, 10:02:29 AM ESTSubject: Re. Deactivation of my comment.Dear Irish Times,I’d like to find out why my comment (FromNY) relating to the article ‘Davy story will not blow over with a bit of corporate box-ticking’ (print screen below) was deactivated?When I click on ‘Why?’, it says that I violated Irish Times community guidelines. Could you let me know what the specific policy reason was that determined this.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXI await your reply.Kind regards,Maurice D. Landers..Note by author: This website (Failte32.org) wouldn’t accept the print screen that accompanied the email immediately above, and so I copied and pasted it instead (Irish Times heading and my comment/post). In fact, I copied and pasted all comments that were made on the article not just those on the print screen. I broke all the comments made into two sections: those made before my comment, and those made after my comment. Therefore, you will see my comment at the end of first set of comments below, the one that was deactivated (I was subsequently able to add the print screen of the deactivated comment below – 8/4/21). It’s interesting to note that after my comment post, some others made comments effectively that the NTMA should suspend its business with Davy (good on them for making these comments!), which subsequently was the case. The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) in an unprecedented move withdrew Davy’s ability to act as a primary dealer of Irish Government bonds.Source: https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/davy-closes-bond-desk-amid-crisis-over-market-rules-breaches-1.4504403..
..YOUR COMMENTSSign InWe reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.
This is like something from pre Glass-Steagall 1930s Wall Street which prompted the question “And where are the customers’ yachts?”
‘Elite mediocrity at the top of Davy’ just about sums them up. This is like something Ross O’Carroll-Kelly’s dad would have cooked up with his mates.
Excellently written article as usual. So many unanswered questions. The whole thing is deeply unsavoury and reeks of greed. One can only assume all the individuals involved are wealthy men ( assuming there are no females here, which of course opens up another can of worms) so why did they do it? Where does one acquire such a staggering sense of impunity? Working in an area which is steeped in risk analysis surely they did not indulge in this behaviour if they thought they would get caught? If it was just one or two people involved you might just call them outliers , but 16?? That’s a lot of conspiring isn’t it? So was it simply a case of here’s an opportunity/ mark, who’s in? If that’s the case what does that tell you about the culture within the company? And lastly and most damningly of all, you don’t think this just happened once, do you? All mana from heaven to The Shinners who will be foaming at the mouth about golden circles, etc etc etc, but this really is outrageous stuff.
If the reference in the media reports that the consortium paid for the trade out of a Davy account before they put their own finances in place (clearing the payment) this raises further issues of Executive Director /Shareholders circumventing Governance controls.
“Why did nobody stop for a second and say ‘Remember Greencore’? “
That’s the way we regular folk think, but organisers of these set-ups just don’t care. They expect to get away with it, which is why prison and total exclusion from finance has to be a realistic consequence for all involved -not just one scapegoat. We saw that with the economic crash, there was no effective deterrent.
Since Davy’s client base is made up of investors business will slip away and that will impact on employees who knew nothing of the consortium.
As a Citizen of Ireland, I am once again appalled with the behaviour, this time of a collective of elite mediocrity at the top of Davy. As my dearly departed Mother would say, have they no shame? Apart from anything else, they have recklessly endangered the livelihoods of all the good people at that firm…and this in the fragile time of a Pandemic.
Given the moral vacuum throughout the top layer of our government, political class, public administration & business elite, they can expect little by way of official reprimand or punishment. As a Nation, we are still too immature for that to happen.
The one thing we can do is identity of all the individuals involved, and note their amoral behaviour at a time of national emergency (2014/5) as we continued to shoulder the impact of the 2008 financial crash that they and their class inflicted on our country.
It was worth about 150,000 each—–it wouldn’t buy a decent car!
Under the 2018 MiFID regulations, section 5 (2) “A person who is guilty of a relevant offence shall be liable, on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €10,000,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both.”
Did these regulation apply, or was the government dilatory in putting the EU MiFID legislation onto the Irish statute book? What was the sanction for breaches under previous legislation?
Has the Central Bank sent the file to the DPP? And if not, why not?
I am waiting for tomorrow morning’s statement from the NTMA, removing Davy . Surely it is not acceptable that a firm in serious breach of regulations continues in a position of serious trust in relation to state business.
[Lets hope that having a former NTMA top executive on the board of Davy does not cloud the judgement of the NTMA. ]
The position of a Primary Dealer, with a history of being able to place itself on both sides of the deal, acting for the NTMA, is untenable, surely.
In these matters Brussels is your friend. Write to your EU MEP. It does actually work. Nothing will happen otherwise.
MEPs waffle about legislation drafted by the Commission under direction from the Council and pass motions that nobody takes a blind bit of notice of – but it allows them to do their bit of virtue-signalling.
It suits the rest of the EU to allow Malta to be put through the wringer regarding the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia – and to let the EP claim a bit of the credit.
If they’re engaged on stuff like this around the edges it’ll be easier to keep their noses out of more substantive stuff.
That is a defeatist attitude. Politicians do nothing when no one makes a fuss. Commenting here is far less effective use of time than writing to TDs and MEPs. It wasn’t just Daphne. It was Pilatus, Sata etc too. Bad financial practice anywhere in the EU has an impact on the EU’s credibility.
Let’s wait and see. The first step has been taken. The crime has been proven. The file may very well be winging its way to the DPP tomorrow.
No crime has been proven. A civil court decided on the balance of probabilities that the client had been defrauded and what was deemed appropriate compensation was settled. Economic regulators do not have judicial powers.
And even if some of these folk were subjected to a criminal prosecution and convicted, what would it achieve? They’d be replaced by those who’d be much more careful and cunning about not being caught in future.
I have to observe that you seem very worried that they might go to jail, Paul . Are you related
On the contrary. My point is that the hounding of those caught red-handed takes the heat – and is exploited to take the heat – off all those systemically involved.
A hugely important issue that throws light on how we are governed. However, 41 comments. No match for the furore over a man sitting on a dead horse that has helped to deflect from the breaking news on this matter. It helps tp explain why these things happen.
The complex and equivocal statement form the Central Bank might have something to do with that.
But joining the social media mob baying for blood in the dead horse sitting episode gives them a sense of power and agency. Demanding the rolling of heads in this instance changes nothing – and they know it. Say hello to the new boss – same as the old boss.
Yes, I believe you make a most important point. TY
“The NTMA, which gives Davy massive business on behalf of the Government, “
At the very least this should stop for a period.
Perhaps a 12 month suspension of Davy from involvement in any State contracts and a review of their procedures at the end of that suspension period to see if they have made the required changes in practice, not just some PR paperwork.
It would be ridiculous for the government to continue doing business with a company that just got the largest fine in broker history in Ireland.
Oh dear. You really don’t understand how these things work, do you?
You seem to have been convinced by the optical illusions governing politicians and officialdom project.
Don’t worry. There’s very little – probably really nothing – you can do about it.
You could vote for a politician who’ll promise to sort out these things. But if s/he gets elected – and is even in a party of government (or even high in the ranks) – you’ll find very quickly that s/he will be in the front-line of the team projecting the optical illusions.
Voters elect politicians; the power-groupings in society decide what they do.
You are 100% correct. The idea of any government or public agency doing business with Davy should be immediately off the table.
I understand your scepticism and in large part agree with it.
But I make the comment because we shouldn’t quietly acquiesce in that scam.
I take a passing interest in the NTMA and its dealings. I will watch now for anything attached to Davy and will comment on it and this disgraceful behaviour.
Reputational damage passes as soon as we let it.
Reputational damage means absolutely nothing to the ‘brass neck brigade’.
Alan Greenspan thought that the risk of reputational damage would prevent the shakers and the movers in the US financial sector from blowing up the sector in the run-up to the GFC. We all learned out the hard way.
At a time when the government have huge debt issuance requirements, suspending by far the most important primary dealer is not realistic. That’s the realpolitik of it.
There was once a successful steeple chaser called Davy Lad, trained by Mick O’Toole, and because of that, subject to ferocious gambles. That horse used to earn many a fine pot for his owner Anne Marie McGowan. There used be other horses running against Davy Lad in those races. Nevertheless, the bold O’Toole placed £500 on Davy Lad to win the 1977 Cheltenham Gold Cup. The horse won.
It seems these stockbroker Davy Lads landed a ferocious gamble, a dead cert, in 2014, earning a much reduced pot for the owner, without being up against any competitor. It seems to me that this dead cert stinks a lot more than the horse of a different colour in rigor mortis in the photograph of recent notoriety.
Is there such a thing as highly respectable larceny?
This seems like a criminal offence. Where are the AG or DPP in all of this?
Davy involvement and compliance ‘mishaps’ seems like a side show....FR
CONTENT DEACTIVATED –
It looks like Davys takes its cues from the former practices of failed brokerage firms like Bear Sterns based upon my reference to John Paulson in my Final Report (p.26) on my U.S. Failte 32 website. But in Paulson’s case, he didn’t do anything unethical, unlike Davys. My reference stated in part, “I believe some banks even accommodated his contrarian strategy, which effectively was selling the deals to investors without telling them that someone was shorting on the other side.”
I’ve been trying to hold the Irish Government accountable for many years now, specifically the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF/NTMA) and Enterprise Ireland, for the alleged mismanagement of at least $50M from the NPRF via a funding program called Innovation Fund Ireland (IFI), led by a former Irish Government Minister. Nobody in Ireland will hold them accountable, including lawyers, oversight bodies etc. My Reports detail my efforts over these past few years, which you can access on my US website Failte 32. Let’s rid the Irish Government of ‘mismanagement’ first and then possibly we’ll be able to resolve other issues. When it comes to the management of the hard earned ‘dollars’ of Irish taxpayers, a zero tolerance gold standard for any unethical or indeed criminal behavior should be enforced at all times. The Irish Government should always act as fiduciary, in the very best interests of its clients (Irish taxpayer), no excuses as my da used to say. It’s so hypocritical of the NTMA and John Corrigan in my opinion to be acting so righteous on this issue. Perhaps we should investigate their involvement to see if there’s anything to unearth?
The posts below are earlier posts from just before my post above:
CO.ColumMcCaffery2 DAYS AGOMessage Actions“DAVY” didn’t plot, scheme and decide. Real people did that and because it is allowed or tolerated, they hide behind corporate DAVY.I take it that after the resignations to spare poor DAVY further embarrassment, these real people will still be rich and saying it wasn’t them it was DAVY who did it.REPLY6SHARE FLAGCACAquas2 DAYS AGOMessage ActionsResignations today – CEO, Brian McKiernan, deputy chairman, Kyran McLaughlin, and head of bonds Barry Nangle.Is that punishment or are they just getting out of Dodge?REPLY3 REPLIES2SHARE FLAGOCocd2 DAYS AGOReply to CAquasMessage ActionsIt’s not punishment enough. Back in the Cazenove Guinness in the City of London the boys were charged. It could be down to the law, but this needs to go further. Anyone who is involved in investment banking knows this is a criminal offence. I said earlier people should write to Sven Giegold(email address supplied) the German MEP, who is pretty good at holding governments to account in these kinds of situations. He sat on the Maltese government over its banking issues. This is Ireland’s Wirecard. Action needs to be taken on the individuals involved.REPLY3SHARE FLAGCACAquas2 DAYS AGOReply to CAquasMessage ActionsThey remain major shareholders in Davy’s.REPLY1 REPLY5SHARE FLAGDADavid2 DAYS AGOReply to CAquasMessage Actions€52,000,000 in one caseREPLY0SHARE FLAGJOJohnMoore2 DAYS AGOMessage ActionsHow is this anything more than theft? And from people who have basically done this before. And in the intervening years are we to believe that these were the only incidents? It shows a mindset that would impact in all of their dealings. The people who own and run the company are not fit to do so and should be facing criminal charges. But it’s a slap on the rest and the hope that big corporate clients don’t leave. It really is a different set of laws for white collar crime.REPLY2 REPLIES9SHARE FLAGDADavid2 DAYS AGOReply to JohnMooreMessage ActionsMy late mother used to say 50+ years ago, steal a tin of beans from H Williams to feed your family and get 6 months in the Joy, but a white collar thief walks free. She’s 20 years dead and Ireland hasn’t changed. The only reason the Davy gang got fined by a reluctant Central Bank was due to the Kearney court case. The CB didn’t want to know about this. So it’s safe to assume the Financial Services Regulator will be working at reverse speed on pursuing the individual’s. What’s the usual saying, ‘ Davy is systemic’. God help us.REPLY1SHARE FLAGEOEoghanMacFinneachta1 DAY AGOReply to JohnMooreMessage ActionsYes, theft. It happened in 2014. A fellow stealing a bit of lead from a roof would have been charged long ago. Lucky for them that a man sitting on a dead horse caused a bigger furore and deflected from them.REPLY0SHARE FLAGBLBluesky2 DAYS AGOMessage ActionsDavy say there was “no loss” to their client. Not after he went to court, maybe, but it seems from this article the original intention was to undersell his assets for the staff’s benefit.Must look up the definition of “fraud” in the OED.REPLY4SHARE FLAGJEJeremy2 DAYS AGOMessage Actions” The damage too your reputation, is far greater punishment, than a custodial sentence”. The utter bollix of the judge as he/she protects the elite from proper sanctionE4.1 million fine and no one goes to jail. If the Covid travel ban didn’t exist, imagine a big party in Marbella, with everyone involved attending, including the judiciary.The real danger to society is the person robbing a pair of E9.99 jeans from Penneys, their the ones who get locked up .REPLY1 REPLY7SHARE FLAGOCocd2 DAYS AGOReply to JeremyMessage ActionsI think you’ll find it may be Courcheval or Quinta!REPLY1SHARE FLAGOCocd2 DAYS AGOMessage ActionsA “risk” of reputational damage? It is not a risk. It has happened. I’m old enough to remember the shock in the City of London over the Cazenove Guinness affair. This has a major impact on the reputation of Ireland in financial circles outside the country.REPLY4SHARE FLAGCACAquas2 DAYS AGOMessage ActionsWhy is no one charged with fraud? It doesn’t take Corporate Governance Gurus or Ethical Experts to understand that we were ripped off. Where are the Garda Fraud Squad and the DPP?The Government should take its business elsewhere but after all Davy’s M&A activity, is there anywhere else in the Irish market?REPLY4SHARE FLAGPAPaulHunt2 DAYS AGOMessage Actions“Did [Davy] really think that if it brazened it out for a few days it would all blow over?”In the context of modern Ireland this is the rhetorical question that out-rhetorics all others. Of course, they did, and, of course, they do. And they’ll be right. They’re simply too important and too embedded in the functioning of the state and of Ireland’s financial sector for any other outcome to be contemplated.Everyone knows that the formal approach to the governance of capitalism in terms of competition policy, consumer protection and economic regulation in this country is a a total sham and an optical illusion. The CB wouldn’t have been able to impose this fine if there hadn’t been a court case – and almost 6 years have elapsed since the court case.Obviously, there’ll be a bit of noise about this, but it’ll all die down fairly quickly as the news cycle churns on. It’ll be filed away under the ‘bad apple, one-off, atypical, totally out of character, definitely not systematic’ heading. A few heads might roll. Lessons will be learned. Procedures will be tightened up. More meaningless corporate guidance bumph will be generated. No need for any extensive review of governance or regulation. It’s all sorted. Nothing to see here any more. Time to move on.Until the next time.And all the time an inchoate public disgust and anger increases.REPLY6 REPLIES3SHARE FLAGOCocd2 DAYS AGOReply to PaulHuntMessage ActionsWrite to Sven Gielgod, the European MEP, who sits on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. He was involved in setting up The Securities and Markets Authority. Get “pull through”.REPLY2SHARE FLAGOCocd2 DAYS AGOReply to PaulHuntMessage ActionsSorry, it’s Sven Giegold and his email address is [email protected] He is a Green.REPLY2 REPLIES4SHARE FLAGPAPaulHunt2 DAYS AGOReply to ocdMessage ActionsA Green? You must be joking?REPLY1 REPLY1SHARE FLAGOCocd2 DAYS AGOReply to PaulHuntMessage ActionsI don’t care if he is purple! If you want something to be done write to him. He is effective. A bit of pressure from outside is very helpful. There was a very good Portuguese MEP dealing with financial corruption too, but I think she has retired.REPLY1 REPLY5SHARE FLAGLELeftOfRightOfCentre2 DAYS AGOReply to ocdMessage ActionsSorry but an effective green is a contradiction in terms.REPLY1SHARE FLAGEOEoghanMacFinneachta1 DAY AGOReply to ocdMessage ActionsNot as green as the rest of the Greens.REPLY0SHARE FLAGSESeanthelepreachaun2 DAYS AGOMessage ActionsIt would be good for a bit of investigative journalism to find out how much did the Davy execs make from the deal, and how the fine they received compares to the profits they made. It’s not unheard of for the earnings from shady deals like this to far outweigh any fines, making the deal a risk worth taking.REPLY6 REPLIES5SHARE FLAGPAPaulHunt2 DAYS AGOReply to SeanthelepreachaunMessage ActionsFinancial regulation and the economic regulation of most sectors throughout the EU hasve been adopted and adapted from the regulation developed in the UK in the ’80s. It differs profoundly from the financial and economic regulation applied in the US. And the differences were and are deliberate. It is designed to allow regulated firms to capture their regulators. (Normally the capture takes place over time, but we pushed it to the limit here in terms of establishing some regulators as already captured entities.)And the result is that regulated firms can do more or less what they like once they don’t attract too much bad publicity that might make the regulators look bad. And when they’re caught ripping off market participants or consumers the fines imposed are piddling and the regulated firms treat them as simply a cost of doing business. The impact on their cash flow is negligible.REPLY1 REPLY2SHARE FLAGSESeanthelepreachaun2 DAYS AGOReply to PaulHuntMessage ActionsAs somebody intricately involved in insurance regulation, I think the regulatory changes have been extensive. In fact I carve a living out of those changes. Whether the changes are any good or not is a different matter.I don’t think regulated firms can do whatever they like either. But there are some things that they can get away with or are difficult for a regulator to spot. The companies try to push the boundaries. That’s why many of the regulations like Treating Customers Fairly in the UK tends to be principles based. Because it’s if it’s too prescriptive regards you can’t do this and you can’t do that, then companies find a loophole and point to the letter of the law.REPLY1 REPLY5SHARE FLAGPAPaulHunt2 DAYS AGOReply to SeanthelepreachaunMessage ActionsThe principles-based stuff is lovely in theory, but not much use in practice. I used to favour it two decades ago, but now I cringe when I look back at some of the stuff I advanced. The only effective means of putting some manners on firms that are subject to formal regulation is to provide consumers and users with statutory collective representation in regulatory, competition enforcement and consumer protection proceedings. That used to be the norm in the US, but the Republicans progressively ripped some of it out at the state-level, but voters, even Republican-registered voters, pushed back. The Biden administration is aiming to restore some effective regulation along these lines.It would require a sea change here, but something will have to be done to staunch the growing tide of public disgust and anger. It would significantly reduce SF’s ability to exploit this anger and disgust.But those who exercise economic and organisational power, for obvious reasons, just don’t want to know. They might regret that when SF starts shaking things because they don’t have a bull’s notion about the governance of capitalism or economic regulation.REPLY1 REPLY2SHARE FLAGSESeanthelepreachaun2 DAYS AGOReply to PaulHuntMessage ActionsLike any regulation or law, it’s only as good as it’s enforcement.I see principles based regulation as being in many ways more powerful, but it cannot be all principles based. When regulation is very prescriptive with no principles it leaves the business free to ignore something blatantly wrong not covered by the regulation. The principles are easier in a world where it’s impossible to think of absolutely every scenario.In what you’re describing which is just consumer regulation, there is the likes of the financial ombudsman that aims to do what you’ve outlined. The problem is in the implementation and the legislation they work under.SF just flow with whatever the popular narrative is. For example, their position is it’s insurance cartel behaviour that drives up insurance costs, not the size of court awards and fraud. Nicer to blame the big bad insurance companies, so that’s what they go with.REPLY1 REPLY3SHARE FLAGPAPaulHunt2 DAYS AGOReply to SeanthelepreachaunMessage ActionsIt’s very different from ‘just consumer regulation’. But there probably isn’t much point trying to explain the fundamental difference here. Things will run their course. Let SF get in and shake things up. The power-groupings who are currently resisting even minimal changes will suddenly see the light but it’ll be too late. However, in the heel of the hunt, they’ll be able to adapt and shore things up. It’s just that it’ll be totally messy and chaotic and public disgust and anger will be subdued only for a while. And so it goes on.REPLY1 REPLY1SHARE FLAGEOEoghanMacFinneachta1 DAY AGOReply to PaulHuntMessage ActionsExcellent. You should be doing your own blog.REPLY0SHARE FLAGFIFinfacts2 DAYS AGOMessage Actions“Why did nobody stop for a second and say ‘Remember Greencore’?”1) However, there is a more pertinent question. Why would the wealthy top executives of Davy engage in dishonest dealing from July 2014 when 3 months before two former Anglo Irish Bank chiefs were convicted of making loans to illegally prop up the bank’s share price?Another bank executive, the former Anglo Irish Bank chairman, Seán FitzPatrick had first been arrested in 2010.2) Greencore was a distant memory and it’s likely that Davy had other dodgy dealings in the interval of 21 years.3) The Central Bank said that Davy’s settlement was the 141st settlement since 2006 under its Administrative Sanctions Procedure, bringing the total fines imposed by the Central Bank to over €128m.4) Everyone who benefited from the trade should be disbarred from financial services and if bankers can be jailed why not stockbrokers, of course after due process?Michael HenniganREPLY5 REPLIES12SHARE FLAGDADavidODonnell2 DAYS AGOReply to FinfactsMessage Actions+1REPLY2SHARE FLAGPIPilibi2 DAYS AGOReply to FinfactsMessage ActionsOnly one banker was jailed in relative comfort in an open prison.REPLY1 REPLY0SHARE FLAGFIFinfacts1 DAY AGOReply to PilibiMessage ActionsDavid Drumm, ex-CEO of Anglo, became the fourth person to be jailed over his role in bank fraud schemes in 2007-2008. In 2016 Willie McAteer, the ex finance chief of Ango, was sentenced to three and a half years in jail. Yes, in 2014 he had carried out 240 hours of community service in lieu of a two-year prison sentence in respect of another charge.MHREPLY1SHARE FLAGYOyoucouldntmakeitup1 DAY AGOReply to FinfactsMessage ActionsDo you really think any of those people were in jail?REPLY1 REPLY0SHARE FLAGPLPleasebereasonable16 HRS AGOReply to youcouldntmakeitupMessage ActionsHuh? David Drumm was released in February. He was actually imprisoned. They were not given suspended sentences.REPLY0SHARE FLAGEOEoghanMacFinneachta2 DAYS AGOMessage ActionsThis was a fraud against the seller. Why are we not hearing about a garda investigation? In the US, it would be swift and we would be seeing people appearing in court in handcuffs.REPLY6SHARE FLAGDADavidODonnell2 DAYS AGOMessage ActionsDoes one need a licence from someone or other to act as honest broker?And if not honest does one lose said licence?The lumpen plebs who were forced to cough up €30 billion for Anglo’s carcass would like to know. And why were the Davy-Anglo-16 sitting on said carcass and making an illegal mint out of it? The lumpen plebs would also like to know from their Government if they are always to be taken for fools?REPLY2 REPLIES6SHARE FLAGAIAilis192 DAYS AGOReply to DavidODonnellMessage ActionsBased on anything to date I think government does think we are fools . Are they right to think this ? If you keep voting the same way for decades it kind of says They are ? Only after the crash did the people really show anger (FF) but what about the years of tribunals etc …. where or what did it amount to in the end ? It took seismic crash to have voters really change but we were left with FG instead and are they any different? Did we imply all the Changes recommended by troika ? No . We probably now have prospect of SF looming but they have not shown any real leadership either …. there’s the odd independent that I’d like but where would they fit in … so until we the people start changing how we vote we will keep getting more of this . It seems a dead horse this week got more airtime / public anger than the latest pay round to the public sector (but then who mostly articulates how they feel ?) so is it any wonder too that there is a growing percentage of the population that must surely feel that the government does not represent them and we wonder why anti lockdown marches ? Young men seeking answers elsewhere?REPLY0SHARE FLAGAIAilis192 DAYS AGOReply to DavidODonnellMessage ActionsI mean ‘apply troika recommendations ‘, not ‘imply ‘REPLY0SHARE FLAGCLClaphamJunction2 DAYS AGOMessage ActionsWonder why a file hasn’t been sent to the Guards. They must be too well connected to the organs of the State.REPLY9SHARE FLAG
According to the Irish Times:
“The chair of the Oireachtas finance committee, Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness, has called for an independent inquiry into the Davy bond controversy.
There had been enough secrecy, he said. It was not “a private matter” as he said had been claimed by Davy chairman John Corrigan.”
This is the same John Corrigan mentioned in my Reports (A Case of Mismanagement of Irish Government Funds), who was at the time of the Innovation Fund Ireland (IFI) sham Chairman of the NPRF (NTMA). Both IFI and the NTMA were at the center of my Reports. Nothing changes in good ol’ boys (and girls?) club Ireland!
And as mentioned earlier, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) in an unprecedented move withdrew Davy’s ability to act as a primary dealer of Irish Government bonds. I believe it was pressured to do so by public sentiment as opposed to respect for any appropriate oversight precedent, which no doubt it would have circumvented had there been limited public outcry.
In the Irish Times, March 13, 2021:
“A board statement talked of significant renewal and cultural change within the organisation in recent years. It said there had been a review of what had happened and action taken. But there was no detail. What had the non-executive directors, most in place since 2016 under chairman John Corrigan, actually done about this?”
“Davy frequently sought to squeeze out other players in big deals, and was cosy with the NTMA, which raises debt for the State. It didn’t quite have the market tied up – but not far off.”
I sent the below email to the Central Bank of Ireland, the Garda Commissioner and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP):
.Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2021, 10:53:26 AM ESTSubject: Re. Davy case.Dear Drew Harris, Garda Commissioner,and Claire Loftus, Director of Public Prosecutions,.I forward you this email FYI.Not to worry, I’m not looking for a reply…don’t want to be put on the Gardai’s merry-go-round again!.Kind regards,Maurice D. Landers.—– Forwarded Message —–Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2021, 10:01:25 AM ESTSubject: Re. Davy case.Dear Gabriel Makhlouf, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland,.I commend the call by John McGuinness TD for an independent inquiry into the Davy bond controversy per the Irish Times article a couple of days ago. I rarely commend Irish politicians these days, particularly Fianna Fail ones, but I wish it had been the Central Bank that made this call..It stated in part,.“The chair of the Oireachtas finance committee, Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness, has called for an independent inquiry into the Davy bond controversy.There had been enough secrecy, he said. It was not “a private matter” as he said had been claimed by Davy chairman John Corrigan.”.I hope the investigation scope will include the NTMA, considering the NTMA’s very close dealings with Davy, and the hiring by them of John Corrigan not long after the bond scheme. John Corrigan’s claim that it was a “private matter” is certainly a red flag in my opinion considering the public aspect of this..I see the Central Bank of Ireland is already setting a seemingly false narrative (link below). Amazing how quick the Central Bank can do an investigation. Very important to start the choreographing immediately to remove criminal activity from the equation I suppose. I spent years trying to get an investigation from everyone including the Central Bank of Ireland but to no avail. My first Report on my U.S. website details my experience dealing with the Central Bank of Ireland.
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/davy-and-the-central-bank-1.4506702.Based on the above link, how in the name of God can the Central Bank of Ireland claim no criminal activity in this case? Could you explain that to me!.I’m dying to see how this test of the Central Bank of Ireland and the Irish justice system will play out, but I’m guessing based upon past experience that it will be just more of the same. I hope I’m proven wrong..Lots of people watching!.Kind regards,Maurice D. Landers
End of email
The link in the email above is an opinion in the Irish Times from a reader, who quotes from Section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001.
The Irish Statute Book states:
Making gain or causing loss by deception. 6.—(1) A person who dishonestly, with the intention of making a gain for himself or herself or another, or of causing loss to another, by any deception induces another to do or refrain from doing an act is guilty of an offence. (2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or both.
If this law is not applied to those involved in the Davy case, it will be clear that the Irish justice system is broken, corroborating that which I have detailed in my Reports over the past six to seven years regarding my own case against the Irish Government, in particular the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF/NTMA) and Enterprise Ireland (EI). Just look at the history of this gombeen organization https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Group
Those who had expressed an interest in Davy, including Julius Baer, Cantor Fitzgerald and Premira, never moved forward on the deal. Why? It seems like a very profitable venture if the price Bank of Ireland is going to pay for it is anything to go by (Bank of Ireland shareholders, except the Irish Government, beware!). But profit doesn’t equate to ethics.
In fact, if you look at all the potential suitors according to the Irish Times, I’m guessing they wouldn’t touch Davy with a barge pole, except for Bank of Ireland, Davy’s last resort, which is effectively an Irish Government bailout as the bank is part-owned by the Irish Government (you’re paying for it again Irish taxpayers!). What reputable foreign asset management firm in their right mind would buy such a tainted entity. It’s business as usual in Ireland, bailout these possible crooks so that they will get tens of millions from the sale (lots of money to spread around), and then let them all off scot free.
And then, “Bank of Ireland will seek permission from Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to allow Davy to retain its variable-pay structure for staff, even as bonuses continue to be banned across bailed-out Irish banks more than a decade after the financial crisis.”
That’ll keep them all quiet! : )
https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/davy-fund-unit-to-be-sold-separately-to-bank-of-ireland-deal-1.4622650And remember, this is the same Bank of Ireland that owned 90% of Davy by 1992. Davy then went independent in 2006 and is again being purchased (bailed out) by Bank of Ireland in 2021. No doubt it will go independent again at some time in the future, and during all of this back and forth, certain people will make lots and lots of money out of it. It reminds me of the old Irish folk song, Lannigan’s Ball (probably where the Irish Government got the idea! : ), except you replace the words “She” and “I” in the lines “She stepped out and I stepped in again” and “I stepped out and she stepped in again” with the words ‘Bank of Ireland’ and ‘Davy. I’m just waiting for the big fight like at the end of Lannigan’s Ball that will put an end to the ‘Irish Government’s Ball’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__uex8Z-u6s.This is no different than the carry on between Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Life Permanent during the 2008 financial crisis when they were moving billions of Euros in and out of each other’s accounts in order to make Anglo’s financial position look healthier than it actually was.https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/irish-life-sale-may-be-hindered-by-queries-into-7-2bn-deposits-in-anglo-1.16107Sound familiar! I refer you to my update Report, link below, p. 9-11 (i.e. my 2nd SIPO complaint re. transfer of funds).https://www.failte32.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/update-report-february-2018.pdf.
Update July 31, 2021:
Opportunity Ireland called it correctly in its comments in the Irish Times (article, link immediately below – earlier screen shot of comments further down as the Irish Times has removed the history of its readers’ comments from all of its articles) prior to the release of the ‘independent’ review on Davy (article, link above) when we referred to the practice of churning.
The article on the independent review begins, “An independent review undertaken at Davy, after the Central Bank fined the firm in March over a bond trade involving a number of senior executives, found that staff – led by “small number of individuals” – engaged in “high levels” of trading in shares and other securities between 2014 and 2020.”
It continues, “The author of the review, Paul Sharma, managing director with Alvarez & Marsal’s (A&M) UK financial services regulatory practice, recommended that the total value of trades executed in staff accounts should be reduced “significantly” in future.”
What the A&M review and the Irish Times failed to mention is that this is what’s known as churning, which according to Investopedia, “Churning is the illegal and unethical practice by a broker of excessively trading assets in a client’s account in order to generate commissions.”
That is, illegal and unethical. That’s why A&M and the Irish Times avoid using the word churning because it’s illegal, instead referring to it as “high levels” of trading. The SEC must be finding this all very amusing!
Perhaps the SEC will now face many law suits from those who have in the past been held accountable by the SEC and FINRA for churning, who will now claim that they were really only engaged in “high levels” of trading which they have since reduced “significantly”? You can only laugh, what else is there left to do…
If you read the complete article, you’ll notice the kid gloves treatment by A&M of not just practices at Davy but also of recommended future actions which seem designed to limit our perceptions of the extent of the crime. Opportunity Ireland never had any faith in this ‘independent’ review as per points 6 and 6(b).
We called it correctly not because of any ingenuity on our part but because we know from years of experience the goings on in the Irish Government and firms with close connections to it (and that would be many!)
Therefore, the people involved should have been held accountable, but as we predicted will not be aside from perhaps the usual slap on the wrist. And customers of Davy who should be reimbursed for being subjected to this illegal practice and likely suffered financial loss because of it, will it seems have to take the hit.
The outcome of the Davy scandal again reflects the continuation of high-level cover ups in Ireland, including involving the Irish Government, where nobody is held accountable.
Update Aug. 5/6, 2021
I used to have a Bank of Ireland account when I lived in Ireland. I will not be opening one again anytime soon, certainly not an investment related one, until such time as I’m 100% (no less) confident that the Davy assimilation adheres to the highest of standards…no excuses! However, considering Bank Of Ireland’s track record (two examples being, wrong information on recapitalization and bonuses, and its relationship with outsourcing companies…incidentally a competitive tender like my case! Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_Ireland), the old saying comes to mind, if you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.
One last question I have on this…why hasn’t the A&M review been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)? I may have already answered this question on p.79 of my first Report. See https://www.failte32.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Report-A-Case-of-Mismanagement-of-Irish-Government-Funds.pdf
Note: the A&M independent review of Davy is already being buried out of sight. Try Googling words such as ‘Davy Ireland independent review A&M’. Very little has been reported about it including by the Irish Times and RTE. In fact, as of writing this, the only article (July 22) I can find is the one above (link) under my July 31 update, all other articles just seeming to clone it. Considering how important this case is to the future integrity of Ireland’s financial system, it’s clear how systemic fraud and corruption is in Ireland, pulling everyone into it, a point I’ve been making since I started writing my Reports 6-7 years ago.
Update Aug. 11, 2021 – in an earlier communication I had with an Irish senior politician where I made a request that the scope of the ‘independent’ review of Davy include the NTMA and John Corrigan in particular, the TD stated in part, “However, vested interests and weak Government tend to get in the way of transparency and accountability!”
I rest my case…
Below is a subsequent communication I sent to the recipients of the above emails (beginning of 6(b)):
.To: [email protected] <[email protected]>; [email protected] <[email protected]>; [email protected] <[email protected]>Sent: Monday, March 22, 2021, 10:03:28 AM EDTSubject: FYI – Davy case.Dear Drew Harris, Garda Commissioner,Claire Loftus, Director of Public Prosecutions,and Gabriel Makhlouf, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland,.Below are some comments I made on the Irish Times’ website recently, for what they’re worth. I was among the first to post my comment and there were no subsequent comments made…not sure what this means?.I wonder if John Corrigan’s departure from the the Irish Association of Investment Managers is a protective measure from any future liability for the possible part he played in all of this?.I send them to you before the ‘review’ is done by some London firm that Davy chose (seems like a case of the fox guarding the hen house…again!).This will be my last communication to you on this matter. I saw similarities between it and my own case against the NPRF/NTMA, but I now need to get back to my own work here in NYC. I can’t be doing all the work for you guyz : ).Kind regards,Maurice D. Landers.First comment below:.https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/davy-review-the-talk-of-lahinch-golf-club-1.4515081...Second comment below:.https://www.irishtimes.com/business/retail-and-services/we-really-need-to-be-able-to-deliver-the-entire-legal-system-online-1.4512981....Below is an email communication sent out to our/Opportunity Ireland complete mailing list in July/Aug. 2021. Our mailing list includes bodies such as the OECD and various other US and international/European regulatory and oversight organizations...Dear All,While not directly an Opportunity Ireland case, it’s related to efforts made by Opportunity Ireland to inspire confidence in Ireland as a place to invest, among a broader base of investors, and this will require a consistent ethical oversight system for long-term sustainability, particularly in light of recent developments by the U.S. and the OECD to introduce a global minimum corporate tax rate. As a result, the ability to attract FDI to Ireland is going to become more difficult in future.An update on the progress of my High Court action can be viewed at (point F):As founder of Opportunity Ireland and plaintiff in this case, I haven’t been shy in the past about stating my position on Ireland’s deplorable oversight system while also implying my opinion on the judicial system in Ireland, and so I have little confidence in winning my case regardless of how well it is presented. The outcome of any case can be predetermined based upon semantics and other legal/judicial techniques/tricks (which the Irish have been witness to recently in the case of Sean Fitzpatrick, former Chairman of Anglo Irish Bank – see my update Report, p.204), but at least I’ll have a ruling on my case that will provide others with a reference point from which to gauge the integrity of Ireland’s oversight and judicial systems.I will be representing myself, not by choice, but rather because I was unable to get even one Irish law firm to represent me. This is the position Irish law firms put you in so that they can protect the Irish Government. The profession is as bad as Ireland’s oversight system as regards holding the Irish Government accountable. Although we believe some recent progress has been made (point A, first link top) but only because it’s being imposed upon the profession.The main reason for my email to you today is because I need as many people informed about my upcoming hearing since it’s in the public interest. And since most oversight bodies in Ireland do not act in the public interest with regards to holding the Irish Government accountable, indeed cover up for it, my case is even more important. And as per point F above (first link top), the Information Commissioner’s Office effectively threatened that they were going to get me to pay all of the costs for this case.Further information on Opportunity Ireland can be found at https://www.failte32.org/job-openings/resume-posting/ including our recent communications with the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohue TD as regards the importance of adopting Opportunity Ireland’s FDIPs concept as a credible strategic approach to overcoming the difficulties Ireland will face in future in terms of attracting FDI.In summary, Opportunity Ireland believes that the 12.5% corporate tax rate on its own will not benefit indigenous Irish industry to the extent that it needs to be, but if the Irish Government’s approach going forward will be to focus exclusively on indigenous industry by using the 12.5% rate in part to attract predominantly FDIPs, then this could be a winning solution. The presence of large MNCs in Ireland can then act as an anchor to help secure these FDIPs.This a completely new approach towards attracting FDI into Ireland.I also direct you to points 6 and 6(b), first link above (top), since there are similarities between the recent Davy (Ireland) scandal and my own case soon to be heard at the High Court, including John Corrigan’s (NTMA) involvement in both cases.Serious concerns should be raised about the recent release of the independent review on the scandal which failed to mention the illegal practice of ‘churning’ at Davy, instead choosing to describe the practice with kid gloves. Opportunity Ireland implied this practice at Davy long before the release of this review. See point 6(b), Update July 31, 2021.We will shortly be posting the date of the hearing on the Failte 32 website under point F above.Kind regards,Maurice D. Landers..6 (c).Below are other articles commented on by Opportunity Ireland..Comment by Opportunity Ireland on the first article below reminds people that there are other options open to Irish companies listed on the Irish stock exchange should the Davy scandal limit trading in these stocks. Irish companies have to break away from the protectionist mindset that permeates the Irish financial system from the Central Bank of Ireland on downwards..Comment by Opportunity Ireland and others on the second article below highlight the importance for the Irish Government to get away from the tax haven mentality in order to attract FDI..Comment by Opportunity on the third, fourth and fifth articles below highlight the importance of ‘FDI Partnerships’ for Ireland now that its corporation tax advantage is going to be eroded and as unemployment among our youth has skyrocketed....https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/goodbody-its-suitor-aib-and-ireland-inc-need-davy-to-find-good-home-1.4521043.....https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/ireland-will-not-fall-over-if-the-crutch-of-low-corporate-tax-is-kicked-away-1.4531328.........https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/we-are-at-another-watershed-moment-for-the-irish-economy-1.4542498........https://www.irishtimes.com/business/retail-and-services/ken-fennell-there-is-a-growing-feeling-that-there-could-be-a-lot-of-companies-in-trouble-1.4545706......https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/young-people-are-bearing-the-brunt-of-this-economic-crisis-1.4558728........6 (d).The email communication below was sent to EU, US and Irish regulatory bodies and others on May 31, 2021...Dear All,First, to U.S. recipients of this email, we wish you a good Memorial Day.Opportunity Ireland (Failte 32) responded to a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, by sending a communication to Ireland’s Minister Donohoe, which gave kudos to Ireland’s defense of its 12.5% corporate tax rate. Note: When we refer to a 12.5% corporate tax, we know it’s not necessarily 12.5%, but we state it for whatever it is, be that a closer to zero percent rate for large MNCs or part of a plethora of tax loopholes that attracts large MNCs to Ireland. But on its own, it does nothing to improve indigenous Irish industry. And you can’t be taking the innovation of other countries unless there’s a positive loop back to them (considering that U.S. corporate tax contributions to U.S. federal revenues is only approx. 7%, we sometimes find it hard to understand what all the hullabaloo is about if all a nation has to do is match the rate. So, it’s likely something a lot more complicated. But we’re neither tax experts nor economists).We also placed our response in the Irish Times. See first print screen/link near end of email. Such a defense of Ireland’s 12.5% rate on its own we believe only again acknowledges Ireland’s tax haven status. If the Irish Government truly believed in our educated workforce and all the other so called benefits it says Ireland has to offer, it wouldn’t need to defend something that is so controversial globally. That said, our communication with Minister Donohoe does offer a possible compromise.As many of you know, the founder of Opportunity Ireland recently had a letter to the editor published in the WSJ which highlighted his alma matter, the University of Limerick, and how UL’s founder, Dr. Ed Walsh, was ahead of the game when it came to third level education in Ireland.The Irish Government should be proud that the WSJ again, after just over two months, gave Ireland another plug again in its opinion section (most read section) including stating, “Ireland adopted policies that were ahead of their time…”,
https://www.wsj.com/articles/irelands-tax-lesson-for-biden-11622154655.no doubt a quote taken from Opportunity Ireland’s founders’ earlier letter to the editor. https://www.wsj.com/articles/custom-degrees-help-grads-and-employers-11615745704The Irish Government had the benefit of the good example set by people like Ed Walsh to push Ireland forward from the early 70s, and now it has the WSJ and Opportunity Ireland giving it necessary PR which we hope it will use wisely by taking a leaf out of Opportunity Ireland’s book and developing indigenous industry in Ireland using FDIPs. Even after the abuse Opportunity Ireland experienced from the Irish Government over the years, we’re still big enough to do the right thing for Ireland by trying to assist the Irish Government. What will it take for the Irish Government to take the high road and do the right thing for the Irish people and broader indigenous Irish industry, and keep its members’ personal interests out of it?If the Irish Government keeps reinforcing our dependency on a tax rate, Ireland will end up being nothing more than a ‘house of taxes’ by artificially propping up the economy. You’re not allowed to defend something as important and controversial as a 12.5% corporate tax rate if it doesn’t benefit broader indigenous Irish industry and the masses.The Irish Government’s strategy has to now evolve (to use their own lingo!), indeed it should have evolved many years back, where it can now capitalize using FDIPs on the benefits a 12.5% rate has provided Ireland in the form of an impressive line up of U.S. MNCs. Without this evolution Ireland will be left in a precarious position.Regarding the second print screen/link near end (Opportunity Ireland’s comment on David McWilliams article), we believe it important to criticize this type of one-sided journalism. We’re just over a decade past the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and here we go again, the “new world” order people telling us to spend like there’s no tomorrow. Do we never learn! And David McWilliams is a well recognized economist. We often like to quote the old saying about economists that they’re great at predicting the past, but in this case he seems unable to predict the past never mind the future! : )We implore the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council to be careful not to be carried along by no doubt the beginnings of more madness. Incidentally, this council was only set up back in 2012, obviously in part due to the crisis, and less than ten years later they’re being criticized for prudent fiscal management. This is the type of bullying behavior that can compromise the integrity of these independent oversight bodies.McWilliams is a very smart, intelligent person and so we’re at a loss as to why he would take this approach. All we’re being reminded of here is a situation where certain people at the top want to again create a ‘war’ that will line their own pockets, as by definition they already know the outcome, no predicting necessary. The ultimate insider trading scenario. They know that they will be bailed out by the masses again and again and so have nothing to lose by letting the chips fall where they may…they run the casino. Are we being too conspiratorial here? Has this not happened multiple times before even with oversight bodies up the wazoo? Are we way off by saying this?.******** Note – we removed 3-4 paragraphs of this email as they misinterpreted McWilliams’ point on project management ********.………yet his platform is large enough to influence the government in going back to its old practices (ironically, counter to the point of his article) that got us into the 2008 mess in the first place.It’s dangerous to emulate the borrowing practices of other nations (mention of Phillip Lane in article) as it might have little to do with your own nation’s borrowing context. Wasn’t there a time when Irish CEOs were whining about their salaries not being in alignment with their European counterparts, as if this is a reason to raise your salary. Rest assured, if the salaries of their EU counterparts were lower, you wouldn’t have heard a peep out of them. As we’ve said before in one of our Reports, greed never learns, and many policies are based on greed, not merit, unfortunately.So, while we have to evolve strategically when it comes to FDI by using FDIPs as per the first part of our email, we also have to defend against mentalities that will bring us one step forward and two steps back…into the abyss!Kind regards,Maurice D. LandersFounder – Opportunity Irelandhttps://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/big-decision-looms-for-paschal-donohoe-over-ireland-s-12-5-corporation-tax-rate-1.4578092
......End of email....6 (e)..
I recently received a response from the Irish Government (Minister Paschal Donohue) to the opinion I expressed to him, and added as a comment in the Irish Times, about Ireland’s 12.5% corporate tax regime (link below). As usual, his reply was all talk, but the talk was such that he wanted to give the impression that the 12.5% rate has also been instrumental in developing indigenous Irish industry when he stated,”This rate is applied to a broad base,…”, when in fact he was just trying to include, or back his story into, that which Opportunity Ireland has been recommending to the Irish Government via its FDIPs.
It’s obvious the Irish Government now wants to push this narrative in order to reinforce its support for the 12.5% corporate tax rate in light of recent developments by the U.S. and the OECD to introduce a global minimum corporate tax rate, and pretend that the government’s focus has always been as much on indigenous industry development as it has been on attracting large MNCs to Ireland. This of course is not the case as indigenous industry in Ireland has been neglected and underdeveloped for many decades now in terms of export figures from indigenous businesses versus MNCs. But as long as the Irish Government is now going to seriously and primarily focus on indigenous industry development, which seems to be the case if Minister Donohue’s response is anything to go by, then we’re fine with them taking the credit by copying us as long as long as it doesn’t hurt us, as ultimately it will benefit the Irish people over time.
Anyhow, I haven’t heard back from either government department (see communications below). I don’t expect to as there is in fact no correlation between the corporate tax rate and the growth in indigenous industry over the past 25 years, and Minister Varadkar can’t admit that Opportunity Ireland is telling him something he knows the Irish Government needs to do.
(Update Aug. 3, 2021 – I did hear back from the Minister for Finance, but not the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and so I stand corrected in part anyway and have included his response to my second email to him below. While he endeavors to find a correlation, I was correct when I said there is none, although I’ll concede there may have been some incidental correlation over the years, but you the reader can decide. I’m surprised by the government’s limited defense that such a correlation exists in its email reply to me below considering all the resources it has at its disposal, which obviously means that at most a tenuous and incidental correlation exists, certainly nothing purposeful)
There endeth the lesson Irish Government, you now know what needs to be done.In summary, Opportunity Ireland believes that the 12.5% corporate tax rate on its own will not benefit indigenous Irish industry to the extent that it needs to be, but if the Irish Government’s approach going forward will be to focus exclusively on indigenous industry by using the 12.5% in part to attract predominantly FDIPs, then this could be a winning solution. The presence of large MNCs in Ireland will now act as an anchor to help secure these FDIPs. But it’s a completely new focus towards attracting FDI into Ireland..See my communications with the Minister below:.Dear Minister Donohoe,I disagree with your defense of the 12.5% corporate tax rate in principal. I believe it to be an insular approach where the rate is nothing more than a security blanket for Ireland’s future.For many years now, I have been pushing for a different approach to developing Ireland’s indigenous industry. It has not and will not develop significantly with a 12.5% rate.Tax policy has had success attracting large MNCs to Ireland but we never capitalized on their presence to seed indigenous growth. If your defense of the 12.5% is to take a new approach with the overriding intention of focusing on indigenous business development, then I may temper my stance on your defense.But that said, I still believe you have to take a leaf out of Opportunity Ireland’s book and utilize Opportunity Ireland’s strategic approach of Foreign Direct Investment Partnerships (FDIPs). Both approaches will lead to a symbiotic relationship (I detest using these types of words, it makes me sound like Enterprise Ireland! : ) that can successfully develop indigenous businesses.And such a focus will be good for both the U.S. and Ireland in that we won’t be viewed as poaching their large corporations. It will be a win-win scenario as opposed to a defensive one.Take it or leave it, at least I have it on the record.Kind regards,Maurice D. Landers
Our Ref: FIN-MO-03222-2021
Mr Maurice D Landers
Dear Mr Landers
The Minister for Finance, Mr Paschal Donohoe TD, has asked me to reply to your email of 28 May 2021 where you commented on the 12.5% corporation tax rate and recommended the use of Foreign Direct Investment Partnerships to seed indigenous growth. Your input has been considered by Department officials.
In relation to Ireland’s corporation tax regime, it is a core part of the economic policy mix and is a longstanding anchor of the offering on foreign direct investment (FDI). Our corporation tax regime has been an important part of industrial policy since the 1950s and has attracted real and substantive operations to Ireland since then, bringing real jobs and investment into the country. At 12.5%, Ireland has one of the most competitive headline corporation tax rates in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This rate is applied to a broad base, a policy that is endorsed by the likes of the OECD because it is good for growth in our economy.Indeed, the OECD hierarchy of taxes finds that corporate taxes are the most harmful to economic growth. Therefore, the rationale of maintaining the low but substantial rate of 12.5% is to encourage entrepreneurship and investment into businesses of all sizes. The success of these businesses feeds into higher tax receipts in tax heads such as income tax, VAT, property tax and so on.
Furthermore, while corporation tax is statutorily levied on the profits of businesses, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) states that researchers have concluded that a large share of the burden of any increased rate is likely to be borne by workers in the form of lower wages. This can arise from companies deciding to invest less, leading to lower capital and lower labour productivity and wages. As the ESRI found that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) predominantly finance their investments in fixed assets, intangible assets and staff through internal funds, the 12.5% rate of corporation tax enhances the ability of SMEs to invest and grow.
To complement the State’s competitive tax rate, the Government also ensure that Ireland continues to play to its traditional strengths, including a forward-looking business environment; a whole-of-Government approach, to ensure that we remain agile and competitive; and, importantly, recognizing the value of an educated and dynamic workforce that has consistently delivered innovation and profitability for businesses over many decades.
I hope this correspondence helps to explain the Department’s position.
The second issue you raise is a matter in the first instance for Mr Leo Varadkar TD, Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and your correspondence has been forwarded to his Department for attention and direct reply to you.
Private Secretary to the Minister for FinanceDear Minister Donohue,
I suppose the bottom line is the growth in indigenous industry (using an accurate measure) in Ireland since the adoption of the 12.5% corporate tax rate in the late 90s. Can the Irish Government show a correlation between the tax rate and the growth in indigenous industry over the past 25 years?
All that matters are the results. What are the results? I didn’t see any in your response. Surely you can provide accurate, not fabricated or politicized, empirical data on this?
Maurice D. Landers...Received Aug. 3, 2021.
Our Ref: FIN-MO-03222-2021
Mr Maurice D Landers
Dear Mr Landers
The Minister for Finance, Mr Paschal Donohoe TD, has asked me to reply to your email of 1 July 2021 where you asked for details of the growth in indigenous industry in Ireland since the adoption of the 12.5% corporation tax rate. Officials in the Department’s Economics Division have advised me as follows:
The type of empirical analysis implied here requires there to be variability in the headline rate, to attribute correlation between growth of the indigenous enterprise sector and the statutory tax rate. This has not been the case since 2003. Notwithstanding this, correlation does not necessarily imply causation, since industry performance is also driven by a number of non-tax factors.
Although now outdated, Thomas Conefrey and John D. FitzGerald’s paper “The macro-economic impact of changing the rate of corporation tax” (Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 991-999, May 2011) estimated that the reduction in the headline rate to 12.5% by 2003 led to a level of economic output as measured by gross national product (GNP) in 2005 that was 3.7% higher than would have otherwise been the case. The Department of Finance has regularly referenced the distortions to both gross domestic product (GDP) and GNP that have emerged in the intervening period and which relate primarily to activities of the multinational sector.
It is also important to note that foreign direct investment generates significant spillover benefits for host economies and for indigenous domestic firms in particular. Although hard to quantify directly, these benefits manifest through business linkages and movement of workers. For example, the OECD’s 2020 “FDI Qualities Assessment of Ireland” report notes that, between 2009 and 2015, more than one in four employees at foreign firms either moved to a domestic firm or subsequently became self-employed, thereby enhancing the skills base of the indigenous sector. Furthermore, one in three start-up founders previously worked at a foreign firm, signalling the positive knowledge spillover and innovation dividend from foreign investment in Ireland.
I hope the above information is of assistance.
Private Secretary to the Minister for Finance
A Member of the Minister for Finance staff. The Minister is a Designated Public Official under the Regulation of Lobbying Act, 2015 (details available on www.lobbying.ie).....Below is an email communication we sent to part of our Opportunity Ireland mailing list on Sept. 22, 2021, including some in the Irish American community, which relates to the above communication with the Minister for Finance..Dear All,Opportunity Ireland welcomes the news in the Irish Times yesterday about the possibility of two corporate tax rates in Ireland, one for larger MNCs and another for SMEs, most of which are indigenous Irish companies.The Times stated in part:“Speaking after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Mr Varadkar raised the possibility that there could be two corporation tax rates in Ireland, and said that the 12.5 per cent rate would be retained for smaller and mid-size companies.”https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/any-change-in-corporate-tax-rate-would-only-affect-very-large-companies-varadkar-1.4679700?localLinksEnabled=falseWe are now confident that we might be having an influence on Irish Government policy because otherwise Minister Donohue would have mentioned this in his response in August, 2021, to the opinion we expressed to him regarding the corporate tax rate and Irish indigenous industry. See section (F) 6(e) of following link https://www.failte32.org/2019/12/new-development-after-my-reports-published/Additionally, this type of dual tax proposal seems completely new, certainly after Opportunity Ireland’s suggestions to the Irish Government, which is no surprise as nations are still negotiating pillar two of the BEPS 2.0 project.And I think we’ve demonstrated in our Reports occasions where the Irish Government will emulate your ideas, and unfortunately other times take advantage of US/Irish business and community projects you’re working on.(Incidentally, Minister Varadkar never replied to us even though Minister Donohue forwarded our communication to him for a response – perhaps he doesn’t want others to think that Opportunity Ireland is influencing his policy making? : )The Irish Government seems to be taking the first step of our recommendation by negotiating a continuation of the 12.5% rate for Irish indigenous industry. If the Irish Government will now adopt Opportunity Ireland’s FDIPs strategic approach, Ireland will certainly be on the path to a more prosperous and stable economic environment.Opportunity Ireland states:In summary, Opportunity Ireland believes that the 12.5% corporate tax rate on its own will not benefit indigenous Irish industry to the extent that it needs to be, but if the Irish Government’s approach going forward will be to focus exclusively on indigenous industry by using the 12.5% in part to attract predominantly FDIPs, then this could be a winning solution. The presence of large MNCs in Ireland will now act as an anchor to help secure these FDIPs. But it’s a completely new focus towards attracting FDI into Ireland.Kind regards,Maurice D. LandersEnd of email..Regarding the above Irish Times link, another Irish Times article shortly after states in part:.“Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said he is engaging with the European Commission to clarify whether Ireland could continue to levy a 12.5 per cent rate on companies with turnover of less than €750 million, if it signs up to an international plan for a minimum 15 per cent global rate for companies generating more than this amount a year.”.https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/donohoe-seeks-eu-clarity-on-whether-dual-corporate-tax-rates-may-be-possible-1.4682001....Below is a subsequent/follow up email communication we sent to the same mailing list above (part of our Opportunity Ireland mailing list, including some in the Irish American community) on Oct. 5, 2021...Dear All,While we hoped Ireland would be allowed to maintain the 12.5% corporate tax rate for indigenous Irish companies, unfortunately, this now looks unlikely as most of you probably know.The approach the Irish Government has subsequently taken since we assume the EU told them they couldn’t keep the 12.5% rate is:The Government has been seeking a key change in the language in the plan, which had said that a global minimum corporate tax rate of “ at least 15 per cent” would be introduced. Mr Donohoe had called for the “at least” to be removed to leave clarity on the future rate.https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/progress-made-in-corporate-tax-discussions-as-government-receives-revised-text-donohoe-1.4690882While we support this ‘next best thing’ approach, it looks like Opportunity Ireland was ominously right again when we stated back in 2015 (first Report, p.66, link below):“I remember subsequently questioning the Irish Government on the corporate tax rate, using the above as an example, and they reassured me that the corporate tax rate is here to stay. Yes, it’s here to stay until it’s not here to stay. Remember, Ireland’s economic sovereignty was lost to the EU during the bailout, and Ireland still hasn’t fully regained its economic independence, particularly in the context of Treaties such as the Lisbon Treaty, where the European Commission has indefinite authority to monitor Ireland’s finances, and may do so in a more strict sense going forward. The point being that in the future, it might not be the Irish Government that unilaterally makes the decision on whether the corporate tax rate remains. And don’t think just because you’re a multinational that you’re unlikely to be affected. There is a real risk (loss of profit and even substantial future costs) to multinationals that have operations in a country with a controversial and precarious tax regimen.”And that was only about six years ago.It seems the Irish Government is the only one who believed it could unilaterally set Ireland’s corporate tax rate. Welcome to the EU Irish Government!We wonder what it will learn (Not!) from this?On another note, we heard back from the ODCE regarding the three complaints we submitted to them against PwC, Chartered Accountants Ireland (ICAI) and the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA). We will update you shortly including their decision letter. We’ll try to update you on a Monday so that we can all have a good laugh on a day that is often a depressing one : )Kind regards,Maurice D. Landers..
If you recall, back in 2015/2016 I sent you a copy of my 164-page Report (Report 1) titled “A Case of Mismanagement of Irish Government Funds.” See link at end.
This update Report will be my final communication to you, and its purpose is to continue where Report 1 left off and effectively lay everything out so that you can draw your own conclusions, just as I have.
I’d like to thank whichever member nation uploaded Report 1 onto the European Ombudsman Institute website (it certainly wasn’t Ireland).
Although I believe I made a good case in Report 1 that there was very likely inappropriate behavior (mismanagement of taxpayer funds) relating to Innovation Fund Ireland (IFI) on the part of the Irish Government, I still had some subsequent work to do to exhaust the limited number of options I had available to me to hold the Irish Government accountable.
Once this subsequent work was done, I was then able to submit my complaints (two) to the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) where I attempted to get a ruling of at least an ethical violation on the part of the Irish Government.
Additionally, I decided to go a step further and send all of these SIPO communications (complaints/decisions) to other relevant oversight bodies, representing a request for an investigation by these bodies.
But first, let me discuss in more detail what the alleged crime was…click on link above.
Maurice D. Landers
Note – Update by author to update Report:
1. Regarding the link to the CIA Reading Room on page 27, to access the document just type in the number in the link (0006184107) in the search box of the page the link pulls up. The link I provided brought you straight to the document but has since been changed slightly and instead brings up what’s new on the CIA electronic reading room, but the CIA document is still accessible.
2. Regarding the link to an article (on The Law is my Oyster) on p.35 of my update Report, it has since been disabled, no doubt at the Irish Government’s request. I did reach out to ‘The Law is my Oyster’ but never heard back from them. I guess they got what they wanted out of the Irish Government? The article criticized the NPRF/NTMA and corroborated the experience one of the Groups I cofounded (Celtic Power Group) had dealing with the Irish Government. Celtic Power was the second project we brought to the Irish Government (inc. Northern Ireland). And just like our first project (Iverna Group) in the life sciences space, the Irish Government takes your idea and gives it to somebody else, it seems this time to Cyclone Wind Farms (AMP Capital Investors) in 2012 (we brought our idea for a 50MW wind farm to Irish Government/Northern Ireland in 2010). At that time, the Irish Government made it very clear that it doesn’t provide funding for these types of projects as the Government viewed such projects as not providing the same, if any, economic benefits when compared to FDI and other enterprise development schemes (Iverna was a FDI project while Celtic Power was initially non-FDI but we planned on bringing FDI related investment later). Interesting how Irish Government economic and business principles (indeed rationality) can change very quickly when you’re likely raiding a tax payer funded pensions scheme (i.e. NPRF – just like it was raided via Innovation Fund Ireland back in 2010) at an opportune time when it’s ‘transitioning’ to a different type of structure (ISIF). Lesson to be learned…stay away from these Irish Government bastards.
Cyclone Wind Farms | AMP Capital
Irish infrastructure fund backed by NPRF buys wind-farm stake | News | IPE
3. The link to SIPO investigation reports on page 83 was in fact changed by SIPO after my update Report was published. It is now:
Investigation Reports | Reports & Publications | SIPO.ie
4. Re. p.110, second sentence, as was noticed on July 22, 2022, this link no longer displays a ‘Page not found’ message.
5. Re. p.113, 10th line from end, I’m referring to the current article (which has since been removed – I, the author of this Report, noticed this on July 22, 2022) when I say “it is missing”.
6. Re. p.102, all of these links have been disabled by the Irish Government (obviously after they received my Reports – I, the author of this Report, noticed this on July 22, 2022, in fact earlier but I state it here as of this date). As mentioned before when other links were disabled by the Irish Government and others referenced in my Reports, I had preempted this by making screen shots of the linked articles as backup. See – first link, second link, third link. I have more screen shots of other related articles (Innovation Fund Ireland) if you the reader require them. If you notice any other links disabled in my Reports, please let me know at [email protected] as I will likely have a screen shot of the article/s.
7. Additionally, I refer to text on certain websites throughout my Reports such as for example hyperbole on PwC’s website (p. 182 of my update Report). This text or hyperbole may have been changed or otherwise altered since my Reports were published.
It’s been a while since my last communication to you on matters relating to Failte 32 and Opportunity Ireland, and indeed matters relating to support for the Irish at home and abroad, but this communication is of particular importance to me and I believe the Irish people. It is also of importance to international investors.
I’m sure most of you will remember the three documents (summary documents) I sent to you last year. These documents relate to what I believe was very likely mismanagement of Irish Government funds by two of Ireland’s Government Agencies, the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) and Enterprise Ireland (EI), in their treatment of applications for funding by U.S. and other investors under a competitive tender/expression of interest program called Innovation Fund Ireland (IFI).
I spent the past year or so seeking a formal investigation into my case, but with little success.
However, my attempts to initiate an investigation during this period revealed what I believe to be a systemic problem with Ireland’s oversight system. Therefore, although I had no previous intention of writing another document regarding this case, I thought it only appropriate to provide a public record of my results, and since I had little success initiating an investigation, there really was no other course of action open to me.
My requests for an investigation followed a path to many different organizations and public bodies, and it wasn’t an easy task to document my case without coming across as if I was pointing the finger at quite a few people. The multiple bodies I have singled out certainly gave me reason to (and imply a systemic problem), and most are part of the Irish Government. The journey revealed some interesting and unexpected insights along the way through the replies I received…
Maurice D. Landers
Report – A Case of Mismanagement of Irish Government Funds
Note – Update by author to above Report:
1. The link to the FAS Shampoo Scandal on page 68 is no longer active. Please use the following link instead: how the fas scandal unfolded – Independent.ie
2. Re. p.29, when I state in part (9th and 10th lines), “and perhaps give the impression that there was more structure to IFI than was in its original ‘design’.”
I believe Innovation Fund Ireland (IFI) started out legitimately (well, as legit as any Irish Government funding process is) but then became compromised when the then Fianna Fail government realized they were about to lose office before the IFI evaluation process was completed. When I say above “more structure”, I mean more structure to the IFI evaluation process. In other words, funds were illegally disbursed to a U.S. private equity firm/s before the evaluation process was complete and so the Irish Government had to subsequently inflate the evaluation process in their email to me to give the impression that a legitimate process had taken place.
At the end of the Summary I mentioned that I would follow up with my own analysis/expert opinion which you could compare to your own.
Please see attached (links below), and your feedback will be welcome.
Maurice D. Landers
Maurice Landers – My Experience of bringing Investor Groups to Ireland
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Failte 32 Committee