A regular correspondent, Valvadus, has requested an opportunity to share some opinions on topical issues with you. I don’t endorse them all, but am happy to accomodate.
” Bank Bonuses. We, the gullible, tax-paying (in most cases) public, have always been told that banks had to pay US style salaries, so as to retain bank executives of the highest calibre. That contention has now been entirely disproved, as these “talented” bankers have been shown to be empty suits. However, their primary physical characteristic – a neck of iron – is reappearing, and we will soon see new justifications for seven-figure salaries, commensurate bonuses and cut-price share options.
However, there is a simple solution to the question of bank executive remuneration. Banks should be divided into two categories: those that avail of state deposit protection, and those that decline such protection.
In any bank that chooses protection, salaries and any bonuses would be limited by statute, and all details published. Any bank that elects not to avail of state protection could pay whatever it likes – as long as it is understood that if it fails it will not be supported in any way by the state, and its depositors and shareholders will lose their entire investment.
Give Fas the RUC Treatment
I do not mean send them all to Castlereagh barracks for interrogation, although many in Fas deserve such treatment. (There has always been corruption in Fas, and not just at the top. It has been endemic in many areas, and has tainted an organisation that does have many good and honest people in it.)
What I do mean is that Fas is an entirely discredited organisation, and simply putting a new person in charge will not bring about the radical reform that is needed. We need an entirely new body, a la the PRSI, to handle the State Training remit. Many of the old regime need to be “retired”, and new managers recruited from private industry.
Budgets need to be managed in an innovate way, so as to avoid the existing model where the annual budget must be spent at all costs.
The criteria against which the new organisation’s performance would be judged should be established outside the organisation. Fas has been allowed to set its own targets, and then congratulate itself for superb achievement, year on year.
And all expenditure by or on behalf of executives and directors should be published on the organisation’s website.
The Sunday Independent of 27th September carried a half-page advertisement on behalf of irelandforeurope, exhorting the reader to Put Ireland First, by voting yes in the upcoming Lisbon referendum. It is a wonderful lesson in how not to do what it purports to do.
Firstly, the Yes side can not claim to have a monopoly on putting Ireland first. To suggest otherwise is to offend people who have an open mind, or who have already decided to vote No.
The advertisement does not contain even one attempt at persuasive argument, and is basically a load of emotive pap. It asserts: Our children deserve to grow up in an Ireland of opportunity, equality and fair play. Given the length of time Ireland has been in Europe, and the failure to achieve these admirable objectives thus far, this seems to me to be an argument for voting No.
Valvadus did not vote No last time, but any more of this type of rubbish is likely to make me do so this time.”