FORMER Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm failed to include some
details of $1.2m (€870,000) in cash transferred to his wife Lorraine before he
sought a US bankruptcy because he "forgot", a court heard.
He also said he forgot to include a €6,000 loan made to his brother days before
he signed official papers in the US in December 2010, declaring he had not made
loans to family members.
Mr Drumm denied trying to conceal the loan as he appeared in a Boston court,
where his entitlement to bankruptcy is being challenged by IBRC and the
But he did concede that he lied on a US mortgage application – used to buy a $2m
(€1.4m) home in the upmarket Boston suburb of Wellesley.
He signed the papers without declaring that he was being sued at the time,
something explicitly asked in the forms.
IRISH households pay among the highest prices in Europe for
electricity as bills here rose twice as much as the rest of the continent last
A new Eurostat report shows that Ireland has the fourth most expensive
electricity in the EU and the price rose by 5.1pc in the second half of 2013
compared with just 2.8pc across Europe.
Meanwhile, nearly 1,000 Irish homes had their electricity cut off in March
because of failure to pay the bills, the latest figures from the Energy
Some 971 homes had their electricity cut off and 479 had their gas cut off once
the winter moratorium on disconnections ended, although up to 40pc of those
homes might be vacant, the regulator said.
Consumers in Ireland pay €24.10 per 100 kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity which
is 20pc higher than the EU average of €20.10.
Brendan Keenan: THE Cabinet's Praetorian Guard. That was the
description of Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte in a recent interview in the
The Praetorian Guard, of course, were responsible for protecting the Roman
emperor. But they had an unfortunate reputation for doing away with their charge
if they thought he wasn't up to the job.
Mr Rabbitte perhaps is better likened to a Roman Consul; sent out to do battle
when the barbarians are at the gates. On the other hand, some on his own side
may have detected, in that interview, the sound of a sword being loosed in its
But enough of the classical metaphors. What we can say is that Mr Rabbitte has
had a key role in maintaining relations between the coalition partners. He keeps
in close touch with Finance Minister Michael Noonan. His comments on budgetary
strategy are therefore worthy of note.
IRELAND has moved two notches up the global competitiveness
rankings and holds a better ranking than some major European countries.
The USA and Switzerland topped the list, but Singapore knocked Hong Kong off the
third place slot, according to the World Competitiveness Yearbook compiled by
the Swiss business school IMD.
Ireland ranked 15th, up from 17th place last year, and the 24th position
recorded in 2011, but we're still behind the 10th spot we had in 1997.
Anne-France Borgeaud, senior economist and head of WCC operations, told the
Irish Independent that the perception of this country is much more positive than
during last year.
Eurozone marriage breakup would be ‘carnage’, says Martin Wolf:
Honeymoon period long gone for Ireland, so time to increase political
The talk given yesterday at the Institute of International and European Affairs
in Dublin by Financial Times commentator Martin Wolf was a sobering enough
Using the idea of a marriage, the veteran economics commentator said that once
it was decided, after the emergence of the crisis, that even a partial breakup
of the euro zone would involve “carnage”, it was clear that this was a marriage
from which there would be no exit.
This, he said, has enormous consequences. Because the crisis has been
interpreted as a fiscal rather than a financial crisis, the creditor countries
within the monetary union had their view that it had nothing to do with them
Flyers with sensitive ears rejoice, Ryanair is to change its
on-time landing trumpet jingle on all flights. The move comes after it surveyed
passengers on Twitter to see if the post-flight music was much-loved or
The airline said the “famous on-time bugle” was one of the aspects of the
experience it was looking at as part if a series of enhancements of customer
“We asked our followers on Twitter to vote on whether we should change it. The
people have spoken and after hundreds of votes, they’ve voted for change, so
we’re looking forward to unveiling our next customer improvement soon,” Ryanair
spokesman Robin Kiely said in a statement. It is not yet clear when the bugle
will be turned off or what sound, if any, will replace it.
Clashes between party leaders over the economy dominated the
final stages of the election campaign yesterday, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny
calling on voters to reject policies that would jeopardise economic recovery.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin attacked Sinn Féin for copying Labour’s
“unrealistic general election promises”, while Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said
citizens were being forced to pay for the actions of bankers, developers and
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, meanwhile, dismissed any suggestion he would face a
challenge to his leadership if Labour had a poor result.
Only six homes have become available to Dublin City
Council this year under a scheme designed to encourage private landlords to make
their properties available for social housing on a long-term basis.
Almost three times as many landlords removed
their flats and houses from the scheme, which was introduced to provide
long-term tenancies for people on the social housing waiting list. Ninety more
landlords have given the council notice that they want to quit the scheme.
The rental accommodation scheme (RAS) was set up
in 2004 to offset the lack of social housing construction. Under the scheme
local authorities draw up contracts with landlords to provide housing for people
who have been on the waiting list for more than 18 months, and pay rent directly
to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.
Aldi is to create 450 new jobs this year, as it expands its
store network throughout the country.
The company is looking to recruit area managers, store managers, assistant store
managers and store assistants.
“We expect to build further on the sustained growth we have achieved in the last
few years, opening a further seven stores and hiring an additional 450 employees
in 2014,” Niall O’Connor, managing director, Aldi Mitchelstown region said.
He said the financial and benefits packages on offer were extremely competitive,
with average hourly rates some 30 per cent above the industry norm.
“We also have one the highest staff satisfaction and retention rates in the
industry, with many of our team still with us from our earliest days in
Ireland,” he added.
The government procurement process was a shambles, with untrained
staff copying and pasting tender documents with no real understanding of what
they were doing, according to Paul Quinn, the new chief procurement officer.
Mr Quinn has come from the private sector to help restructure and streamline the
€9bn-a-year of government procurement which covers everything from bullets for
the army to paper for schools.
Speaking at the Cork Chamber business breakfast, he said staff in public
procurement lack the training to realise they are placing barriers in the way of
SMEs when they simply copy and paste tender documents.
“We have a lot of people currently in the public procurement space who have
limited training and limited experience. When they go to run a tender, sometimes
what they do is copy and paste,” Mr Quinn said.
Euro Topics: Moscow and Beijing are expanding
their strategic partnership. During Russian President Vladimir Putin's state
visit to China both sides signed several economic agreements on Tuesday. Putin
aims to weaken the US with this alliance, but in view of Moscow's international
isolation it's clearly Beijing that is calling the shots, commentators conclude.
Beijing taking advantage of Putin's weakness: More than ever Beijing is
dictating the rules of cooperation to Moscow, the liberal Italian daily La
Stampa observes: "Vladimir Putin is no longer welcome in the West so he
flies to the East. ... He brought a package of over 40 bilateral agreements to
the summit in Shanghai, and he stressed that Russia's most important trading
partner was no longer Germany but China. But behind the veil of these harmonious
statements on a 'strategic partnership' discordant tones can be heard. Once
again Putin has failed to persuade Xi to sign the mega gas deal that Gazprom has
been trying to seal for almost ten years. Beijing sees the contractual terms as
too binding and is aware that Putin's hand is worse than ever. With a shrinking
economy and the danger of being ostracised by the West, Russia has manoeuvred
itself into an unusual situation. ... The Kremlin doesn't have unlimited
options, and pragmatic Xi knows it."
ECB must react to criticism of euro: The Eurosceptic voices in the European
elections must be heeded and the ECB must ease its monetary policy, the
left-liberal French daily Libération demands: "Debate has once again flared
up over the exchange rate of the euro. Some claim the European currency is
over-valued, constituting a structural handicap to exports. At the same time
this over-valuation contributes to deflation, the mother of all recessions. The
most radical voices are calling for abolishment of the euro and a return to
national currencies. This claim is advanced by populist parties, but also by
renowned economists on the far left. Such voices of discord must be heeded, even
if they come from the minority. More prudently, other economists and politicians
say the ECB, like the American or Chinese central banks, should use the euro
exchange rate to support the tentative recovery in Europe. They too must be
listened to. Monetary orthodoxy has its democratic limits."
IMF help only makes Ukrainians poorer: At the
end of April the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved loans for Ukraine
totalling €12.3bn subject to certain conditions. But the only ones to profit
from the loans will be the Western lenders, economist Michael Burke writes in
the left-liberal daily The Guardian: "It should be remembered that the
actual beneficiaries of all such IMF bailouts are not the people of the country
concerned but their creditors, the holders of government bonds and the large
banks. The bondholders are set to be paid out in full despite their failed bets.
Operating within the 'Washington consensus', IMF bailouts are a supranational
form of loan-sharking. ... The effect of the IMF intervention, then, acting as
it does in the interest of western creditors rather than the Ukrainian people,
will be only to further impoverish the population of Ukraine."
Germany should select its migrants carefully: For the first time Germany
occupied second place after the US in the ranking of the most popular countries
for immigration, a newly published study by the OECD for the year 2012 shows.
As long as the immigrants are qualified and willing to integrate, the
conservative daily Die Welt sees this as a positive trend: "Vital for a
level-headed debate on immigration is also the fact that the new citizens pay
more in taxes and contributions than they receive in social benefits, according
to the OECD. Because most of them are well educated, rejuvenate the workforce
and promote technological advances. To keep these immigrants in the country
permanently the frequently invoked 'welcome culture' is indispensable. ... On
the other hand they should show respect for the values, culture and lifestyle of
the host country. It's not about taking in all the world's needy and burdened
citizens but about steering immigration to suit our interests. The new figures
of the OECD indicate that we are getting better and better at this."
Sweden must give whistleblowers more protection: An employee of the Upplands
Väsby municipality in northern Stockholm was fired recently after publicly
criticising the local government's school policy. An inquiry committee set
up by the government as well as trade unions are now demanding better protection
for whistleblowers - as does the liberal daily Dagens Nyheter: "Sweden is often
held up as a role model for openness and transparency. Sweden's Principle of
Public Access gives the public broad access to information held by authorities
and local governments. ... But in other areas the legislation is lagging behind.
It's not clear whether our current laws conform to the tightened requirements of
the European Convention on Human Rights. Transparency International has called
in several reports for better protection for whistleblowers against repression
and persecution. It has pointed to several problems, also affecting employees in
the private sector."