The following extract is taken from The Making of the Celtic Tiger: The Inside Story of Ireland’s Boom Economy. Dublin. Mercier Press. (2000). It is Padraic White’s own account of the development of the Irish Financial Services Centre.
In the middle of 1973, the IDA launched international services as its latest product. At the time, this category included both technical consultancy services and computer services. However, within the IDA’s own research unit, work continued to identify and analyse other service products, including those n the financial-services area. One of the economists engaged in this task was Ken O’Brien, who later, as founder of Finance magazine, would provide specialist coverage of the Dublin financial centre. Our New York office befriended a Wall Street lawyer, Bob Slater, who was familiar with the then-exotic world of offshore banking – the reasons why banks set up in specialist offshore centres, the kind of financial activities undertaken there and the nature and number of jobs created in this developing sector.
As manager of the planning unit, I agreed to take on Bob Slater, both as a financial consultant on financial services to IDA and to produce a study of offshore banking systems. His report examined the success of Bermuda in creating jobs in financial services, and he was satisfied that Ireland could emulate its achievement. And so in 1978 – innocently, in hindsight – we set out to promote international financial services to the world, and did so on a pilot basis to test-market the reaction. The IDA executives embarked on their selling mission, armed with the expert conclusions of the Wall Street expert.
During the year the IDA team soon landed some big fish in the form of two US banks that had developed specific job-creating proposals. However, the agreement of the Central Bank was first needed. Michael Killeen* considered the proposals sufficiently important for himself to go with Jerry Kelly, who was negotiating the projects, and myself to make the case for Central Bank authorisation. The reaction was not encouraging and we left the Dame Street offices feeling rather dejected. We could not give the required assurances or promises of authorisations to our foreign bank clients. The projects died and we ceased to do any more financial-services promotion. Subsequently, it emerged the bank no stomach for the projects and would not approve them. However, the IDA could never get a clear reason for this. The most authoritative word which came back indirectly was that the Central Bank believed the offshore financial projects ‘smacked of a banana republic.’ (pp.323-4.)
Audio recording of Prof. Terrence McDonough’s talk in Galway tonight, “What the !$%! just Happened? A Discussion on the Recent Debt Deal.” Thanks to Vicky Donnelly of Galway Debt Justice for organizing the event.
These scanned pages are intended as an aid to research into the world of finance in Ireland. I’m going to try to post as much of the primary and secondary source material I come across as I can. The purpose here is purely educational.
Some quotes, just to give a sense of the articles below.
First, from Ray Douglas, group general manager, Treasury, of Allied Irish Banks, talking about Dublin’s biggest dealing room (January 1988, pp.37-38):
The commissioning of our new 80-position dealing room is Bankcentre is only the latest step in a long association between Allied Irish Bank and the global financial markets. In the mid-1970s AIB identified the emerging global financial markets as a major business opportunity for the bank… Our objective is to make AIB a significant niche player in the markets, trading on our own account, providing liquidity to the markets and acting as market maker in some specific areas…
During the 1980s the emergence of the new global financial markets in securities and in off-balance sheet instruments such as SWAPS* and FRAs** has provided a further range of opportunities for AIB.
Twenty- fourth Desmond Greaves School – 14th – 16th September 2012. 90 years of the Irish state: sovereignty and democracy in the republic Friday 14th September at 7:30 1. Republicanism and 90 years of the…
[Click here for source] We, the workers at Target Express, Cork Depot, strongly dispute the version of events at the company as put out by Mr.Seamus Mc Brien yesterday. The contention of Mr.McBrien is that…
[This review was originally published in the August 2012 edition of Socialist Voice.] Brian Lucey, Charles Larkin & Constantin Gurdgiev (eds), What if Ireland Defaults? (Dublin: Orpen Press, 2012). The machismo of restaurant chefs always…
Working on the last few pages of a chapter for a book edited by Colin Coulter and Angela Nagle. I’ve just been rigid with anger over the last couple of weeks - more than usual - and I think the process of writing this chapter is the reason why. This little paragraph sums it up […]
Speaking tomorrow in Galway before Donal O’Kelly’s performance of Bat the Father, Rabbit the Son. The title of the talk is: All the Devils are Here - A Short History of the Irish Entrepreneur. All welcome. […]