As recently as 2007, the Irish economy was still booming and the state coffers overflowing; by the end of 2008, the state faces an unprecedented crisis. The story of the Irish banking collapse is a tawdry tale of collusion, back-scratching and denial among bankers, developers, regulators and politicians.
This is the story Shane Ross - independent Senator, long-time champion of citizens against misbehaving corporations, and Journalist of the Year 2009 - tells in The Bankers, going behind the scenes and the headlines to explain what happened, how it happened and who made it happen. They're all here: Sean FitzPatrick, Michael Fingleton and the other bank bosses; Patrick Neary and his colleagues in Ireland's failed regulatory apparatus; the property developers, whose borrowings ruined the banks, and many of whom are now personally ruined; and the politicians, whose policies helped inflate the property bubble and who have allowed the banks to dictate the terms of their bail-out. Shane Ross knows the stories of these people and what they got up to, and in The Bankers he makes sense of a scandal that will haunt Ireland for years to come.