Seems that AIB have written to an undefined list of former executives asking them (pretty please with a cherry on top) to relinquish some of their pensions which the state as 99.8% shareholders of AIB are effectively on the hook for.
AIB targets former executives - The Irish Times - Tue, Nov 06, 2012
"Mr Duffy told the Financial Times that more than 15 former executives directors who worked at the bank in the lead-up to the banking crisis would receive letters over the next four to six weeks. The first letters were sent yesterday. The bank had no legal authority to force former directors to forego part of their pensions but that there was a moral obligation on individuals, he said.
“On a moral basis we believe that there is a judgment that some individuals can make a contribution,” said Mr Duffy, who joined the bank as chief executive almost a year ago."
This is such a joke, "targetted" my arse, but is an example of what qualifies as "decisive" action by the establishment in these parts. These requests will simply be ignored, or at the very best, a token gesture may be made by some of the "targetted" individuals who will give up a tiny portion of their pension. And the government will wring their hands and say "well, we did ask them, and they said no, not much else we can do, ho hum...". Michael Noonan has stated that he has no authority to reduce the pensions of these people. But if the political will was there he could apply punitive taxation on them, as they did with the bankers bonuses in the US. Will he do that? Not on your nelly. Because lucrative pensions seem to be the holy grail of political life in this country and if they were to set a precendent, then their own pensions might be subject to punitive taxation down the line. And we can't be having that, can we lads? No Harry, we can't.
Question - what would have happened to these pensions (and any golden handshakes these people may have recieved) if the state had not intervened and AIB was let crash and burn back in 2008? Would they still be paid in full? And does anybody think any of these guys will grow a conscience and gift us back some of their pensions?