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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Banking Culture (Stephen Kinsella)

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Stephen Kinsella

Banking Culture

Trust is a vital component in all successful human endeavours. Banks, which hold funds, quite literally in trust, have often let their customers, and wider society, down by failing to live up to the high standards imposed upon them. Since the financial crisis, banks globally are estimated to have incurred fines and penalties of more than $320 billion.

Why does this happen? Culture consists of group norms of behaviour and the transmission of the underlying shared values that help keep those norms in place. Recent research has shown that employees of a large, international bank behave, on average, honestly when treated as individuals. However, when their professional identity as bank employees is rendered an important element of their makeup, a significant proportion of them become actively dishonest. This pinpoints culture within banks themselves as the key determinant of poor behaviour. We know group identity can affect unethical behaviour, especially in highly competitive situations. If unethical behaviour is mainly driven by an unconditional desire to win, and large personal financial incentives exist when you win by extending credit to riskier borrowers, or by creating financial products laden with hidden risks, banking culture is in some sense to blame.

A major report into banking culture in Ireland by the Central Bank of Ireland found banking culture, even in 2019, displayed many of the problems of over optimism with respect to risks, top-down management styles, a poorly empowered senior management team,...

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