Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Economics 02/03/2010: CBFSAI - in search of Art Consultants

As the country is grappling with the risk of banking sector collapse, lack of direction toward new regulatory environment for the financial services, unemployment, fiscal problems, need for reforming (and also lack of direction for such reforms) public sector, and so on, it is comforting to know that at least some of the policy / public management bottlenecks are being addressed...

The Central Bank of Ireland is looking for an Art Consultant - here - seriously (hat tip to Brian)!

There are precious pearls here (comments are mine):

"The CBFSAI maintains and refreshes its visual art collection, not only as an investment, but to enhance and enrich the working environment of its staff and as a means to encourage creativity and cultural diversity amongst employees and the wider community [apparently Central Bankers really need a working environment that encourages their creativity and cultural diversity].

We believe that our particular support for emerging artists, especially those in the early stages of their career, is a valuable conduit of encouragement, not only of individual artists, but of the artistic community in general [and encouraging artistic community is one of the functions of any Central Bank, one would presume]."

One, of course, is wondering if the new Art Consultant role will also be responsible for:
  • managing Nama-led acquisition of art accumulated by our poorly performing banks (with some of poor performance likely attributable to poor regulation by, hmmm, ... would that be the Central Bank?)
  • giving recognition to the artistic values of Irish banks creativity in the area of financial engineering (with some of the lending deals done at the height of Celtic Tiger clearly bearing resemblance to the post-Abstract Expressionist decompositions of the Barcelona School of Art), or
  • providing advice on writing constructive press releases explaining the collapse of our banking system and subsequent taxpayer rescue of the 'art appreciating' financial sector in this country (after all, some of the PR produced on Nama, for example, borders on the best works of Eugene Ionesco and Luigi Pirandello), and
  • commissioning and orchestrating the performance of Stockhausenesque compositions to depict the true extent of disorder in our banking balancesheets?
Hmmm... art consultants to the rescue, might be the CBFSAI's next motto...

Oh, and in case you thought our Central Bank is out of tune with the banks it regulates, here are few links: AIB and BofI are also keen on making sure their employees work in a rewarding atmosphere, surrounded by art and that they support arts in this country... sadly - both forgot to support proper risk pricing and responsible lending.

Then again, what is more important to an Irish (Central) Banker? Art appreciation classes or risk pricing?
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