Anglo bankers believed they could force an outcome at expense of State
Leaked recordings reveal bankers thought they could fool regulators
Drumm’s salty language, Bowe’s mischievous reciting of the German national anthem, the disregard for the government and the regulator’s wishes that the bank guarantee not be abused and the ribbing of regulators Pat Neary and Con Horan during the telephone calls was typical of the gallows humour and desperation within Anglo during its final weeks and months. Two months earlier when Rabobank in the Netherlands declined a frantic request from Anglo to take it over, Drumm disparaged the Dutch bankers in a private email to a colleague, describing them as “windmill-lovin’ clog-wearin’ MOFOs”.
Two weeks before the September telephone calls, Drumm sent an email out to staff inviting them to his “Back To School Doombuster Party” early that month to try to lift their spirits and put up a brave front. “The stock markets are down,” he wrote in the invite to staff. “They say the economy is in recession. It rained most of the ‘summer’. The holidays are over. This is Anglo so there is only one thing to do – party!” A hefty bill was incurred on food, drinks and entertainment for a party reminiscent of the last days of Rome.
Almost five years, putting €29 billion of public money into Anglo and biting austerity later, the sick jokes still emerging in this painful tragi-comedy are very much on the Irish people.
Simon Carswell is Washington Correspondent and author of Anglo Republic: Inside The Bank That Broke Ireland