Ten years on: The night of the 280-word guarantee that cost €32bn

By September 2008, it was obvious something had to be done to save Anglo

The then minister for finance, Brian Lenihan, during a  press conference at Government Buildings in September 2008 where he said the government had decided to guarantee all deposits in Irish banks. Photograph. Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland.

The then minister for finance, Brian Lenihan, during a press conference at Government Buildings in September 2008 where he said the government had decided to guarantee all deposits in Irish banks. Photograph. Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland.

Two hundred and eighty words. That is how long the government’s blanket guarantee for the State’s banks was when it was published at around 6.45am on the morning of Tuesday, September 30th, 2008.

Looking back, 10 years on, that message could be distilled to just five words: “we stand behind our banks.”

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