#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 5°C Monday 19 April 2021
Advertisement

Here's how the world has covered the Anglo Tapes

David Drumm, John Bowe and Peter Fitzgerald have been making the news worldwide.

THE RECORDINGS of phone calls between senior figures at Anglo Irish Bank, being published by the Irish Independent this week, have been making the news around the world in the last couple of days.

Here’s just a selection of how the tapes have been covered worldwide.

Business Insider, unsurprisingly, has gone for a slightly bombastic opening – ‘Bankers Caught On Tape, Joking About Bailout, And How They’d Never Pay It Back’ – and focuses on some of the bravado on show.

The two bankers begin their conversation jokingly comparing themselves to being able to walk on water and drink beer out of both hands.

Then they joke how the regulators would need to change their underpants after hearing the terms of that deal.

The BBC’s coverage deals with the denials from Bowe and Fitzgerald about any attempt to mislead the financial regulators.

“The recordings reveal executives discussing the size of a government rescue plan, suggesting they were down-playing the sums of money needed,” the BBC report says.

“The government is now facing calls for an inquiry.”

Bloomberg’s headline is a straightforward ‘Kenny Faces Irish Bank Inquiry Calls as Anglo Tapes Released’, and deals with the growing clamour for a public inquiry into the banking collapse.

Kenny told reporters in Dublin today that the government is working on laws to allow such probes in future. Legislation should be enacted before parliament adjourns for its summer break, planned before the end of July.

The Financial Times’ excellent Alphaville blog has put up two instalments, to deal with the tapes from yesterday and today.

Its headlines – as per most of its coverage on everything, ever – are bang on the money: ‘Irish banking, blood will boil edition‘ and ‘Irish blood is boiling: the second instalment‘.

“While the Anglo managers knew this wasn’t enough to save the bank, the plan was to get the money flowing, whereafter the state wouldn’t be able to turn off support…” the blog neatly summarises.

It also posts a screengrab of David Drumm’s comments to Bowe: “I just should be recording these calls for the fucking craic – or at least making notes.”

“Indeed,” it notes. Quite.

The Guardian has taken some time out of the Edward Snowden story to put up a piece – explaining to readers that the ‘Drummer’ referred to by John Bowe in the first conversation is “[the then Anglo Irish Bank CEO David Drumm now in exile and disgrace in Boston]“.

The two bankers are also heard laughing and joking at a time when the bank was tottering on the brink of destruction. They are heard saying they hope the bank is nationalised so “we’d keep our jobs”.

Reuters has focussed on the growing clamour for a full public inquiry, reporting that the tapes have provoked “widespread anger in a country that is still enduring austerity and whose economy is struggling to gain traction.”

The two executives said they regretted the conversation but denied any wrongdoing or intention to mislead the central bank. Bowe said he was not a decision maker in the bank’s funding requirements or talks with the central bank.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Russia Today – known for its fairly cynical slant on economics – leads with the explanation of where the initial figure of €7 billion in state aid came from.

Both Bowe and Fitzgerald can be heard laughing through the discussion. The tapes’ release also confirms the long-held suspicion that Irish bankers knew the initial government investments were far too small.

The Daily Telegraph’s headline says what most will think: Anglo Irish bankers ‘tricked’ government into bailout.

The thinking, he suggested, was that once Dublin had been “pulled in”, it would have no choice but to keep picking up the tab.

In the end, the Irish government was forced to pump €30bn into Anglo and roughly the same amount into Ireland’s two other cash-strapped banks, Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank – rescues that brought the entire Irish economy to its knees.

Finally, over at ZeroHedge, the summary is as blunt as need be.

It said the people of Ireland were…

waking [yesterday] morning to a stunning revelation that the bailout to save Anglo-Irish was engineered by the Bank’s leadership to game as much money as possible from the central bank.

Read: Gilmore ‘shocked’ by Anglo Tapes, while Howlin is ‘personally sickened’

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

Read next:

COMMENTS (120)