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A cement truck outside a Galway branch of Anglo Irish Bank

State-owned Anglo Irish Bank posts the largest financial loss in Irish corporate history

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A cement truck outside a Galway branch of Anglo Irish Bank

The now state-owned Anglo Irish Bank posted the largest ever-financial loss in Irish corporate history.  Over the past 15 months it has lost a total of $16 billion.

Nationalizing a bank with no ATM machines doesn't come cheap for the Irish taxpayer.

Anglo Irish Bank is infamously known in Ireland as the developers’ bank. It was a bank in which all of Ireland's fat cats borrowed money to construct real estate that is currently worthless.

To make matters worse, its board of directors gave themselves loans to buy shares in the bank to inflate the share price that would, in turn, increase shareholders dividends.

The state was forced to recapitalize the bank with over $16 billion, for that sort of money you would think that the taxpayer would be entitled to interest free mortgages.

There has been much speculation about what could have been done if the taxpayers actually got their hands on the wasted $16 billion.

Of course Republicans may have thought about buying out Northern Unionists and for $16 billion they could replant them in a South African compound.

Alternatively, the state could buy a large and desolate island in the Pacific and offer cheap holiday packages to the cash-strapped taxpayer.

Perhaps Cowen could emulate Zaire’s former leader Mobutu Sese Seko and fly around the world in a Concorde with his extended family, shop until he drops, and stick it all in a personalized Swiss account. At least he wouldn't be wasting it on a dying bank.

If the European Commission approves, Anglo Irish Bank will restructure and split into a good bank and a bad bank.

"This split is the best option,” said Mike Aynsley, Anglo's chief executive. The bank hopes that the good bank will cancel out the bad element over a period of time.

Aynsley stated that it would be more expensive to liquidate the bank as opposed to the predicted $30 billion bailout.

After it restructures, Anglo aims to be a "mid sized commercial bank" and plans to privatize within the next seven years.

Anglo's new chief financial officer, Maarten Van Eden strongly criticized Anglo's former bosses who abused their banking power. Two former directors of Anglo were arrested last week and may be charged with fraud offenses.

"If you get lucky for a long period of time, you start to think the rules don't apply to you. These guys thought they could walk on water. They weren't smart, they were lucky."

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