Sympathy for the Irish devil - ex-Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seanie Fitzpatrick
American writer comes face to face with notorious banker
Anglo Irish grew its loan book in the years after Fitzpatrick stepped down as CEO and became chairman.
“That’s where David Drumm’s responsibility lies (Drumm was Fitzpatrick’s successor). But I think Fitzpatrick was a little too forgiving of himself. At the end of the day as Chairman of the Board you are getting paid to do something. You can’t say it was all Drumm’s fault, I was down on the golf course shaking hands.”
In Fitzpatrick’s last years at Anglo he grew the loan book by 15 billion euros. In the first four years of Drumm’s tenure he grew the books by 50 billion euros.
When the global credit market seized up because of the Lehman Brothers collapse all of a sudden they couldn’t get capital, couldn’t roll over their debts … and we know how that story ends.
Lynch’s book is that rare thing, an economic study that’s also a captivating snapshot of the society it’s exploring.
Written in lucid prose that will appeal to both the general reader and the economist, Lynch (a former Nieman fellow at Harvard University) understands that there’s a lot more to a nation’s story than the performance of its markets.
It’s depressing to realize that your own government and banking industry have been acting exactly like tipsy frat boys, but in effect, says journalist David J. Lynch, that’s precisely what has happened. Everyone knew the boom would end, but nobody wanted to be the guy at the party who says goodnight first.
A fifth generation Irish American (on both sides), Lynch’s ancestors hail from Co. Kerry and he embarrassedly admits he’s taken the classic Irish American ancestral roots trail himself.
But Lynch is no many misty eyed tourist. In the process he has appraised Ireland’s particular strengths and weaknesses with a gimlet eye of an outsider who can see through all the palaver.
The basic outline of Ireland’s economic collapse is well-documented -- crony capitalism, operating in a 19th century political climate, allowed close connections between Irish politicians, property developers and the banks to lead to immense prosperity. Simultaneously, however, they created the conditions for a shattering collapse.
But Lynch suggests it would be foolish to count Ireland out, and he has subtitled his book The World’s Most Resilient Country and Its Struggle to Rise Again.
“I’m not an optimist. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t believe the glass is half full. My question is usually, ‘What glass?’ But I don’t doubt for a moment that Ireland will navigate the difficulties that lie ahead of it over the next few years,” Lynch told the Irish Voice during an interview this week.
The Irish boom and bust occurred at a time when there was an ocean of capital, with low yields and low interest rates. From the Irish side of this the Irish banks, which were small players traditionally, suddenly became major players, with the arrival of Sean Fitzpatrick and Anglo Irish Bank.
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Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.The top Irish bars in the United States to grab a pint and enjoy some cheer
For the record Fado is OK but not the best place to get your Irish on in the Windy City. A few others to consider are Abbey Pub (North Side), The GalThe top Irish bars in the United States to grab a pint and enjoy some cheer
I would like to make a venture into Kevin Barry's when I'm in Savannah this St. Paddy's Day, thanks for the tip. The Full Shilling down on Pearl StreHomemade Irish brown soda bread recipe
My grandmother's recipe includes caraway seeds. We have often