Executives at Anglo Irish Bank laughed about ‘abusing’ the bank guarantee scheme that crippled the Celtic Tiger – with one singing a comedy version of the German national anthem to colleagues.
Explosive audio tapes revealed by the Irish Independent newspaper show how executives at the state rescued Anglo openly joked as their bank threatened to bring down the Irish economy.
In the latest revelations, the Independent says that Anglo boss David Drumm, now resident in America, laughed about ‘abusing’ the bank guarantee and warned his executives not to be caught abusing it.
The paper reports that Drumm is also heard giggling as one of his executives sings the German national anthem as deposits from Germany flow into Anglo as a result of the bank guarantee.
The paper says that the latest revelations from the Irish Independent’s ‘Inside Anglo’ investigation display a casual, even reckless, attitude at the bank during the financial crash.
Drumm can be heard laughing at the financial regulator’s concerns about being seen internationally to be “abusing” the bank guarantee in late 2008.
He tells senior manager John Bowe: “We won’t do anything blatant, but . . . we have to get the money in . . . get the f***in’ money in, get it in.”
The report says that at the time, European leaders including Germany’s Angela Merkel and UK chancellor Alistair Darling were alarmed at how the guarantee could affect their banking systems.
Bowe then sang a ‘comedy’ version of the anthem ‘Deutschland Uber Alles’ and talked about giving ‘two fingers’ to British concern.
Drumm and Bowe are heard laughing at the concerns that the movement of money was causing a rift between Ireland and its EU partners.
Drumm tells his colleague: “So f***in’ what. Just take it anyway . . . stick the fingers up.”
In another recording, Bowe laughed with colleague Peter Fitzgerald, about the Irish government’s decision to nationalise the bank.