|A ghost estate in Ireland|
The David Drumm exclusive interview
published on IrishCentral on Sunday has certainly caught the eye of the media.
The former CEO of the scandal-ridden Anglo Irish Bank
spoke out after a cache of tapes of conversations between Drumm and other bankers at Anglo Irish during the 2008 financial meltdown were released. Drumm is now based in the U.S.
among others gave prominent coverage to Drumm’s apology for the nasty language on the now infamous tapes and also focused on his call for a new inquiry into what happened when Ireland gave complete guarantees to Irish banks at the height of the financial crisis
in September 2008.
The result was a financial meltdown that continues to plague Ireland to this day.
Drumm’s chief point is that he and Anglo should take their responsibility for their part of the mess but there are many other players; the bank regulators, the then Fianna Fail
government and the other banks who were a huge part of the massive scandal as well.
The series of leaked tapes in the Irish Independent have certainly cast Drumm as the villain but he has begun to speak out about what he knows and when he knew it.
As a result there are many uneasy groups in Ireland waiting to see what Drumm’s best shot looks like.
At the end of the day, as was seen in the U.S. during the same meltdown period, bankers will do what bankers do which is get away with as much as they can especially when there is little regulation.
That was certainly the case in Ireland too where “light touch” regulation was the boast of the then government and bankers took full advantage to lend early and often to increasingly dodgy property speculators.
The Anglo tapes prove beyond a shadow that the bank regulator at the time was completely asleep at the wheel and seemed to know little or nothing about what was going on in the Irish banks.
All of which lays the ultimate blame squarely at the feet of the politicians. Every government sets the tone and the Fianna Fail government at the time were in hock to the property speculators. As a result the fox was watching the henhouse and the financial crash ensued.
There were many bit players, most notably the media which encouraged and pumped up the property boom because it filled their coffers and they were incredibly slow to cover the imminent bust.
In the end David Drumm was a player in the bust, but not the only one.
That is likely to become clearly evident if a proper inquiry is ever called.