The man charged with rescuing Anglo Irish, the toxic bank that brought about the downfall of the Celtic, is looking to America for the quickest fix.
Chief executive Mike Aynsley has told an Irish newspaper that the American assets of Anglo will be "easiest to sell" as he tries to claw back some of the near €30 billion invested by the government in a bid to rescue the failed financial institution.
But Aynsley has also warned that there will be more Anglo pain for Irish taxpayers for at least another 10 years.
Speaking just days after the bank’s €8.6 billion deposit book was transferred to AIB, chief executive Mike Aynsley warned the public to prepare for more cash demands.
Aynsley warned the Sunday Independent that it will take at least another decade to sort Anglo out and predicted that "massive losses" would ensue if his team rushed to offload assets.
“The mandate we at Anglo have is to get as much money back as possible for the taxpayer,” Aynsley told the paper.
“What this is about is putting a structure in place so there’s flexibility in managing the disposal of assets in relation to what the market will take, so we don’t depress asset prices.
“We’ve got portfolios in the US, the UK and Ireland. The US is probably the healthiest at the moment because the market is more buoyant, the UK is
next, and the most difficult market is Ireland.
“You’re looking at an asset disposal process that will be a bit quicker in the US, followed by the UK and followed by Ireland.
“If you said Ireland is going to take between seven and 10 years, at the other end you might say you’re looking at four to seven years in the US to dispose of assets.
“To dispose of these assets in the course of a year without taking massive losses is not a viable proposition.”
Aynsley’s stance also pours cold water on claims by incoming Taoiseach Enda Kenny that his government will not put "another red cent" into Anglo.
He added: “That’s a pretty big statement when you think about it, isn’t it? To make a statement in isolation, which unfortunately is something politicians are renowned for, it’s often quite difficult to live up to.
“Let’s say the property market fell another 50 per cent from its current level, well that will automatically mean losses in all the banks.
“Those losses would require more capital. So, it’s a pretty big statement to make. Politicians] try to appeal to everyone, and I think sometimes they tell stories that don’t make sense.”
The only good news for the angry Irish public is that the Anglo name and logo will disappear in the very near future, according to Aynsley.
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