Leaked recordings of Anglo Irish Bank’s top officials in late September 2008 show former Anglo boss David Drumm telling his top staff to go down to Central Bank “with their arms swinging” to get cash for their sinking bank.
A number of media outlets are reporting on the sensational Anglo tapes which were leaked by the Irish Independent this week.
In a recorded conversation with John Bowe, the former director of treasury at Anglo Irish Bank, former Anglo head David Drumm said, "Get into the f**king simple speak: 'We need the moolah, you have it, so you're going to give it to us and when would that be? We'll start there."
The recordings are from late September 2008, when Anglo Irish Bank was on the brink of its collapse. The tapes were recorded around the same time the Irish government brought in a €440 billion guarantee for all the Irish banks.
"We'll be going down there with our arms swinging,” says Drumm to Bowe in the recordings. “I'm very clear on the proposal. I'm going to keep asking the thick question: 'When, when is the check arriving?'"
Speaking of a potential collapse, Drumm tells Bowe, "And by the way, the game has changed now because really the problem now is at their [regulators'] door. Because if they don't give it [€7 billion] to us on Monday they have a bank collapse. If the f***ing money keeps running out the door, the way it has been running out the door."
In the wake of the explosive tapes, current Finance Minister Michael Noonan said it is something Ireland “could have done without,” reports The Journal.
“I’ve no doubt at all it would influence public opinion in the countries that provide us with the funds that are needed for our bailout program,” Noonan told reporters outside a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels.
“We have put a lot of energy into restoring Ireland’s reputation – I hope it’s a passing phase and it doesn’t do permanent damage,” he said. “But we could have done without it.”
The Irish Times reports that Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said on Thursday June 27, “I’ve heard the tapes. I didn’t know that they existed and nobody in government did. The content of them doesn’t surprise me in the sense that it confirms what we all expected in relation to Anglo Irish’s behaviour and how it deceived the regulator and others.”
“What did cause my stomach to churn quite frankly was the attitude of the people on the tapes - the arrogance, the avarice and the absolute contempt for the public authorities, that’s what really hit me. As people will be aware, at least three former members of that bank have been charged and prosecutions are pending.”
When asked if the leaked Anglo tapes could be cause for criminal prosecution, Varadkar said, “I really don’t want to say anything beyond that. I am conscious of a previous minister who managed to allow Charles Haughey off corruption charge by making comments.”
“What people want is prosecutions, but what I do know is that people can only be prosecuted for having committed a crime. I’m fairly sure that there lots of people in the banking system and in politics and in the public authorities who may not have committed a crime but were reckless, incompetent and did not do their jobs. They won’t be prosecuted but they could be dealt with by an inquiry. They could be exposed and embarrassed.”
Varadkar added that an inquiry could be “up and running in the autumn” if passed by the Dail and Seanad before the summer.