25% stake was a “serious threat to the stability of the bank”

I can understand the argument that the names of the individuals who helped the Quinn family unwind their 25% share-holding in Anglo Irish Bank to a more modest 15% should remain confidential – although Cian might not agree. Which would mean that they’ll only become known if legal action follows.. Meanwhile, given the Tánaiste’s assertion that neither Taoiseach Brian Cowen nor Finance Minister Brian Lenihan know the names, the Irish Times provides this intriguing background detail.

In the Dáil, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan said he had been briefed about Mr Quinn’s ownership of contracts for difference (CFD) linked to 25 per cent of the bank’s shares when he took up office in May. Officials had told him that Mr Quinn’s CFD stake – which could have led to a flood of Anglo shares coming on the market at one time — was a “serious threat to the stability of the bank”.

Replying to Fine Gael’s Richard Bruton, he said: “The department had been in communication with the regulator and the Central Bank to ensure that this matter was unwound as soon as practicable. Beyond that, I was not furnished with any information of a written character about this issue, other than it was a critical issue for the share price of the institution.

“Subsequently, I was advised in late July that a group of investors had invested in Anglo Irish Bank to resolve these problems and that legal advice obtained by the bank indicated that the transaction was compliant,” he said.

That was some months before the “exceptional support” provided by Irish Life & Permanent.

And, in related news, the former Chairman of Irish Nationwide “believes the institution “cannot survive” without significant Government support and reorganisation” according to the Irish Times.

Now, where were we..

Adds According to Transport Minister Noel Dempsey speaking on Today FM’s The Last Word

“The proper people to know are the director of corporate enforcement and the regulator. Let them investigate it, let them find out who it is, what companies what individuals and then….I was going to say “nail them” but I say due process- make sure they are dealt with and dealt with fully and that is what the government want, what the people want and what I want.”