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.”

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  • Harry Flashman

    Come off it, honestly now, does anyone for one nanosecond believe that neither of the Brians Cowen nor Lenihan know the names of the ten people who were lent that money to buy the shares?

    I mean all they have to do is pick up the phone and ask, are we seriously supposed to believe that they don’t know?

    Do they think we’re complete eejits?

  • Mack

    Harry Flashman

    They only own the feckin company now.

    This stuff is unbelievable.

  • Glencoppagagh

    “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,”
    Was he told then how the share purchases had been financed?
    If he was, would he have realised that it was a questionable transaction?
    Was the legal advice based on this knowledge or not? Presumably it came from AI’s solicitors rather than an independent source.
    Why did he need to know that it was “compliant”? That suggests he was at least suspicious.
    If the people involved were AI clients then it’s likely they were all major property spivs.

  • Mack

    Gormley Golden Circle should be named –

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0219/angloirish.html

    If he has any balls, this will bring down the government.

  • Scaramoosh

    “The whole affair, the inspectors concluded, had been characterised by a cynical disregard for laws and regulations, a cavalier misuse of company money, and a contempt for truth and common honesty…..

    The scheme involved an effort to support Guinness’s stock price by buying shares to give Guinness’s stock-and-cash offer for Distillers a better chance of bettering a rival offer from the Argyll Group P.L.C., In sentencing Mr. Saunders today, the judge told him he had been guilty of ”dishonesty on a massive scale” in authorizing illegal payments to those who had participated in the scheme. ”I am quite satisfied, as the jury by their verdicts have shown, that you were at the center of the dishonest conduct that occurred,” Justice Denis Henry said.”

    Both the manipulation of a company’s stock price and a company providing financial assistance for the purchase of its shares are illegal in Britain.

    That was Gunness, this is Anglo …sound familiar???

  • picador

    How long can this information remain secret for?

    Not long, I suspect.

  • frustrated democrat

    A country is disintegrating before our eyes, the corruption and sheer greed of the politicians and senior businessmen has to be seen to be believed.

    A small group of people have destroyed a country.