#Anglotapes: If they saw the enormity of it up front, they might decide they have a choice.

Following the release of tapes of Anglo staff discussing how they present their case for support, in the lead up to the bank guarantee, there are more revelations in todays Irish Independent (which has been breaking the story).

You can listen to the tapes via the Indo’s website (at the links above), but here are a couple of key quotes, as transcribed by the Journal.ie:

Bowe on what the actual monetary requirement could be:

That number is seven [billion] but the reality is we need more than that. But you know, the strategy here is you pull them [the Central Bank] in, you get them to write a big cheque and they have to keep, they have to support their money, you know.

Fitzgerald shows his understanding:

They’ve got skin in the game and that’s the key.

Bowe on the lie to the Regulator:

If they saw the enormity of it up front, they might decide they have a choice. You know what I mean? They might say the cost to the taxpayer is too high…if it doesn’t look too big at the outset…if it doesn’t look big, big enough to be important, but not too big that it kind of spoils everything, then, then I think you can have a chance. So I think it can creep up.

In  today’s, David Drumm is heard encouraging executives to abuse the bank guarantee itself. The whole episode is being dismissed by some as gallows humour, however, the implications of the first tape and that Anglo were aware that they were misleading on the extent of losses to draw the Central Bank in as support isn’t that easily explained away.

Yesterday Paul Williams admitted that the Irish Indepdent has had the tapes for three months (at least) and have others which raises equally interesting questions. The tapes are recordings from the banks internal phone system. The reason why they have been leaked now, as the interminable flapping over some form of bank inquiry or meaningful criminal investigation continues, isn’t really clear.

Leaks around Anglo are bound to damage Fianna Fáil who had a somewhat cosy relationship with senior staff in the bank. So, is this just Denis O’Brien pulling out a few stops for Fine Gael after a couple of weak polls?

Conveniently there is not much time for the Dáil to debate any of this but presumably there are yet more tapes to come so this is a story that will continue to build.

Read the much-missed Namawinelake blog for more background on Anglo.