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Independent releases new Anglo tapes

Thursday, July 17 11:02:56

New tapes released by the Irish Independent this morning throw new light on the attitudes of executives in the defunct bank towards Sean Quinn and regulators.

They reveal how Anglo Irish Bank's then chief executive laughed and joked as Ireland's economy shuddered to a halt. The tapes also reveal David Drumm speaking to a fellow senior bank executive about giving his own board "the Ladybird" version of events, the Independent article says.

The recordings occurred in January 2008 - just two months before the bank's disastrous share price meltdown which became known as the St Patrick's Day massacre.

On January 22, Mr Drumm - who has outstanding Anglo loans of E8m - talks about a planned meeting with the bank's board of directors, which was chaired at the time by Sean FitzPatrick.

"I kind of think it's good to give them a walk around the park of the world," he tells the Head of Capital Markets, John Bowe.

But Mr Drumm appears to indicate his intention to ration the amount of information he is prepared to offer.

"I'm not gonna do the big, long agenda. I'm going to give a spiel, probably a rant if I get warmed up.

"Then I'll open up the questions and then, when it comes around to it and it is going to be the first question - funding - you can just say, 'Look, this is David mentioned this, David mentioned that, but I, look, this is actually what's going on behind the scenes...'" Mr Drumm tells his executive.

The former Anglo chief executive then tells Mr Bowe to give the board "just a balance sheet" or "just to give them colour".

In his conversation with Mr Bowe on January 22, Mr Drumm indicates that he intends to gloss over the perilous state of Anglo's finances when meeting with the board.

"When I meet them for dinner, I'll give them the Ladybird version of the movement of numbers which I gave them the last time.

"Then it's a question of they're getting a little bit of market knowledge and expertise from you, so we'll probably do that."

Earlier in the same conversation, Mr Drumm also discusses the idea of burning the bank's own bondholders by buying back its own bonds at a huge discount.