THE final paragraph of Professor Brian Lucey’s article in today’s Irish Times contained an ominous statement.
He said: There is no economic rationale for keeping Anglo afloat, which must imply a political desire to see it not go into liquidation and its secrets revealed.
Lucey is right about Anglo. There is no logical reason to keep it alive, and yet, in order to prevent its closure, the government has decided to double the national debt. To protect a single dysfunctional bank, a bank bordering on a criminal conspiracy, this government has mortgaged the whole country, all of us, all our children and all of our grandchildren.
How can this be?
The figures being presented by Brian Lenihan, Eamon Ryan and all the other Fianna Fáil errand boys are more than simply alarmist scaremongering.
They are lies.
Anglo can be safely wound down over the next ten years with none of the catastrophic outcomes currently being used by this government to terrify us into compliance.
Ironically, it was this precise tactic that led to Lenihan’s banking guarantee in September of 2008, in which the current catastrophe is rooted. That night, Lenihan, Cowen and a gang of bankers got in a huddle in Cowen’s office, and the bankers warned the two terrified ministers that the sky would fall in if they didn’t bail out the banks.
The bankers lied.
Furthermore, Cowen and Lenihan swallowed the lies, panicked and issued the blanket guarantee. However, it was plain even then that there was no need to protect Anglo. It wasn’t systemic to the Irish economy and could safely have been allowed to collapse.
Cowen and Lenihan failed to take advice from the country’s leading economists, and failed to inform their EU partners that they had capitulated to the bankers’ demands, but instead went ahead like two frightened schoolboys and pledged your future to bail out these crooks.
It’s hard to disagree with Eamonn Gilmore’s Dáil accusation of treason, but you still have to ask yourself why.
Why would a government be so intent on protecting one rotten bank that will never again trade, when it could be wound down in an orderly manner over ten years at far smaller cost?
There can only be one answer. Something is hiding within Anglo so appalling for the powers that be that they can’t contemplate having it exposed, no matter how extreme the public anger.
Let’s speculate, entirely hypothetically, that a member of the judiciary was on Anglo’s debtor’s list. And let’s say that this judge had somehow acquired control of a fortune in the order of €100 million which could not be accounted for by the judge’s level of earnings as a lawyer prior to his appointment to the bench.
And let’s say that he had somehow moved this money offshore to a paper company in a different jurisdiction, and that Anglo was seeking to recover it. And let’s further speculate that this judge might have some connection with current senior government figures. Perhaps even a business arrangement.
Let’s imagine that the judge is in reality no more than a front-man for €100 million accumulated by senior Fianna Fáil figures as a result of providing a climate favourable to speculators and international energy companies over the years.
Do you think that would be sufficient reason to keep the lid on Anglo?
I don’t know. It’s just a novel I’m planning to write. I made it up.