Anglo-Irish Bank Recordings — Who Benefited From Publication?

Like everyone else in Ireland,  I was driven to rage by the recordings of three senior executives in Anglo-Irish bank discussing how to blackmail our government into handing over public money to rescue their scam.  When I heard one of these tools singing the Nazi anthem, I wanted to put my fist through the radio, since it wasn’t possible to punch the half-wit himself, but that was just a visceral unthinking reaction.  After I had a chance to reflect on it,, I began to wonder if my feelings had been manipulated.

Why do I say this?

Two reasons.  One reason  is the involvement of Paul Williams, the self-publicising crime reporter, and the other is the name of the newspaper that published the story: the Irish Independent.  Neither of these things promotes confidence.

Am I saying that the tapes are a fraud?  No, I’m not.  They’re genuine enough.  What I’m saying is this.  There must be thousands and thousands of hours of recordings, and yet somebody managed to distill these conversations down to the few minutes we heard in the last week.  That was quite an achievement and it must have taken a great amount of work.

Who went through these recordings and who leaked the results?

There aren’t too many possibilities.  It was either somebody within Anglo,  an employee of IBRC, an employee of NAMA, or  a Garda source .  The first three options might easily be the same person but of course, we don’t know.

Why leak these recordings right now, just as the Irish presidency of the EU draws to a close?  Who would have the motivation to do such a thing?  Who would benefit from it?

It certainly seems designed to inflict the maximum damage on the Irish government and on Anglo, so who would have the motivation to do such a thing?

Fianna Fáil?  Probably not, since the tapes cast such a bad light on the government in 2008.

Anglo management?  Certainly not.

The Independent’s owners?  That depends on who they happen to be from day to day.  Since this publication was such an intensely political decision, it had to go through editor-in-chief Stephen Rae.  In weighing up the public-interest issues, Stephen might  have taken into account the public’s need to know, versus the damage to Ireland’s international reputation.  Or not, as the case may be, since after all, we are talking about the Independent as opposed to a serious newspaper.

Yes, it’s true that they got the scoop on the Anglo tapes, but at the same time you have to remember that Paul Williams would write about a scandal involving two dogs shagging.  Feed this man a story and he’ll run with it, no matter how absurd.

If we exclude Paul Williams from this story, where are the real brains?  Who’s doing the thinking?

I could think of one or two people who might benefit greatly from the release of these recordings right now, just as Ireland leaves the EU presidency.

We should all know what the Anglo fools were saying, but isn’t it a bit of a coincidence that the recordings emerged precisely at this tie, just as Ireland was leaving the EU presidency?  If you wanted to inflict the maximum damage on the Irish government and on our national reputation, when would you chooose to release these recordings?

Cui bono?  That’s the question.  Who benefits?

11 thoughts on “Anglo-Irish Bank Recordings — Who Benefited From Publication?

  1. Who benefits? The immediate easy answer must be Independent Newspapers. They are stretching out the publication of the tapes on a daily basis and apparently there is more to come. This must surely result in an increase in sales and circulation with the consequent increase in advertising revenue. But as I said, thats the easy answer. Yes, its damaging to Ireland’s reputation on the European stage but what might that matter to Fine Gael as we face into the local elections next year and a general election in 2016? Careful management of the PR scene as an inquiry into the fiasco is put in place which might run for a few years, reminding people of the part the previous Fianna Fáil played would be of great electoral benefit to FG. Can one really believe that current government politicians knew nothing of these tapes and their content. Enda’s crude attack in the Dáil alluding to the “collusion” between the bankers and Fianna Fáil has resulted in a demand for a non politician led inquiry. This would last much longer than a Dáil one and would well suit FG. They could point to a public clamour for such an inquiry and benefit largely from the daily revelations spread over the next couple of years. Don’t interpret this as showing any kind of sympathy for FF, although curiously Michéal Martin would seem to have a death wish by calling for such an inquiry. Machiavelli is alive and well and living in Merrion Street!

  2. The most shocking realisation for me isn’t how hated the FG/labour administration has become–it’s an inevitable byproduct of prolonged austerity measures; no the scariest part is how quickly the public are prepared to embrace the slimy squid that is FF. This party is little changed from the one that ran us off the road and they have learned nothing—their only response at the moment is that they are being scapegoated for party political purposes by FG–we see little willingness on their part to change or inject a healthy dose of ethics into their organisation.

    So maybe as we wallow in self pity in the mire of our own creation (we took out the loans, bought the gaudy mansions elbowed and kneed each other out of the way on the annual pilgrimage to the shrine of crony capitalist gombeenism that was the FF tent in Galway)–maybe we need to be reminded of the arrogance, greed, hubris and self interest that defined our nation for 10 years. For a time we held the money maestros at Anglo and their ilk in the highest regard; they were our heroes; one publication had the former Anglo CEO on it’s cover with the title “The man with the Midas Touch”. The press lapped it up and spewed out the same shite to the empty headed nouveau riche nonces.

  3. The Irish punter seems willing to vote again for FF, which in economic practice is no different from a FG-LAB coalition. During the celtic tiger roll the punters held the property developers and money wizards in high esteem. So then, Gombeenman, what does this tell us about ourselves? Isn’t the Irish dream a cutehoor one? If I were a radical leftist I’d despair at the unfertile ground for a new political departure.

  4. Benno; I have a bad feeling Herr Bock will berate me for going off topic but as you ask—what does the whole sorry mess tell us about ourselves—it confirms in my mind that we like shortcuts; the easy life, the get rich quick “cute hoorism” as you point out. By and large we are not plodding grafters. We don’t like rules and we like to bend them when they don’t suit our purpose.
    Of course FG/Lab will benefit if they can demonstrate a link between Anglo and FF. FF have always presented themselves as the anti-vested interest party of the common decent folk, yet they evolved into a pack of poorly educated shiny suited thieves and conmen. I believe we can thank CJ for starting the fashion. I’m a radical rightist trying desperately to maintain faith in our democracy and I too despair!

  5. I wouldn’t dream of berating a dedicated commenter, but I can see no difference between your right-wing parties, FG and FF. Even the Labour Party is simply another flavour of right-wing lite.

    The sad thing about Ireland is that our people have been so brainwashedthey’re unable to imagine an alternative. Will we elect SInn Féin? Certainly not. They still have powder burns on their fingers.

    Do you want to know what’s really worrying? Far more extreme people than either of the traditional Irish political camps are lurking in the shadows.

  6. If history has taught us anything; when people lose faith in the political process as a result of perceived corruption and/or incompetence; the ensuing void is ripe for those who may wish to exploit the anger and hatred of the disenchanted/disenfranchised. Ironically one peculiarly Irish safety valve is our high levels of emigration; it stifles substantive political change and perhaps also political radicalism. That’s probably both a good and bad thing depending on one’s perspective.

  7. Maybe the cui bono is simple enough and it’s really the Independent who simply wants to sell copies and being once the one with a real scoop.

    It could be that Edward Snowdon’s revelations about the spying activities of the US and UK, published first by the Guardian, was a kind of incentive – hence the ‘why now?’

    Maybe someone who ‘leaked’ the tapes was encouraged by Snowdon – or simply got a lot of money. Weren’t the tapes in the hands of the Gardai for years?.

    Maybe there is a bigger ‘conspiracy’ behind it all, since especially the Germans were insulted (apart from the people of Ireland), and it’s not about Irish affairs as such.

    Perhaps it’s a welcome reason for the EU and especially Germany to finally lose patience with all the rogue states and to impose stricter regulations – or to finally get the so much talked about strict banking regulations going. Or everybody is hoping that Merkel is losing the rag – there are elections looming in Germany after all.

    We can speculate as much as we like, but we’ll never find out or only much later.

    Maybe it’s just Uranus and Pluto and Neptune who have, according to astrologers, some unique relations to each other, which means that time has come to reveal deepest secrets or such like.
    Yeah, I know, me neither.

    But there you go…

  8. Back in 1970, Dario Fo suggested in ‘Accidental Death of an Anarchist’, that scandals played the role of Alka-Seltzer in the capitalist system, that they were a political antacid that ensured the system survived – a ‘liberating burp’ he called it.

    So, the Anglo scandal does nothing to change the facts, what difference will heads on a plate make? But it does distract attention from the latest raft of economic statistics, which show the economy in sharp decline and a systemic failure of policy, and it does divert attention from the lack lustre Irish presidency of the EU, and it gives people the impression of democracy and accountability.


  9. Ian asks “what difference will heads on a plate make?”.
    It would certainly make me feel better, and better still if the rest of them was swinging from a lamp-post somewhere.
    Ah, that’s not going to happen anyway and I’m glad of it to be honest. The twenties are long gone.
    However, lengthy imprisonments and/or massive fines would help me feel somewhat better than i feel right now.
    I wont be holding my breath though.
    So who benefits? The only people to benefit from this are the Independent. the timing was calculated for maximum international exposure but it could have been worse if they had released at the beginning of the EU presidency -it would have tainted the entire six month term. Better now when we’re on the way out and the work has been done. And as far as damaging Ireland’s reputation -what reputation? There’s nothing left, except for being the ex-wild west of corporate governance, the Dodge County of banking etc. There’s no reputation to damage.
    I think these tapes should be played on a loop in the Dail until some sort of justice is done. And when Election time comes around again they should be broadcast every day at six, instead of the angelus, and followed by a rousing rendition of The lakes of Ponchartrain by our favourite clown Brian. lest we forget.

  10. Sean Quinn!!

    Now there’s somebody who’d like to sock one to Anglo and the political establishment. Although i doubt there’s any love to be lost between the Quinns and the Indo.
    Just a thought.

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