Quinn Group Fight Anglo Demands

You might be surprised to hear me saying that I sympathise with Sean Quinn’s struggle against the demands of Anglo, or IBRC as we now call it.  After all, here is a former billionaire who made bad investments in a dodgy bank that went belly up, and now the Irish tax-payer is carrying the can for that banking failure, so why wouldn’t Quinn pay what he owes?

I have sympathy for Quinn because, just like me, he doesn’t believe the Irish government should have taken over Anglo’s debts, but that’s where the common ground falls away and we find ourselves standing at the edge of a precipice, with little more than a €100,000 wedding cake to break our fall.

Quinn owes the money to somebody, and  whether he likes it or not, that somebody is us.  I was going to say that he needs this explained to him, but of course, Sean is no fool and he understands this perfectly well, unlike his former employees protesting on his behalf after losing their jobs.

Let’s be clear.  It wasn’t the Irish state that brought down the Quinn group.  It wasn’t “urban Ireland”.  It was Sean Quinn’s stupidity and greed, but let’s look back a little.

When Quinn became involved with Anglo, where was the Irish taxpayer?

Did we have a shareholding in the bank?  No.

Did we have some responsibility to support the bank?  No.

Did we have any involvement whatever with the bank?  Well, that’s a bit more complicated, since we don’t know the extent of the bank’s private involvement with senior politicians, judges, police, civil servants or anyone else with influence over the way this country is governed.  But let’s leave that to one side.  Did the State have any formal involvement with Anglo Irish Bank?

The answer is no.   It did not.

The Irish State had nothing whatever to do with Anglo-Irish Bank.  However, even though it was clear that Anglo was not a bank in any rational sense of the word, Cowen and Lenihan decided to assume responsibility for all of its liabilities on behalf of the nation.  There was no good reason to do this, and every commentator since has identified that as the single most disastrous decision in the entire economic debacle we have been living through.

There was no basis for trying to rescue Anglo since Anglo was already dead, and yet the two Brians saddled the Irish people with the full cost of the disaster.  Anglo was not a systemic bank, any more than Irish Nationwide was.  Both Ponzi schemes were simply vehicles for developers and dodgy bankers to enrich themselves, along with one or two purchased politicians and assorted senior officials.  They could safely have been allowed to collapse with no danger at all to the broader Irish economy, and yet B&B decided that our grandchildren should pay for their survival.

It wasn’t a bail-out of banks.  It was a bail-out of those who had made foolish investments, but the result was this: you and I were saddled with all the liabilities of these two joke banks, thanks to a decision by two incompetent politicians.  We should never have had any obligations for the adventures of Seanie Fitz or Fingers Fingleton.  The government should have let the two scams collapse and let the gamblers bear the consequences, but instead they forced the Irish people to bear the pain.

I have been saying from the start that Anglo and Nationwide are not our responsibility.  We should repudiate the guarantees given on our behalf, and that’s why I sympathise with Sean Quinn, but that’s where my sympathy ends.  His children are right up to a point when they insist that the state had no involvement with Anglo when Sean embarked on his big gamble, but that’s beside the point.  We’re involved now, whether we like it or not, thanks to our ownership of Anglo’s debts, and the Quinns owe the money to somebody.   The somebody is us because we, the taxpayers are the ones who bought their paper.

Of course, Quinn’s former feudal vassals and serfs in Monaghan don’t see it that way.  These semi-detached citizens of the republic have always hedged their bets and they continue to do so, with public marches in support of the local royal family who bestowed such largesse on them in the good days, but now it’s time they faced the reality.

They owe the money to Ireland, so cough up, folks.  Thank you very much.

29 thoughts on “Quinn Group Fight Anglo Demands

  1. I would imagine they would have no reply to this

    They are going to keep repeating themselves in the hope that the problem goes away

    Shame on all their supporters too, shower of muppets

  2. Bock, your description of the lads as incompetent is very kind. Re: the Quinns they went to the bookies and lost.

    I do however have a question. If somewhere in the mists of time it were to be disclosed that powers that be benefited financially as a result of the bailout would you be be astounded?

    The difficulty I have in relation to the Anglo bailout is that a blind man on a flying horse would seen that it was wrong morally, ethically and politically. I agree with you that Anglo was not a systemic bank. Given that there was was no good reason to bail out Anglo, is it not reasonable to assume there may have been some bad ones, in a very big brown envelope?

  3. That is a reasonable assumption

    Would it be just a reasonable to assume that more people in Governmentn had shares/interests in Anglo than thay are letting on

  4. There are “Anglos” in Spain,Portugal,Greece,Italy and Iceland as well as here.
    Iceland told them to stuff it. Everywhere else has to endure austerity programs.
    The selling off of state assets will only enrich those who caused the problem.
    I need a drink.

  5. I’m trying to think of another Anglo but I can’t come up with an answer.. What other country continues to pay for a bank that’s no longer trading?

  6. Fair comment Bock. I should have said that there are dodgy banks all over Europe.
    They might not have gone the way of Anglo but they are on life-support courtesy of
    the public who are made to suffer austerity measures. BoI and AIB could well have gone the way of Anglo were it not for Cowen and Lenihan being so generous with public funds.
    While being seperate entities collectively they represent the people being shafted by elites.

  7. I did put Anglo within inverted commas as you would not have seen me waving my index and middle fingers with both hands.

  8. I posted a lengthier explanation but it seems to be lost in the ether.
    It concerned all the banks,dead or on life-support and the fact that people
    have been shafted by elites throughout Europe and are being told they are
    to blame and must tighten their belts. Plus ca change?

  9. These things happen. Patience, Grasshopper.

    My point is that per head of population, the Anglo investor bailout dwarfs anything else in Europe.

  10. Yes we punch above our weight when it comes to squandering the nations wealth.
    Mind you had the Iclandic proles not got uppity they might have beaten our record.
    Spain is doing it’s level best to catch up with us.
    Measure it another way and find a ratio for bailouts to annual tax revenues Portugal
    and Greece might put us in the shade.
    It still boils down to the rogered and the rogerers who are still feeling rather jolly.

  11. I would imagine they will put together a tribunal in place when the debt is paid back and people are less angry

  12. The BBC interviewed Brian Lenihan and this was broadcast however there has
    been talk of tapes of unbroadcast material which his family have embargoed.
    I’m sure there would be stuff of interest there.
    We do deserve to know what went on even though no heads will roll.
    We will all be dead when the debt is paid back.

  13. Mmmmmm….. I think you will find his supporters are in Cavan and Fermanagh, not Monaghan. But in any case, I agree mostly with what has been said.
    LF in County Cavan ;)

  14. Back, Nice reasoning except that I would think it was more than one or two politicians who were ‘tied up’ in Anglo and Irish Nationwide (and the other banks). I imagine the scene on the night of the bailout (sounds like a bad B movie) with bankers and their little black books reeling off names such as Charlie ‘the Cadger’ Mc Creevey, Bertie ‘the bollix’ Ahern, Martin ‘The weasel’ Cullen and a host of the ‘great and good ‘ including civil servants who were on the take. Charlie Mc Creevey received 1.6 million on a whim to buy a property in the K Club, Bertie probably got a few bags of money (tesco bags of course) to keep in the cupboard seeing as he couldn’t sign his own name to open a bank account. These same cadgers put a financial regulator without brains or balls in place and a central bank run by a career civil servant.

    We are now the joke of Europe and rightfully so.

    Cowan and the others should be hung in a cage in public so we can poke them with sharp objects. Lenehan should be ………………………

    Of course no one is responsible .

  15. Fair point Bas
    Call them incompetent (like Bock) or corrupt or whatever you want. Whatever you call them one thing is certain they were not fit to hold (Any) office.
    What responsibility do their enablers bear?
    I have yet to hear any credible apology from the gutless shower of fools that voted them into power.
    Do they bear no responsibility? Or will they keep their heads down and hope they keep their cushy numbers in the county councils or civil service.

  16. I`m not suggesting that at all Bock. What I am suggesting is that corruption is endemic. Political patronage is at the route of our problems,

    The promise of a job for the nephew, or planning for the bungalow, or sure we can`t give you a pay rise but how about a few allowances for the lads, nudge nudge wink wink. Now when it comes to the inbred fuckwits who voted FF because thats the way the father did it, they are beyond help. But the people who knowingly voted for and supported a corrupt party and Taoiseach betrayed the rest of us.

    I am not saying for one minute FF are the only corrupt party but they are the masters of it. I have seen nothing in FF nua to suggest that will change. But what I would like is for those who voted them into office to stand up and admit their part in the sell out.
    I know Bock, a forlorn hope. That would require a backbone and in my experience FF supporters are invertebrates.

  17. I’m just trying to establish if you think the public service is all FF-based. As far as I can see, every family in the land has somebody who works in the public sector and they can’t all be Fianna Fail supporters. Besides, the bulk of public servants are in the bracket you would consider low-paid, so they can hardly be the ones who have a vested interest in supporting FF.

  18. Too complicated for a yes or no answer Bock.

    As I`ve previously said I believe political patronage is at the route of the malaise. Given that FF have been in power for longer than any other party its fair to assume they have had to most opportunity to place their “people” in positions of influence within the public service.

    Its also safe to assume that these insiders imposed their own corrupt FF ethos on the public service. This malign (evil) influence is at the heart of tolerance of the incompetence/corruption that we have come to expect from our mandarins and bureaucrats.

    I associate FF with corruption, treachery, nepotism and incompetence. unfortunately these “qualities” are reflected by our self interested top public servants. Its time to route them out.

  19. You make a lot of assumptions there. The first is that any government can pack the upper orders of the civil service with their supporters. Civil servants are not nominated by the government, so what is the mechanism by which they achieve this? Any civil servant senior enough to make a difference was in the job long before FF came to power.

    The second assumption, tolerance of incompetence and corruption is based on the first. In my opinion, FF never listened to advice. They didn’t even heed the €4 million report from independent consultants advising them not to bail out the banks. Maybe, apart from the spectacular failure of Neary, if you gave a few examples of the tolerance of incompetence and corruption,we could discuss it in more detail. In most cases, I’d suggest the dodgy decisions were made by FF politicians behind closed doors.

    Your final assumption is a repeat of the first two.

  20. @ Mel Drew

    “the incompetence/corruption that we have come to expect from our mandarins”

    What have the Chinese got to do with it?? (lol)

    “I associate FF with corruption, treachery, nepotism and incompetence.”

    I associate all politicians with the same practices!!!

  21. The government does share responsibility for the anglo debacle in that it allowed a lazy and incompetent banking”regulator” to ignore the problem. Sean Quinn bought into a bank that was the most profitable bank on earth with its audited books signed off by one of the biggest and most respected firm of accountants in history,overseen by our financial regulator .
    To say that the state is blameless is not accurate.I am not happy that I,my children and grandchildren should have to pay for this fuck-up.However,based on the aforementioned facts,Sean Quinn had no way of forseeing the risk he was taking.

  22. how can you say that he had no way of seeing a risk?

    he was teh richest business man in Ireland, i highly doubt that he bought those shares without any kind of risk assessment analysis!

  23. Its simple and obvious.His risk asessment was based on trusting the state via financial regulation in addition to signed audited books.Do you think for one minute he would have invested if he had any reason to doubt our suspect what might be going on ?

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