Something for the walk to work

If you are already fed up with the albums you got for Christmas, I did an interview for Vox about the Irish situation which you can download here.

27 replies on “Something for the walk to work”

Thread with a lot of interest from highly reputable posters on in economy forum (no link as not allowed):
‘Strictly Confidential’ briefing to MinFin May 2008: decoding Document 29″

“Secret D o F Paper Ruled Out Bank Guarantee Feb 08 – “Minister has No Legal Role Re Liquidity”


This newly-released Department of Finance document, hand-dated February 28th 08 and marked “Secret”, gives a thorough-going review of the steps that Government can and should take in the event of illiquidity or insolvency of one or more Irish bank.

Amongst other things it states clearly that the Minister has no legal role in relation to liquidity failure.

The document is very revealing of the level of understanding of the D o F back at the beginning of 2008 and is worth careful scrutiny.

It puts the note on the NTMA and the pressure on Michael Somers in context too. I’m leaving this up as a separate thread for today, after which I’ll merge it with the Anglo Timeline thread.”…document29.pdf

It’s interesting that between Cowen’s private dinner with Anglo (April 2008) and his golf game with them (July 2008), the Department of Finance were contingency planning for an existential risk to an Irish financial institution.

On 19/June/2008 Principal Officer Michael Manley in the Dept. of Finance, emailed the Office of the Attorney General asking that draft emergency legislation be made available to the minister ‘with the powers necessary to take, as a last resort, a distressed financial institution into public ownership to support the maintenance of the financial stability in the State’.

On 01/July/2008 he emailed that ‘in the case of a takeover of a distressed financial institution by another domestic market participant, the transaction would be announced with the approval of the Competition Authority already secured’. He noted that the Competition Act did not provide for expedited decision making on that basis and suggested amending the Competition Authority Act.

“FF Press Statement: Cowen to address media at 5pm

Hearing Cowen to stay on, and to sack Micheal Martin.”

Given FF tailspin that means he’ll go as party leader and back MM.

See also here:

And on Cowen:
“today’s Sunday Independent/Quantum Research poll (sample 200 said elsewhere, telephone) which finds growing support for him.

A total 68 per cent want an immediate election, while 32 per cent said they did not.

Worryingly for Mr Cowen, a massive 80 per cent do not believe that he did not discuss the affairs of Anglo Irish Bank with Sean FitzPatrick at Druids Glen in July 2008.

Even more worryingly, a huge 77 per cent believed the Taoiseach’s links to figures such as Mr FitzPatrick had influenced his decision to extend the State bank guarantee to Anglo.”
“Correction: NewsTweets24 sources suggest Brian Cowen will not resign We said before he would but we now understand he will not resign”

“source close to Mr Cowen said yesterday: “He is changing his mind every 10 minutes as to what he should do.”
article above.
“BBC – Cowen to stay on.”

Nothing so befitted him as the manner of his not going.

There is a recipe for total farce if he is removed as party leader and forced to stay as Taoiseach having disparaged the idea. Seeing as how ludicrous the situation is now though it won’t be much worse. I suspect a lot of those who backed him when he called will vote against him, especially in secret. Still, you have to admire his courage when defending his own interests. Where does he get it from?

“According to Brian Downing on RTE news now

Martin to hold press conference in an hour”

The battle for the FF leadership:
what was that line about the contests being so bitter because the stakes are so low?

Cowen’s challengers are making HIM look good!
“If Carlsberg did leadership heaves…. they sure as hell would not do one like this, I doubt if the cheapest lager in lidl would do it like this!!”


“”RTE Radio 1 doing a taped documentary on Hamlet ..”..

That is weirdly appropriate.”

“I’m converted. This is clearly the man to lead us out of the abyss. Ireland’s Obama. Or Churchill. I feel pride and hope swelling in my soul. A titan amongst mortals”

“What a complete and utter fool he is making of himself right now..

He OFFERED his resignation.. but didn’t simply resign

He HASN’T confidence in Cowen, but will continue to serve under him because Cowen REFUSED his resignation

He doesn’t think Cowen is good enough to lead FF, but does think he’s good enough to lead the country.. There you have it in one simple sentence.. As far as Martin is concerned.. FF are more important that the country..

What an out and out fool”

People now speculating that the MM challenge is purely for the optics of having him oppose Cowen. Saves his seat and gives him a bit of distance from Cowen. IMFF gaming us again? discussion of TWIP interviews with contenders:
“Martin “I’ve been very honourable”

I tried to stab him in the face, not in the back, but I made such a balls of it that I slipped on the banana skin of my own press conference, tripped and stabbed myself in the gut while headbutting Brian in the balls.

Michael Martin – Decisive leadership – I won’t rule it in and I won’t rule it out.”

“”Fianna Fail are starting to use the word ‘republican’ a lot lately.”

This refers to the process where one who owns a pub and holds elected office returns to the public house full-time upon ejection from parliament.

Not to be confused with the other non-FF interpretations.”

Documents mentioned in first post now discussed on
Are the pieces beginning to fit together?

Dublin Confidential:
Perhaps FF will have to guarantee to Drumm and Fitzpatrick that they won’t be prosecuted and make a deal to end Anglo’s legal actions on favourable terms. It’s the only way to stop the truth coming out. It’s a bit like LA Confidential with the two medals of honour – Drumm and Fitzpatrick will both have to get off. Previously Drumm was the scapegoat, now they have to let him and Seanie off too.

@ Oliver

19 posts, spanning some 10 hours. Anything to say on Kevins interview? Nothing else to do on a Sunday?

@ Kevin
I’d like to say, as a non economist, merely a humble engineer, that I broadly agree with pretty much everything you had to say and thought the manner in which you said it was excellent. However, JTO is bringing me around to the idea that maybe not all of the noughties can be described in terms of the great Irish pyramid scheme.

@ Celtic Phoenix

My understanding was that there was at one stage a genuine burst of sustainable growth but that FF just tore the arse out of it.

Looking forward to listening to this podcast. I might even take the long route to work. Podcasts are brilliant for people who commute/walk.

That was quick!
“FORMER Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm has secured a legal agreement that effectively blocks gardai from gaining access to confidential documents, which are about to be revealed in the US.

The records are set to be disclosed during hearings related to Mr Drumm’s bankruptcy case in Boston next month.

The Irish Independent has learnt that Mr Drumm (44) has secured an agreement with Anglo that certain records about to be revealed cannot be used as part of any other proceedings.

The deal, which followed more than a month of negotiations, involved the bank agreeing with Mr Drumm the terms of a ‘protective order’, which prohibits Anglo from using the documents as part of any proceedings other than the American bankruptcy case against its former chief executive.

It also blocks the bank from handing over the documents to the Garda Fraud Squad or the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE), which are investigating major irregularities that occurred at Anglo during his tenure.”
Medal of Honour winner David Drumm!

If the Irish police forces want documents from Anglo and have search rights from their ongoing investigations, then I cannot see how Anglo could withhold these documents on the basis of a private agreement in another jurisdiction.

Destroying them, a possibility suggested by the Indo, when it is obvious that the police are likely to be interested in them would rank – surely – as obstructing justice.

@Hugh Sheehy
You would have thought wouldn’t you. Client confidentiality?

Very good point made in the interview about the damage that all this is doing to the reputation of the EU in Ireland and how it is undermining the wider ethical basis for the EU. The example of Gordon Brown’s treatment of Iceland suggests though that in their initial reactions left wing politicians would have resembled right wing ones. What is needed now are determined generous spirited European politicians – whether of right or of left. As O’Rourke points it’s that or contagion that will give us a quick solution.

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