Greeks Sought Irish Central Bank Counsel. No, Seriously!

Tyler Durden's picture

In what will assuredly be the punchline to many jokes over the course of the next few weeks, The Irish Times is reporting tonight that the Central Bank of Greece sought the advice of the Central Bank of Ireland in July and early August "to share experiences gained". We can only assume it was the double-bluff of figuring out what really didn't work since from what we have seen in the last few years, Ireland's decision to backstop/guarantee the entire Irish banking system during the crisis was perhaps what drove them into the mess they find themselves in today. While nothing surprises us with European (and indeed global) central bankers and politicians, this is perhaps the most astounding evidence of blind-leading-the-blind we have seen, especially given the focus on the stress tests which were wildly inaccurate at best in Ireland's expectations of capital/costs required.

The Irish Times: Irish bank officials were called in to advise Greeks on crisis

SENIOR OFFICIALS from the Central Bank have played a walk-on part in the unfolding Greek tragedy, prompting their counterparts in Athens from the wings on how to plot a resolution for their banks.


Performing a role close to that of an all-knowing Irish Oracle at Delphi, two officials travelled to Athens in July and again earlier this month to advise the Greeks on how they stress-tested the Irish banks in an attempt to draw a final line under the banking crisis.


The troika gods of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund have looked favourably on the Irish stress tests as a winning formula for assessing risks in banking sectors in other struggling euro zone states.


The cost of bailing out the Irish banks has not increased since the March 2011 tests, the fifth attempt in more than two years to put a final bill on the banking disaster.


As a result of the purported success of the Irish tests, the Central Bank was asked to send a delegation to Athens earlier this summer to help the Greek authorities handle their own banking woes.


"We can confirm that following a request from the Bank of Greece a small team from the Central Bank of Ireland travelled twice to the Bank of Greece to share experiences gained," a Central Bank spokesman said.


The cost of the two trips, which the Central Bank declined to disclose, was shared by the Bank of Greece and the Central Bank.


The officials advised the Greeks on the process followed in the Irish tests and how the test results influenced the reconstruction of the Irish banking system around the two "pillars" of Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks.


Two Greek banks were among eight lenders that failed EU-wide stress tests of 90 banks in July.


Bank of Ireland and AIB both passed the EU tests the previous year, but the results were undermined when the Government was forced to seek bailout loans from the EU and IMF four months later.


The subsequent Irish stress tests of the banks in March 2011 were not carried out exclusively by Central Bank officials, however. As part of their scrutiny, they called in consultants, including US asset manager BlackRock Solutions, to assess losses on the loan books of the Irish banks.


BlackRock has since been recruited by the Greek central bank to evaluate the country's banks, which would be among the losers in a default by Greece.


The Central Bank spent €30 million on external consultants to verify the tests on Bank of Ireland, AIB, EBS building society and Irish Life and Permanent. The results of the tests raised the cost of bailing out the banks by €24 billion to €70 billion. About €64 billion is being injected by the State.


The less sanguine side of us now sees why the Greeks are taking so long over a decision that would be evidently clearer and clearer every day from the perspective of what is best for the Greek man in the street.

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dlmaniac's picture

Wonder when OweBummer will call Bernie Madoff for advice.

Cynical Sidney's picture

'to share experiences gained' lolz

'to share alcoholic drank' makes more sense

covert's picture

when people in love with failure get together and they always do, the results are fascinating.


chindit13's picture

Pardon the interruption, but that would be Pappy Leprechaunopolos

dellbalboa's picture

The blind leading the blind indeed.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

The Greeks need to get advice from Iceland not Ireland.

chindit13's picture

No Spellcheck at the Greek Central Bank.  Austerity, you know.

Peter K's picture

Yes, but in this crazy ole world we live in, or rather the one that our progressive socialist leftists elites have constructed for us, it's the Icelanders who are getting advice from the ECB. And their gov is seriosly thinking about jumping into the Euromess. You just can't make this up:(

Fips_OnTheSpot's picture

LMAO! This is hilarious. -- and a nice gain for the "conslutants", 30m for stating the obvious.

UP Forester's picture

ICB:  "So, how bad is it, laddy?"

BR:  "You need to add a lot more Euros to make your banks solvent.  Want us to take care of it?"

ICB:  "Sure, here's a cheque from Dr. Bernanke."

BR:  "Depositing it now.  Aaaannnnddd......

      's gone."

M.B. Drapier's picture

It seems there were relatively few Bernankebucks for the Irish banks, unlike other EU financial institutions we could name. (AIB did get some Fed liquidity.)

Hansel's picture

They paid €30 million to some consultants to tell them they need another €24 billion?  Where do I sign up?  Hey Greece, you need €200 billion.  That will be €50 million please.

P.S. Benron, King Telepromptus, and Turbo are back in a new cartoon uncomparable to anything seen in the MSM:  This Plan Will Work

Peter K's picture

Excellent video, but I think the producers might inadvertantly be reinforcing a stereotype. :)

Steroid's picture

Meh, they just wanted a Greek vacation.

Both will milk their system as long as they can.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Given what the the EU has proposed lately (unicorns, rainbows & pixie dust), they really should hire Madoff, Ebbers, Allen Stanford, Dennis Kozlowski or Paul Krugman as Chief Advisor.

By the way, whatever did happen to the nuclear physicists-turned-financial-quants from Long Term Capital Management?

The Bernank is already under contract with the Rothschilds, and that's a contract one doesn't want to break (although The Bernank is a true master of slight-of-hand).

...wait...Hank 'Tanks In The Street Immediately' Paulson is free, right?


p.s. (Yes, this is a true news report, and not an Onion parody):

09-27 16:53: Germany and America were on a collision course on Tuesday night

News Headline Summary
"Germany and America were on a collision course on Tuesday night over the handling of Europe's debt crisis after Berlin savaged plans to boost the EU rescue fund as a stupid idea and told the White House to sort out its own mess before giving gratuitous advice to others."
chump666's picture

and in about 3 days US crappy economic news hits the wires. 

tom a taxpayer's picture

TruthInSunshine - Thank you for the information, analysis, and news links over the past several days. This news from a link you posted I think is game, set, and match if the rules and referee are obeyed.

"Andreas Vosskuhle, head of the constitutional court, said politicians do not have the legal authority to sign away the birthright of the German people without their explicit consent....Dr Vosskuhle said that the improvisation of far-reaching policies had become "dangerous", and warned against schemes to circumvent the rule of law with backroom deals. "Germany has a great affinity for the rule of law. People expect the political class to obey the rules."

mfoste1's picture

milk through the nose***

Ye Ye's picture

If they sought the advice of the Central Bank of Iceland instead, they'd be in better shape.

Shell Game's picture

Three Irishmen walk out of a bar...

chump666's picture

forget Greece...

0532 GMT [Dow Jones] Hong Kong's midday short sales ratio is at an elevated 11.7%, with total short-selling volume at HK$4.37 billion, reflecting bears' view that the HSI's 4.2% rally Tuesday may be just a one-day wonder, and the market is resuming its downtrend (the HSI is down 0.9% at midday). Tencent (0700.HK) tops the list with HK$403.93 million, followed by China Mobile (0941.HK) with HK$288.93 million, HSBC (0005.HK) with HK$242.88 million. Then come China Construction Bank (0939.HK) with HK$232.81 million, and Cnooc (0883.HK) with HK$154.02 million

ambrosiac's picture



Venizelos was overheard whistling "Danny Boy".


Where, oh where is the luck of the Irish?

tom a taxpayer's picture

Greece hoping to get Lucky Charms.

chump666's picture

ZH you see this?  Major Yuan sell off Asia/HK session!

SHANGHAI (Dow Jones)--The yuan Wednesday nearly hit the lowest level in its daily trading band set by the Chinese central bank, due to month-end importer demand for dollars and despite earlier efforts by Beijing to guide its currency higher.

M.B. Drapier's picture

Oh, but haven't you heard? After a cut in our bailout interest rate and two quarters of actual growth driven by exports the Republic of Ireland is back on track, baybeee! We are now happily motoring on through the dark tunnel, towards the headlights of the oncoming global deflationary slump.

PS: Irish Banks, your cut-out-and-keep guide:

  • AIB = Allied Irish Bank(s). AIB =/= Anglo Irish Bank. (Don't even ask about Anglo Irish Bank.)
  • Bank of Ireland =/= Central Bank of Ireland


philipat's picture

I noticed that CNBC Europe hasn't been trotting out the CEO's of the Irish Banks to share the secrets of their success recently?

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Irish Banks, your cut-out-and-keep guide:

  • AIB = Allied Irish Bank(s). AIB =/= Anglo Irish Bank. (Don't even ask about Anglo Irish Bank.)
  • Bank of Ireland =/= Central Bank of Ireland

BS = Bear Shillelagh

LB = Leprechaun Brothers


philipat's picture

Ireland is screwed for several generations whereas Iceland is on the mend. But the Banks were saved. Halleluyah.

doomz78's picture

Im hoping that the fed swoops in to "secure" the european problem. Build a secure fort made of Bernake bucks around greece to prevent contagion. They can perhaps do this by funding this project through the IMF on the already crumpling backs of the US population. I can see this going really well for them. When you bail people out once they're gonna want to be bailed out again. Kind of like feeding the racoons or mice.  This relationship between the global banks and the federal reserve has to be maintained periodically with liquid injections of Bernanke bucks. The USA will save the world with dreams made of paper money and a straight face.  Call it QE3 or Euro QE Royale or whatever.....   The structure has collpased. I don't blame any one person for this mess.  But a collective group of politicians, the federal reserve, the banksters and the elite that have robbed the people of Europe the USA and the rest of the world.  Sneaky way to rob the masses. Sovereign Debt through banks. 

jmc8888's picture

I guess you can call that, searching for 'worst practices'.


mrkolice's picture

please recall the following news from jan 2011:

ECB Allows Ireland To Counterfeit 51 Billion Euros

Mike "Mish" Shedlock, Jan. 18, 2011


i you ask me the greeks just want some advice on how to print as irish did

oldman's picture

I find it most interesting at how tptb can so complicate economic policy because of 'ideological' positions. Dressing a naked king in nothing in the hope that no one will notice he is still without clothes is becoming very expensive. Why not just but him a robe and cut out all of the nonsense?

Because it does'nt pay, you say? Well, it doesn't cost either---------except for the markets no one really cares-----maybe everyone is right. On the Basque coast of Spain it is warm, sunny, and no one knows a thing about any of this.

Apparently, life will go on                    om



Blank Reg's picture

Now, let's see if Greece, Ireland and lets say..... PORTUGAL  start plotting, oops, talking amongst themselves. Could be scary.

Random_Robert's picture

The Greeks missed it by one letter....

They would have been better off talking to Iceland, not Ireland.

But come to think of it, I've never met a prudent Greek.