The Irish people, who sacrificed their sovereignty and billions of Euros, are waking this morning to a stunning revelation that the bailout to save Anglo-Irish was engineered by the Bank's leadership to game as much money as possible from the central bank. The Irish Independent has secret recordings from the period in 2008 - below - that show senior management luring the State into giving it billions as they admit the EUR 7 billion number was "picked out of my arse."
The bottom-line is that the bank knew they were in trouble and so decided to game the Central Bank and their regulators knowing that once the State began the flow of money, it would be unable to stop: "If they (Central Bank) saw the enormity of it up front, they might decide they have a choice. You know what I mean? They might say the cost to the taxpayer is too high . . . if it doesn't look too big at the outset... if it looks big, big enough to be important, but not too big that it kind of spoils everything, then, then I think you have a chance. So I think it can creep up... [once] they have skin in the game." Will there be an Irish Spring as the conspiracy theory of the banking bailout now become conspiracy fact?
Taped telephone recordings (from the bank's own systems) from inside doomed Anglo Irish Bank reveal for the first time how the bank's top executives lied to the Government about the true extent of losses at the institution.
Anglo itself was within days of complete meltdown – and in the years ahead would eat up €30bn of taxpayer money. Mr Bowe speaks about how the State had been asked for €7bn to bail out Anglo – but Anglo's negotiators knew all along this was not enough to save the bank.
The plan was that once the State began the flow of money, it would be unable to stop.
Mr Bowe is asked by Mr Fitzgerald how they had come up with the figure of €7bn. He laughs as he is taped saying: "Just, as Drummer (then-CEO David Drumm) would say, 'picked it out of my arse'."
Mr Bowe's comments in the audio recording reveal that Anglo's strategy was to lure the State in, leaving taxpayers with no choice but to continue to provide loans to "support their money".
"If they (Central Bank) saw the enormity of it up front, they might decide they have a choice. You know what I mean?
"They might say the cost to the taxpayer is too high . . . if it doesn't look too big at the outset . . . if it looks big, big enough to be important, but not too big that it kind of spoils everything, then, then I think you have a chance. So I think it can creep up."
Mr Fitzgerald, the Director of Retail Banking, is heard saying: "Yeah. They've got skin in the game and that is the key."
The recording also shows Mr Bowe and Mr Fitzgerald laughing as they say how there is no realistic chance of ever repaying the loans.
For the first time, taxpayers get an exclusive insight into the banking shenanigans that cost Ireland our sovereignty.