There’s a very curious article on the Irish Times wesbite today (don’t know if its in today’s print edition or if it will appear in tomorrows).
The gist of it is that ex-anglo employees, most of whom are still kept in employment by IBRC, are the true victims of the banks collapse and in addition the recent negative fall out from the tapes if they happen to be looking for a new job with a different employer.
There are so many parts of the article that strike me as either naive, stupid, or intentionally wrongheaded. I know we are talking about real people here, many of them with young families, but as Yogan has pointed out in the past the dogs on the street in '07 knew that this bank was in serious trouble and none of these guys and girls “whose only crime was getting a good job with the old Anglo” cried stop. I just don’t buy it.
It’s Ireland, responsibility is for others and very diminished even then.
The message to the people is simple - “hold the culprits to account and everyone suffers, think of the little people”, so far it is working a charm.
The silence is deafening from FF on the tapes, the newest reminders that they could jeopardize trials and should not have been leaked also telling, there have to be tapes with ministers calls to bankers and if they hit the airwaves it will be incredible stuff IMO.
The little people need to stop being the human shield, unfortunately the unions were bought by Bertie, the political parties are all compromised, and the media are bankrupt without political and corporate support. Only as the truth drips out over many more years will the populace truly recognize the traitors and by then it will be too late, it already is actually.
apart from the higher echelons in the bank i dont think the tapes affect the majority of ex Anglo staff. and to be fair to Anglo they could do what BOI could never do; scan a bank statement and email it to you in an hour. BOI could not even fax me a bank statement, so useless
I opened a savings account with Anglo just after the bank guarantee. They had the best rates so it was a no brainer to me. Went into the Stephen’s Green branch with all the paperwork and was waiting for the girl I was dealing with to photocopy them and come back.
An old dear was sitting at the next desk to me, asking the Anglo girl across from her if her savings were safe, how did the Guarantee work etc etc. The Anglo one was very prim and proper and very SoCoDu with her accent etc. Then the old dear asked her about what would happen to her savings if the Govt took over Anglo…well yer Anglo 'wan nearly went through the roof:
“I can assure you Madame” she said in a very snooty accent for a youngish girl " that Anglo Irish bank will never be nationalised, not over my dead body. We’re not that type of bank"
I thought it was the height of snobbery at the time, and demeaning towards the country in general that had just bailed her company out effectively. That exchange has always stuck in my mind. Summed up a lot about the place to me
In a similarish vein I remember a friend relating the anecdote that he got chatting to an Anglo junior management guy circa early Autumn 2008 (i.e., pre-guarantee, but only just) who was totally gung-ho and dismissive of any negative talk re Anglo, parroted the official line at that point that the market had it all wrong, property wasn’t even a big part of their book, a lot of the loans were really for business development, etc. Now, as I say he was junior mgt and he may just have been parroting a line he was told but the way my friend related it, he sounded like a true believer.
I knew plenty of Anglo staff – though on the Treasury and trading side of the business only. From T OMahony on down they were just a smattering of egomaniacs mixed in with generally average front office staff. What really messed them up though was the hubris of watching their stock options turn them into paper millionaires, along with their couple of houses; it made them feel like the smartest guys in the world so they saw no risks anywhere.
The truth is, the Irish market is no longer big enough - if it ever was - to sustain real journalism. Who buys the Irish Times these days? Largely pensioners, in my experience, and it’s largely pensioners that write for it too. Commentators like Fintan O’Toole, Vincent Browne, John Waters will continue to file their weekly pieces, with - more or less - independence to write what they want, but we are not seeing, and in my view are unlikely to see, a younger cadre taking over the baton. The best we can hope for is that some Russian oligarch buys the Irish Times as a hobby horse. Let’s hope it’s a benevolent one.