independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Anglo Tapes: Give me the moolah, warned Drumm

* 'We'll go down there [Central Bank] with our arms swinging,' says Anglo boss Drumm as bank teeters

ANGLO boss David Drumm's strategy was to go down to the Central Bank "with our arms swinging" to demand a cash injection for his sinking bank.

He explained his strategy about dealing with the Central Bank to senior colleague John Bowe: "Get into the f**king simple speak: 'We need the moolah, you have it, so you're going to give it to us and when would that be? We'll start there."

In the latest Anglo Tapes, Mr Drumm is heard saying he would be threatening regulators unless they wrote him a cheque.

"We'll be going down there with our arms swinging. I'm very clear on the proposal," he told Mr Bowe.

He is also heard threatening to shut Anglo Irish and "hand the keys" to the State if he did not get a fresh influx of capital from the taxpayer.

"I'm going to keep asking the thick question: 'When, when is the cheque arriving?'"

Speaking of a potential collapse, Mr Drumm tells Mr Bowe: "And by the way, the game has changed now because really the problem now is at their [regulators'] door. Because if they don't give it [€7bn] to us on Monday they have a bank collapse. If the f***ing money keeps running out the door, the way it has been running out the door."

Mr Drumm said that he would ask the regulators: "How are you getting on with that loan, lads?"

He said he would tell officials: "If you want the f***ing keys now, I can give them to you. So I'm relaxed about it."

Elsewhere in the tapes, Mr Drumm says he will "lose the plot" with the regulator if he doesn't get his way.

The latest recording was made the night before a crucial meeting with the Financial Regulator in September 2008 when both Anglo executives were discussing their game plan.

Some of the language used in the tape is unprintable in a family newspaper.

Mr Drumm talks about his intention to tell the regulators that the bank "will collapse" if it does not get emergency funding within days.

In a phone call with his Director of Treasury John Bowe, Mr Drumm said he was going to talk to the State bank officials in "f***ing simple speak".

Mr Drumm is also critical of ratings agencies, who both executives were concerned would target the bank. The pair said they would have to fend off the

agencies, confronting questions about how conditions had deteriorated and the institution was under stress.

Drumm told Bowe: "Yeah and we'll be saying, 'Yeah, a stress because HBOS were f**king sold and Lehman's went bust and f**king Bank of America f**king took over Merrill's and other f**king non-normal things happened, you c**t.'"

The latest revelations from the Anglo Tapes are contained in a recording of a phone call between Drumm and Bowe which took place on September 19, 2008, the day before the meeting with the Central Bank.

Drumm, who has since moved to live in the US, uses particularly colourful language throughout the eight-minute phone call. When Bowe tells Drumm that the bank has no more cash, the bank boss jokes: "You're going to have the look of death, Johnny Wonder!"

He also refers to the financial regulators as "f***ing Freddie F***ing Fly".

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, the Irish Independent revealed details of a telephone conversation which took place on the day before the above Drumm-Bowe phone call – September 18 – between executives John Bowe and Peter Fitzgerald.

In it, Bowe outlined a strategy to mislead the State when they asked for a €7bn loan. Bowe said Anglo's plan was intended to "pull them in" and get them to "write the big" cheque.

Bowe told Fitzgerald that he had arrived at the loan sum by picking "it out of my arse", even though he knew Anglo needed much more than that.

Bowe had been involved in negotiations with the Central Bank. Fitzgerald had not been involved in the negotiations and has said he was unaware of any strategy or intention to mislead the authorities. Bowe denies that he misled the Central Bank.

In this latest recording, Drumm phones Bowe to discuss what they would say at the meeting with Central Bank officials on September 19.

Despite being within days of Anglo going to the wall, Drumm was upbeat and clearly spoiling for a fight with the state bank officials if he didn't get what he wanted.

At the time – 10 days before the blanket bank guarantee – Anglo deposits were losing over a billion euro a day.

When Mr Bowe answered, Drumm said hello and sniggered: "J.B ... another day, another billion." Bowe laughed and replied: "Yeah, yeah, yeah ... I'd like to say if (inaudible) was talking to you, he'd say, 'A great day ... a great buzz in the dealing room ... everybody's tail was up. Fantastic."

Drumm also laughed: "Oh yeah, did I lose a billion?"

At one point, Drumm goes into a foul-mouthed rant, including describing ratings agencies that had taken a negative view as "a complete n****r in the woodpile".

And Drumm did not disguise his contempt for the state regulators and officials at the Department of Finance. He said he was frustrated that they were not moving fast enough to give him the money.

FOUL-MOUTHED

Drumm said of the planned meeting in the Central Bank: "We're going down to meet the whole f**king shooting gallery of them.

"I do know this, there's a big meeting in the Department of Finance tonight, which I am told is a kind of a pow-wow.

"I assume they're going to make up their minds what the f**k they're going to do on the basis that they can't spend another week, next week, flapping around.

"So, I'm jumping to the mad conclusion that the meeting tomorrow is about bringing that to fruition (the €7bn loan).

"But I could be bitterly disappointed. It could be another bureaucratic go-nowhere meeting. But having said that, I won't put up with that.

"Yeah, I'll be forcing the agenda. We'll go down there with our arms swinging. I'm very clear on the proposal what we can and cannot do."

Drumm revealed that the bank needed the emergency injection of cash to artificially beef up the end-of-year figures which were due in two weeks.

Irish Independent

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