'The market is drunk!'
It is June 30, 2008. S&P, the bank credit rating agency, has just issued a new note warning investors to be wary of Anglo Irish Bank. David Drumm, the bank's chief executive, calls up John Bowe, head of treasury, to discuss what it all means for Anglo. The conversation reveals Drumm's mental state as the pressure piles on
Note: DD is David Drumm. JB is John Bowe. Brackets indicate explanatory insertions by this newspaper.
David Drumm: God, do you know what John? I've learned a lot in the last 12 months.
John Bowe: Oh, I know.
DD: Nobody, nobody, not within your own camp, ie within Anglo, nobody outside can be relied upon, nobody.
JB: I know, relationships aren't worth a light.
DD: They're not worth a fucking toss. I will be a different banker when this is all over, that's all I will tell you. They are fucking wankers. Relationships (inaudible). The lengths we've gone to keep these guys [S&P] right and with us and as soon as a little bit of pressure comes on they drop you.
The two men then discuss the broader Irish banking market. Bank of Ireland's share price has fallen by eight per cent that morning and Anglo is also nose-diving. It is a fraught time and the bankers air their frustrations at the Financial Regulator.
DD: The market is drunk, the market is fucking drunk again. It is fucking madness.
JB: I spoke to IFSRA [the Financial Regulator] and I spoke to [names official X in the regulator's office]. [X] is very calm and 'thanks for the call' and I said 'look, I just want to make you aware that we could see outflows'. 'Yeah, great, thanks for the call,' you know isn't . . . and I said 'look. . .
DD: [X] isn't offering you any pithy suggestions.
JB: Well you know I just said, 'look, we are on high alert now and you should probably be on alert as well. So . . .
JB: You know, I mean I stopped short of saying this could be unbelievably bad. So, didn't get that across but [X] seemed very chilled out.
DD: Well, [X]'s not going to get fired John!
DD: Lose [X]'s job, lose [X]'s fucking livelihood, [X] is going to get the cheque for the next fucking 20 years.
DD: [X] doesn't give a fuck.