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Tuesday 25 June 2019

Central Bank boss Lane to channel his inner Elvis for in-house opera

Central Bank governor Philip Lane
Central Bank governor Philip Lane
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

'Oh yeah, Central Banking goes on, Long after the Troika's been and gone, bank on."

The IMF might have something to say about this sort of triumphalism.

We long suspected this might be what the regulator is carolling in the midst of the much vaunted recovery - and it turns out we were right.

Releasing money on the sly to fuel another Celtic Tiger recovery to an Ireland awash with post-Brexit funds and talk of the housing supply banned on the grounds of being 'fake news', - this is the rather longingly dystopian view of the economy which has come out of the mouths of babes - or rather the Central Bank itself - in a startling fact or fiction scenario. Oh what larks.

We should be somewhat reassured that it is merely an 'opera' written by one of its own top brass - due to be staged shortly as a private event for staff only in order to raise funds for the Central Bank's nominated charities.

The opera, rather dryly named 'A Guided Tour of the Central Bank of Ireland' is a bit of a skit against the regulator itself and opens by admitting that prior to the recent financial crisis, "very few people knew or cared about the Central Bank".

Governor Philip Lane will launch into a catchy tune, set to the air of 'Blue Suede Shoes' by Elvis Presley in which he vents, saying: "We protect consumers, regulate the banks, Do it all for very little thanks." Another staffer launches into an ode to the UK funds industry, urging them to come to Ireland in in the wake of the Brexit vote.

More alarmingly, another one set to Adele's 'Hello' goes: "We worry because what banks done, You will never own your own home, Hello from the inside, At least we can say that we tried, To tell you the economy's falling apart, But it don't matter as clearly you just continue to borrow some more."

There's a little dig about the regulator pulling forecasts out of the thin air, a thinly disguised plea from the staff for their own pay to be restored, with the verse: "You talk about your EVP, Blame Fempi and austerity, But you're just playing the game, Governor."

It is understood the script was leaked and was never meant to be seen outside the private circles of the Regulator and that the script is still in draft form.

In a statement, the Central Bank said the script was written as a personal project and "was completed in the individuals' own time after hours."

In the past, similar events including a talent show and Strictly Come Dancing have raised €65,000 for partner charities.

Irish Independent

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