Friday 24 November 2017

Even as Bertie's boom got boomier the omens were getting gloomier

Chickens are coming home to roost all over the place now, and not just for Seanie and the lads at Anglo Irish, writes Jody Corcoran

Jody Corcoran

Jody Corcoran

FIVE years ago, an Irish auctioneer walked into the dining room of the Four Seasons in Lisbon and demanded a beef burger. But they didn't do burgers at the swanky hotel. Would sir not prefer a fillet steak? No, sir would not prefer a fillet steak; sir wanted a burger.

He had just bought 30 houses on the outskirts of the Portuguese capital for around €15m of other people's money, borrowed from the likes of Anglo Irish Bank, Allied Irish Bank and Fingers Fingleton's little outfit, Irish Nationwide.

The houses, on an 18-hole golf course, were in the style of northern Europe, to appeal to buyers from Ireland and the UK; people like the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, who thought they knew what they were doing, but hadn't a clue, gulled, as they were, by the madness of the time.

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