Tuesday 12 December 2017

Hoodwinked by a pair of ersatz Anglo frat boys

It's a sad reflection on our Government, our civil service, and our regulators, that it actually worked, says Brendan O'Connor

John Bowe, left, and David Drumm
John Bowe, left, and David Drumm
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

THEY weren't even very convincing frat boys. One of the startling things about the Anglo tapes was that Anglo's version of the culture of Wall Street machismo that the participants thought they were emulating was such a weedy one. While they tried to talk big, these lads were very much the guys who got the sand kicked in their faces rather than the kickers.

Evident throughout is a sense of desperation to keep up the banter, to talk down anyone from outside the tribe – be it the regulators or the Germans. They are like guys who've watched Wall Street the movie, read Bonfire of the Vanities, and would really like to think they were Masters of the Universe. But in fact, these guys were less Gordon Gecko, more Beavis and Butthead.

What is most extraordinary is that the regulators, the civil servants and the politicians were taken in, and clearly intimidated, by this ersatz frat-boy machismo.

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