Thursday 19 September 2019

Never forget what Anglo did

'We still live with the legacy of Anglo but we have many other fish to fry.' (Stock picture)
'We still live with the legacy of Anglo but we have many other fish to fry.' (Stock picture)
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

There's something wrong here isn't there? This doesn't feel as good as it should. It hasn't quite given us the closure we wanted.

It probably doesn't help that the three bankers who were banged up last week aren't celebrity panto villains like Drummer.

And in reality we have all moved on a bit. We still live with the legacy of Anglo but we have many other fish to fry. The cycle of outrage is spinning faster all the time and we've been briefly outraged about thousands of things since Anglo.

It didn't help that even the judge appeared dissatisfied with the nature of the vengeance. In sentencing, he pointed out that these guys were just part of a much bigger story, and that plenty got away scot-free.

The regulators who were supposed to be preventing dodgy carry-on seem to have been encouraging it, or at least turning a blind eye. And the auditors who were paid enormous sums of money to make sure that everything was blue chip with the blue chips, were blind to it, either wilfully or not. And they all march on.

John Hurley and Patrick Neary with fine pensions that we pay them; Ernst & Young, like most of the other big auditing and financial services firms, still thriving, now under the name EY, perhaps to signify a new era.

It seemed as if the judge, like us, was wondering why he was only dealing with these three muppets when the whole system was pulling the wool from the green jersey over our eyes.

But it is important, in order that we get some satisfaction from this, that we remember.

These are not three harmless old duffers.

Let us remember in particular today John Bowe, probably known to the lads as Bozo or Bowsie. It is important, when we wonder what the point of the longest criminal trial in the history of the State was, to remember who John Bowe is and what an arrogant disdainful prick he is.

It is important to remember what Bowe thought of you and me and all the little people who'd clean up his mess and keep his caper going. And what he thought of the agencies of the State.

It is important to remember how Bowe laughed as he told his colleague Peter Fitzgerald how he was luring the Central Bank into giving billions of our money to their bank.

Remember how he started by telling the Central Bank how Anglo needed €7bn? Remember how he laughed as he said he plucked this figure out of his arse?

And how he boasted that this was a lie just to lure us in, because if the Central Bank knew the true nature of what Anglo was going to cost us, the Central Bank might "decide they had a choice" about things. So Bowe started with €7bn which could then "creep up".

Remember too how Bowe laughed about how the loan would be bridged until Anglo could pay it back - "Which is never". It verged on sociopathic to be having such a good laugh about screwing decent people everywhere.

So remember that - and you might feel more satisfaction about that bollix John Bowe getting some of what he deserves.

Sunday Independent

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