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2008: HOW IT ALL BEGAN TO UNRAVEL

If we knew then what we know now.

Giovanni Trapattoni had just been appointed Irish manager, Dustin was sent to the Eurovision and the Progressive Democrats still existed.

Padraig Harrington held the US PGA trophy and Pat Kenny was spending a lot of his time down the High Court arguing with his neighbour over land.

But one night in 2008 was set to change the course of Irish life. This is how the Herald told the story:

* September 18, 2008 – Could It Happen Here? That was the question posed by economic commentator Dan White. The answer, 12 days later, was absolutely yes.

He was writing about "the tsunami which swept away HBOS". "Forget about the ornate marble banking halls. What banking is really about is confidence. If a bank has the confidence of the markets, then it will have no difficulty securing capital and deposits. However, as soon as that confidence goes, a bank is done for".

* September 30, 2008 – The Herald was the first newspaper to report extensively on the crisis meetings, that lasted until 4.30am.

Bank shares rallied significantly on foot of the move after a day of carnage on Meltdown Monday, when Anglo Irish Bank lost half its value.

One banking source said: "To be quite honest, we would have bitten his hand off last night for this deal. It ring fences the banks from the moves of predators".

* October 2, 2008 – Finance Minister Brian Lenihan under increasing pressure from Britain as billions of pounds flowed into Irish banks because of the Government two-year guarantee on savings.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling intervened twice with the Irish Government on behalf of UK banks, amid fears that the Government's blanket guarantee was causing a flood of funds across the Irish Sea.

British Treasury sources, quoted by The Times of London, said Mr Lenihan was told "in no uncertain terms the scheme was a problem for the UK".

* October 3, 2008 – A Fianna Fail senator labelled some of the country's top bank executives "absolute dopes".

Martin Brady said no worker in any sector deserves to be paid a multi-million euro salary. Speaking shortly after emerging from the all-night Seanad debate on the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Bill, he said Opposition parties were right to question the massive salaries of chief executives of Ireland's main banks. "Some of them get around €2m. In my view, nobody is worth that amount."


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