The Anglo Irish Bank revelations get worse.
We learned on Monday, thanks to the Irish Independent, that the bank's initial figure of €7bn (£6bn) for its bailout in 2008 was picked "out of my arse," as one executive put it. Now another executive is heard on the tapes glorying in the rush of deposits from Germany that followed the Irish government's blanket guarantee of savings at Anglo Irish. "Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles," he sings.
As an illustration of the bankers' arrogance and the Irish politicians' temerity, these audiotapes could hardly be bettered. It's very late in the day but Dublin must order a proper inquiry into events of 2008 and 2009.
It might be asked what is left to learn. Well, the critical questions are still unanswered. Was the government misled? Or did ministers in the Fianna Fáil-led government willingly suspend any disbelief over the €7bn figure? And, since the final cost of bailing out Anglo Irish was €30bn, what steps were taken to establish a proper estimate?
Besides, you never know what you'll discover until you look. If all phonecalls at Anglo Irish were taped, the public deserves to know what else they contain. Then the executives, politicians and regulators can be cross-examined.
In the meantime, the current Irish government is probably right to worry that the bankers' bragging will appal Brussels and Berlin and make it harder for Ireland to win relief on its bailout debt from the EU. Too late, though. Just hold the inquiry.
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