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Anglo Irish Bank tapes show brusque demands by failed lender

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Bosses of Anglo Irish Bank were ordered to go to Ireland's central bank with "arms swinging" to demand a multi-billion-euro taxpayer bailout, according to the latest in a series of embarrassing leaked recordings.

The transcript of the tapes, the latest published Thursday by the Irish Independent newspaper, have prompted a promise from the government that it will open an inquiry into the bailout of the bank, one of the institutions whose rapid fall from grace epitomised the Irish financial collapse.

The recordings, dating from 2008, include discussions about the process which led to Anglo Irish receiving 7.0 billion euros ($9.1 billion) of bailout funds. It eventually required far more.

In the latest revelations, the bank's then chief executive David Drumm outlines his strategy for bringing cash into the fast-collapsing institution.

Using colourful language, he tells John Bowe, Anglo's then director of treasury, to use "simple speak" when making his plea to the Central Bank of Ireland.

"We need the moolah, you have it, so you're going to give it to us and when would that be? We'll start there."

The newspaper reported that Drumm said he would threaten regulators unless they agree to give him the funds.

"We'll be going down there with our arms swinging. I'm very clear on the proposal," he told Bowe. "I'm going to keep asking the thick question: 'When, when is the cheque arriving?"

In response, the Central Bank said Wednesday that it was studying transcripts of the phone calls.

"This is something that is viewed very seriously. The Central Bank will be liaising with the Gardai (police) in this regard and is also examining whether or not any breaches of regulatory requirements may have occurred arising from the information contained in the transcripts," the bank said.

Drumm fled to the United States after Anglo collapsed.

In 2010, the bank posted losses of 17.65 billion euros, the largest corporate loss in Irish history, after the bursting of a property bubble left it a huge pile of worthless loans it had granted to developers.

Anglo Irish eventually required a government rescue package costing more than 30 billion euros and the bank was nationalised in 2009.

The banking crisis forced Ireland to accept an 85 billion euro bailout from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130627/anglo-irish-bank-tapes-show-brusque-demands-failed-lender