Says Ross in last Sunday’s Independent:
LAST April I met a hotshot Dublin businessman in a southside pub. He was not a household name but — at that time — he was as rich as Croesus. And he was angry at a piece I had written about Anglo Irish Bank.
The meeting was cloak and dagger stuff. He was not keen be seen with me; but he wanted to warn that those who were attacking Anglo would get their comeuppance. He wished to see the story in print.
The hotshot revealed that a group of his well-heeled cronies were determined to set up a revenge fund to punish all those short-sellers who had targeted Anglo. These guys had a sense of ownership: his friends were going to defend “their” bank at all costs. Those standing in the way would be swept aside by the flood of money. Enemies of Anglo would have their fingers badly burnt.
The plan was tinged with emotion; consequently it was all a bit vague, but the plot had been hatched in a Dublin hotel. A figure of €500m directly raised from the “lads” was mentioned. More would be borrowed in order to ensure success.
I still do not know today if this was the birth of the infamous Anglo 10, but I suspect that it bore the seed of the latest scandal.
I blogged Ross’s April article last week. Unfortunately he does not reveal who this Croesus figure is. What is also interesting about the language Ross uses. In April last year it was “big builders and entrepreneurs” and “consortium”. Now it’s “cronies”, “plot”, and “cloak and dagger”.
We have also since learned that the meeting between Brian Cowen and Anglo directors on April 24 (according to a FG spokesman and not denied), was the same day as this meeting between Anglo “cronies” to organise a share support operation. What a coincidence.