September 30, 2010

Ireland Moves Forward With Anglo Irish Bank Bailout

Total cost estimates rise to $48 billion

Citing Anglo Irish Bank's "progressively weakened funding position over the past few weeks," the Irish Government prepared to take majority control Thursday. That same day, Dublin West's finance minister Brian Lenihan said Anglo Irish Bank could require $48 billion for it's bailout, with the possibility of needing an additional $6.8 billion.

"The recently disclosed unacceptable corporate governance practices that took place within Anglo have caused serious reputational damage to the bank at a time when overall market sentiment towards it has been negative," Ireland's Central Bank said in a statement. "Therefore, the Government decided to move to the final and decisive step of taking Anglo into public ownership."

Broader concerns about the stability of Ireland's financial situation remain, with some investors concerned it could become the next Greece.

"The Irish banking system is at rock bottom today," Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said Thursday in a Bloomberg Television interview in Dublin. He rejected speculation Ireland will need outside help. "It can only revive from now because it's re-capitalized and reformed."

According to Bloomberg, Irish bonds have plunged this month, sending the yield on 10-year securities to higher than any other euro nation except Greece.

In January of 2009, the Irish Government, having consulted with the bank's board, decided to take steps to enable Anglo to be taken into public ownership, i.e. nationalized.

Anglo's shares were suspended from listing on the Irish Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange that same month, and have now been completely de-listed.

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