ECB Caught Changing Embarrassing Transcript; Admits Ireland Was Sacrificed for European Banks

By 14 Apr 2012 0 comments

UPDATE: It looks like pressure from Twitter has caused the ECB to backdown – see here for the updated story

Twitter-Power Forces ECB to Fix Transcript Whitewash; Admits Ireland Sacrificed for Europe

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The ECB has been caught red-handed trying to change the text of a speech of one of its executive board members in Ireland on Thursday. Joerg Asmussen had originally said that

“the main reasoning [for the repayment of unsecured bondholders of Irish banks] was to ensure that no negative spillover effects would be created to other Irish banks or to banks in other European Countries.”

However, the reference to “banks in other countries” was whitewashed from the full transcript that was later released online on the ECB website. Presumably the fact that Irish taxpayers’ money is being used to support the owners of private banks in foreign countries is too embarrassing to admit – even for the ECB.

Correct Transcript:

“The decisions concerning the repayment of bondholders in the former Anglo Irish Bank have been a source of controversy, decisions taken by the Irish authorities such as these are not lightly taken and the consequences of subsequent actions are weighted carefully, it is true that the ECB viewed it as the least damaging cost to fully honour the outstanding senior debt of Anglo however unpopular that may now seem, the assessment was made at a time of extraordinary stress in financial markets and great uncertainty, and protecting the hard won gains and credibility from the early successes in 2011 was also a key consideration and the main reasoning was to ensure that no negative spillover effects would be created to other Irish banks or to banks in other European Countries.”

ECB Transcript:

“I know that the decisions concerning the repayment of bondholders in the former Anglo Irish Bank have been a source of controversy. Decisions taken by the Irish authorities such as these are not taken lightly. And the consequences of subsequent actions are weighed carefully. It is true that the ECB viewed it as the least damaging course to fully honour the outstanding senior debts of Anglo. However unpopular that may now seem, this assessment was made at a time of extraordinary stresses in financial markets and great uncertainty. Protecting the hard-won gains and credibility from the early successes in 2011 was also a key consideration, to ensure no negative effects spilled-over to other Irish banks.”

You can listen to the full recording at the IEA’s website here (skip to 27:30), and see the ECB’s transcript here.

Thanks to John Kennedy  for bringing this to our attention.

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