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Anglo Republic: Inside the bank that broke Ireland [Paperback]

Simon Carswell
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 5 Sep 2011 --  

Book Description

5 Sep 2011

As late as 2007, Anglo Irish Bank was a darling of the markets, internationally recognized as one of the fastest growing financial institutions in the world. By 2008, it was bust. The Irish government's hopeless attempts to save Anglo have led the state to ruin - culminating in a punitive IMF bailout in late 2010 and threatening the future of the euro.

Now, for the first time, the full story of the Anglo disaster is being told - by the journalist who has led the way in coverage of the bank and its many secrets. Drawing on his unmatched sources in and around Anglo, Simon Carswell of the Irish Times shows how the business model that brought Anglo twenty years of spectacular growth was also at the heart of its - and Ireland's - downfall. He paints a vivid and disturbing picture of life inside Anglo - the credit committee meetings, the lightning-quick negotiations with property developers, the culture of lavish entertainment - and of the men who presided over its dizzying rise and fall: Sean FitzPatrick, David Drumm, Willie McAteer and many others. This is not only the first full account of the Anglo disaster; it will also be the definitive one.



Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Ireland (5 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844882705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844882700
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 252,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

The arrogance, hubris and sheer greed of the Anglo cabal will send you over the edge (Joe Duffy Irish Mail on Sunday)

Littered with brilliant anecdotes (Pat Leahy Sunday Business Post)

A stunningly well-researched book that lives up to its lofty billing (Sunday Times)

A brisk and meticulous narrative of the mechanics of a banking collapse ... Carswell's tale of hubris and nemesis is similar to Too Big to Fail, Andrew Ross Sorkin's 'tick-tock' of the collapse of Lehman Brothers (Financial Times)

Rich with pertinent detail, historical context and sturdy reporting ... instantly rises above the standard of the other crisis tomes (Sunday Business Post)

Carswell's tale is chock-full of astonishing revelations (William Cohan Irish Times)

A fascinating book for anyone who wants to understand how a property boom can spiral out of control (Deirdre Hipwell The Times (Books of the Year))

Superbly researched and written ... though it may enrage you (David McCullagh)

Breathtaking (Ryan Tubridy) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Simon Carswell is Finance Correspondent of the Irish Times and the author of Something Rotten: Irish Banking Scandals.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read - Thorough, Measured and Compelling 12 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
Anglo Republic: Inside the Bank that Broke Ireland by Simon Carswell is a thoroughly satisfying and compelling read. Carswell documents the rise and fall of the bank demonised by the Irish media in a superbly thorough and measured fashion. Eagerly anticipated, the volume brings together many of the tantalisingly shocking stories surrounding the high-flying executives of Anglo Irish and weaves them together with technical explanations and thorough research into an eminently readable and ultimately fulfilling expose of the big decisions and the the mindsets that led to the downfall of the institution.

I was eager to read the book to understand the fuller story behind the headlines and I was not disappointed. Like most Irish these days I would love to see the publicly identified culprits behind the mess at Anglo Irish hanged, drawn and quartered. Their lavish lifestyles and seemingly reckless disregard for the implications of their decisions seemed clear and unforgivable. Surprisingly, with the presentation of the fuller picture, I found myself more understanding of the human dimension to the story. While not able to accept the reckless actions, one comes away with a fuller appreciation of how small risks lead to larger risks and how personalities combine to catalyse specific and fatal outcomes. The failure of regulators and of the government to deal with the developing situation and their own culpability is made blatantly clear. In both of their cases, intentions may well have been laudable, but the capacity to undertake the hard and measured decisions to deal with the crisis at the appropriate time and in an effective way were crucially lacking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anglo Republic by Simon Carswell 16 Sep 2011
By ML
Format:Paperback
I echo the comments made by the previous reviewer, as he has put it so well I don't feel the need to repeat his detailed review.
Suffice to say this is an easy to read, well laid out and impartial. As someone who didn't have a full understanding of Sean Quinns involvement I had previously had some sympathy for him and his family, however, having read what actually happened I no longer do as the full story demonstrates that his downfall was the same as the bankers, the builders and developers i.e. greed. Like the previous reviewer I also found my position soften towards some of the senior management at Anglo as you get a better understanding of their position, although they are still ultimatley responsible.
Overall an excellent read and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in what happened in Anglo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Read! 31 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you ran an airline where you only had one pilot on the flight deck, half the numbers of cabin crew, no maintenance and barely enough fuel, you would make more profit than everyone else. Until of course you have a crash.

You can't do that because the authorities won't let you. They know people are very silly and must be constrained from doing dangerous things.

However nobody exercises control on the high-rolling gamblers that fly asset bubbles until they explode with mind-boggling fall-out.

We all knew that things would end in tears, but nobody did anything to stop it.

The elements are dangerous people getting hold of the controls, no regulating authorities that do anything, and the inability of all the prudent people to persuade us to turn back.

You can see all this playing out in vivid detail in this book.

It's shocking the sheer pace of it all, but at least you see the main players being totally ruined.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy and interesting read 25 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book over a year ago, read it, and archived it. I didn't bother to write a review at the time, though had I done so, it would have been very positive. In the last few weeks (july 2013) after the publication of the Anglo Tapes, I re-read the book, found I had forgotten large tracts of it, and really enjoyed the read. It was tense, hilarious at times, shocking at others, but overall an essential bit of study for anyone who wants to understand what went on at Anglo, and in Ireland in general during the boom years. Well written, full of good detail, and hard to put it down once you get into it. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read 19 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anglo Republic: Inside the bank that broke Ireland is an excellent account of how a small Irish lender inflated a property bubble of epic proportions before becoming one of the biggest financial basket-cases in Europe.

Carswell, former finance correspondent of the Irish Times, has marshalled superb sources in order to give readers a ringside seat at many of the meetings and events that drove the Dublin-based lender's phantom success and its ultimate demise. He describes how Anglo Irish became a highly leveraged bet on the future of Ireland's increasingly unsustainable property market, a poster child of European banker profligacy and excess, and nearly brought down the Irish economy.

I particularly liked some of the quotes about the bank's former CEO, Sean FitzPatrick. For example on page 38, Carswell quotes a former director of Anglo Irish as saying: "Sean FitzPatrick felt that it was Sean FitzPatrick plc and not Anglo Irish Bank plc - he felt that it was his bank, that he should call the shots to the board and the management ... He didn't want a board at all." ... He also quotes a former executive as saying: "He had an ego that liked to be lauded. As the bank attracted more attention, the ego inflated. I think there was a lot of venerating at the altar within the bank."

There are parallels with the Royal Bank of Scotland, where CEO Fred Goodwin had an even higher opinion of himself, conflated the institution he managed with his own ego, and treated the board with disdain. There are other parallels between Anglo Irish and Scotland's uber-reckless twins, RBS and HBOS. All three banks prided themselves on their buccaneering attitude to loan approval, which short-circuited the normal credit processes and risk-management practices.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars could be more accessible but gripping nonetheless
This is about Anglo Irish Bank, which was primarily an investment bank that crashed and burned with the Irish property bubble, not to be confused with Allied Irish Banks (AIB) one... Read more
Published 7 months ago by tallmanbaby
5.0 out of 5 stars Idiots, Inc.
After having just read Finton 0'Toole's Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger, this is a great book to follow up on. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Honrus Publicus
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite all the anger it generated as I read it. Simon Carswell did a great job giving a full history of Anglo from its humble beginnings, its mega... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Irish in Brussels
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good detail
Anglo Republic is a fascinating read for anyone interested in the present Irish crisis and how it unfolded from a wider banking perspective and within a single financial... Read more
Published on 6 May 2012 by Rob Kitchin
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish go mad
Excellent book on the Anglo disaster- I would have liked more analysis on the Anglo financial numbers - the book is by a very good Irish journalist and he does a very good job,... Read more
Published on 11 Nov 2011 by nicholas
5.0 out of 5 stars A LESSON LEARNED?........
Absolutely not! It is a certainty that not one single so-called lesson learned from this tawdry economic farrago will in the long term stop the next motley crew of wealth wannabe's... Read more
Published on 18 Oct 2011 by DOPPLEGANGER
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
I was a little hesitant to buy this book, but I am very glad I did.
It is well paced and paints a clear and useful picture of the personalities that shaped Anglo and led to... Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2011 by CJR
4.0 out of 5 stars anglo republic
well written full of interesting and informative facts

i do read simon,s column in the irish times as part of my weekly routine

will look forward to an... Read more
Published on 6 Oct 2011 by wobblers
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