Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bertie Ahern, Former Taoiseach & Leader of Fianna Fáil

RTE News, April 7th, 2006:

"The Taoiseach has said he does not see a great problem with the levels of borrowing to buy property. Mr Ahern said there had been predictions of a huge downturn in 2005. He added the bad advice given by so many resulted in some people making mistakes when they should have bought property last year. "

Irish Times, 28 April 2007:

"On the other side of the election we'll get back to normality. And I think that normality will be the soft landing. The construction projections were that we will move from something like 93,000 houses to 80-something. Now that's not going to create any kind of a difficulty."

RTE, July 2007:

"Sitting on the sidelines, cribbing and moaning is a lost opportunity. I don't know how people who engage in that don't commit suicide because frankly the only thing that motivates me is being able to actively change something."

Fianna Fail website (cache), September 2007:

"But there is no place for negativity. No need for any pessimism. Above all, there is no place for politically motivated attempts to talk down the economy and the achievements of our people across all sectors."

Irish Times, 19 Sep 2008:

"Bank of Ireland shares are € 3.80 today. Now if I meet you here next year, or the year after, do you seriously think Bank of Ireland shares will be € 3.80? I'd go out and buy Bank of Ireland shares . . . that's what I'd do."

Note: As of 11 March 2009, BOI shares were 22c (source: Yahoo Finance)

Bloomberg, 4 June 2009:

"I can’t remember anyone at any level telling me, ‘The banks are giving hundreds of millions of euros to developers, and they’re borrowing this at short rates, so if anything happens to them, they’re caught... I know some people say ‘you should have asked."

Sunday Times, 27 September 2009:

"[Sean Dunne]’s lost a lot of money on it. Sean’s just one of the guys. I know a lot of them, like [Jimmy] Flynn, [Noel] O’Flaherty and the Baileys. You meet the Baileys at Croke Park every time you go there. You can’t avoid getting a slap on the back going in from them. Most of these guys lost their shirt. I feel sorry for them."

Irish Times, 10 October 2009:

Anyway, it was the collapse of Lehman Brothers that did the real damage, Ahern insists. “That decision will in history be written as the biggest mistake that American administration ever made, because Lehmans was a world investment bank. They had testicles [sic] everywhere.”

Irish Times, 21 Nov 2009:

"Commenting on the State bailout of the banks, Bertie the Comic said "It's great to see, as a socialist, that all these things come around." As for the racecourse venue? "It's great to be here, we could all be back here on Stephen's Day. If you can't make money any other way, you can try it on a horse." It was a pity to see d'oul bank shares going down the swannee, mused the Bert. Then he looked at Sean Fitzpatrick and quipped "although I think Seanie has a bit left!" The audience almost needed oxygen, they laughed so much."

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