The Bank of England released today minutes from Court meetings between 2007 and 2009, covering the period of the financial crisis.
The special release is part of an effort to increase the transparency of the bank, which has been criticised for keeping the Court — which is meant to be its governing body — in the dark
In a statement, Treasury Select Committee head Andrew Tyrie said that during the financial crisis “the Bank of England did not have a board worthy of the name.” It was effectively dominated by governor Mervyn King and the Court was ineffective as a regulatory body.
A prime example of the bank’s secrecy contained in the minutes is a set of weird name animals used to refer to struggling financial institutions, most of which had to be bailed out.
“The Governor outlined a proposed emergency facility for Fox in the light of its current financial circumstances stand out,” one part reads.
The names were presumably used to prevent specific details leaking out if anyone got hold of the minutes.
The list below shows the code names for each bank.
The names make the Bank of England Transactions Committee minutes sound a bit like the Watership Down crossed with Margin Call.
For example, see if you can decipher the paragraph below:
Badger had made good progress in addressing their position. Recent sales of assets (commercial property) had secured sufficient funding to see them through to the middle of 2008..
In contrast, the Committee was told that senior management of Tiger had been less seized about the urgency of resolving future funding matters.
“Badger” is the name for Bradford and Bingley. And “Tiger” refers to Alliance and Leicester. In the end, Tiger didn’t resolve its future funding matters and was bought by Spanish bank Santander in 2008. The government came to Badger’s rescue, and still owns it to this day.