The Irish government is furiously denying a report from UK’s The Telegraph that on a conference call with hedge fund investors, regarding the restructuring of Anglo Irish Bank, investors humiliated finance Lenihan by making chimp noises and yelling “short Ireland”, when they realised that participants could be heard.
In fact, they claim that The Telegraph may have been fooled.
A spokesman for the National Treasury Management Agency, which organised the conference call with the Minister, said technical issues arose at the beginning of the call when a Citigroup executive was introducing the call. “There was an element of silly messing by various participants in the call when they realised that they could be heard,” he said. However, the spokesman said that no comments were directed to the Minister or about Ireland during the technical glitch. “To suggest otherwise would be completely misleading,” he added.
He said a number of media organisations were on the call and that none of these “offered a similar analysis to the Telegraph , which was not on the call”.
“At the end of the call, spreads on Irish bonds narrowed, which indicated that the 200 investors on the call were reassured.”