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ECB President Mario Draghi refuses to release Lenihan letter

ECB President Mario Draghi has refused to release a letter sent to then Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan in November 2010, the contents of which Lenihan claimed led to Ireland being “bounced” into the EU/IMF bailout.

In the letter Mr Draghi said:

“…the letter to the Irish Finance Minister, is a strictly confidential communication from the ECB President to the Irish Minister of Finance expressing the ECB’s Governing Council’s concerns about the then extraordinarily severe and difficult situation of the Irish financial sector and their repercussions on the stability of the Irish financial sector…”

He said the letter ‘invited’ “the Irish government to take swift and bold action in order to address those concerns.”

“With this letter, the ECB aimed at protecting the integrity of its monetary policy and the stability of the Irish financial system in the interest of the euro area citizens,” he continued.

And (emphasis mine):

“The letter was sent in the context of significant financial market pressure and extreme uncertainty on the prospect of the Irish economy, with substantial spillovers for the financial stability in the euro area as a whole. The confidential communication was aimed at discussing measures conducive to protecting the effectiveness and integrity of the ECB’s monetary policy and fostering an environment that ultimately contributes to restoring confidence among investors in the overall solvency and sustainability of the Irish financial sector and markets, which, in turn, is of overriding importance for the smooth conduct of monetary policy.

Here is the letter:

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9 Responses

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  1. OMF says

    The bit that I don’t get, is why they even reply to your letters at all? Aren’t they a bit powerful uber-bank? Can’t they just “deign” not to reply to anything mere mortals send them, ignore our very existence as they go about mastering their financial domains?

    I’m consistently surprised to see them respond to anything when they can just hire private goons to silence us all one way or the other. Maybe the ECB really is insolvent.

  2. Disillusioned says

    Even IF, repeat IF, the EU Ombudsman compels the ECB to disclose that letter, and it transpires that we were in fact bounced into the bailout, then what?
    A voluntary full refund from the ECB? No chance. Answers anyone?

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