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Ireland Finance Minister: Reports That I Was "Heckled" Greatly Exaggerated

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As you may have heard, on Friday Citigroup held a call with Brian Lenihan, Ireland's Finance Minister. Here's how it was described by the Telegraph:

The call with Brian Lenihan and hundreds of investors rapidly descended into farce, forcing Citigroup, which staged the event, to pull the plug. The treatment of the minister, which comes as Ireland faces a standoff with a group of hedge funds over its rescue plan for Anglo Irish Bank, will increase tensions between the country and the debt markets. Mr Lenihan had been speaking for less than two minutes on Friday before a mistake by Citigroup meant that the bank's clients were all able to be heard on the line. Between 200 and 500 investors are understood to have been on the call, and as they realised their lines were not muted many began to heckle Mr Lenihan. Some traders began making what one banker on the call described as "chimp sounds", while another cried out "dive, dive". A third man said "short Ireland" before adding "why not short Citi too?" As the call descended into chaos, with one participant heard to say "this is the worst conference call ever", Citigroup officials shut down the line.

First off-- "worst" conference call or best conference call ever? And second, Lenihan claims the whole thing never happened. Citi's clients love him/Ireland and this was an attempt by the press to make him look bad.

Lenihan last night dismissed a Daily Telegraph newspaper claim he had been humiliated and ridiculed by UK investors during a conference call last Friday, saying it was part of a campaign by "unhappy and angry" Anglo subordinated bond holders. Speaking to the Sunday Independent, he said: "Clearly the subordinated bond holders in Anglo and Irish Nationwide are angry and are hitting out through this form of journalism in sections of the London press."

Lenhihan Hits Out At Bond Holders [Independent]


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