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'Fingers', New Book about Central Figure in the Irish Financial Crisis, Out This Week!


26-02-2013 11:15

The first book about a key player in the Irish Crash, Michael Fingleton – or how not to run a building society - will be published by Gill Books on Thursday, February 28th.

For four decades Michael Fingleton, known as Fingers, ruled Irish Nationwide Building Society with an iron fist. His nickname reflected his shrewdness, his love of power and his immense greed. The fall of the building society cost the tax-payer €5.4 billion but Fingleton walked away with a bonus of €1 million and a massive pension fund. Irish Nationwide, relative to its size, was the worst bank in the country, with hidden secrets that even five years into the financial crisis remain unknown to the public.

- In Fingers co-authors Tom Lyons and Richard Curran reveal how nobody in either politics or the civil service shouted stop. In forensic detail they reveal a twisted tale of how one man’s unchecked personal ambition cost us all dearly

- Fingers publishes for the first time the details of the Ernst and Young report, commissioned by the Central Bank to examine what was going on in the society in regard to failings of corporate governance.

- Fingers names the clients of Irish Nationwide who ended up as beneficiaries of those failings, and examines their relationship with Fingleton, as well as his closeness to politicians and other well-known names from the world of business and media who he favoured.

- It delves into the culture of the company and divulges what life was like inside Irish Nationwide for those working under Michael Fingleton.

- Fingers looks at Fingleton’s appetite for financing lavish projects, such as the 50 EUR million renovation of the yacht Christina O, Updown Court (the most expensive house in Britain), the Kilternan Hotel (loans of 150 EUR million for a hotel project Fingleton never even went to see), and the Provençal Hotel renovation in the French Riviera that has never been finished, among many other deals.

The books takes us from Fingleton’s early beginnings working for charity in Nigeria and explores his social life, his friends, his lavish expenses, and how in the end he blew his fortune and ended up as part of a small group of pariah figures, blamed for costing Irish citizens billions.

Tom Lyons is deputy business editor with The Sunday Independent. He is co-author of The FitzPatrick Tapes. Richard Curran is a business journalist and broadcaster. A former deputy editor of The Sunday Business Post, he is also the presenter on RTE Television’s highly successful ‘Dragons’ Den’.

Fingers: The Man who Brought Down Irish Nationwide and Cost Us €5.4bn will be published by Gill Books on Thursday, 28 February.

Join us on Thursday, February 28th at 18.30 in Hodges Figgis, 58 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 for the public launch of the book. Places limited, please reserve your seat by emailing to rsvp@gill.ie by Wednesday, February 27th.



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