Text of NAMA Debate

For those who might be interested in the NAMA debates, the full text of all Dail debates can be found here.

Lots of interesting stuff was discussed in last night’s debate but my favourite moment was the Minister for Finance’s perfect invocation of the Baconian equivalence fallacy, complete with brass plate metaphor:

Nationalisation of the whole of the Irish banking system, which is what is being proposed in the motion, will not be the short-term panacea that some envisage. Wholesale nationalisation would do absolutely nothing to resolve to the banks’ bad debt problems and get credit flowing again to support economic recovery and jobs. Nationalisation may change the brass plate, but it does not provide the individual institution with any additional funding or any resolution of the bad debt problems which cripple our financial institutions.

13 thoughts on “Text of NAMA Debate”

  1. That is a totally impenetrable comment from the Minister. Can someone please interpret and set firmly in the context of present policy.

    Apparently, according to the Minister, the whole world is lost in admiration for the approach of the Irish Government. I hope these chips are cashable at some stage.

    PTQ!

  2. Even according to the published NAMA plan, there may be a need to recapitalize the banks to the degree that they are owned by the state, depending on the adequacy of the assets. He appears to have ruled this out by his chosen words.
    An insight into what is motivating the NAMA plan.

  3. This is becoming very worrying. Is the minister deliberately misunderstanding the primary argument behind the nationalisation motion?

    I didn’t bother watching last night. Did the minister address the issue of the distribution of the benefits (i.e. all to shareholders) should the banks become profitable again in a few years?

  4. This is depressing, rather than amusing, Karl. From these comments and given the fact that the substance of the issue – the distribution of ownership benefits after clean-up – has been well evoked, the only possible explanation here is that the Minister is cynically misinforming his debate with vague and useless references to “brass plates”.

  5. Went along to the Dail last night to watch the second stage of the debate in order to atone for sins in a past life. The following TDs spoke some with passion, none with any great insight apart perhaps from one or two. Richard Bruton, Eamon Ryan, Mary White, Michael Moynihan, Beverly Cooper Flynn, Thomas Byrne, Billy Kelleher, Ruari Quinn, Cathleen Lynch, Joanna Tuffy, and finally Joan Burton. Use of ISME statistics on loan applications by Labour Party deputy tells us something of the strange situation we find ourselves in. Some reading from scripts, certainly no feeling of the issues actually being debated in any normal sense of the word, level of interest in subject matter under discussion certainly worrying particularly from two largest parties. Telling in a strange way that FG voted with Labour at the end even though they disagreed with them.

  6. i did say it would be an ugly, illinformed farrago of a ‘debate’.
    Fg have a plan for greater zombification out this am also.

  7. Not sure if the FG plan has been fully thought through. A new, clean, state-sponsored bank accompanied by a herd of zombies. More in hope than in anticipation it seems to rely on the zombies finding the wherewithal to cure themselves and on the injection of “fresh thinking” from somewhere. Ho hum.

    Still we seem to have very little knowledge of what’s going on with Anglo- Irish as a nationalised entity. Do we have any proof of this pudding of a nationalisation?

  8. Is it not clear that we will need to set up some kind of bad bank to clean out banks whether we nationlise them or not????

    At least with the NAMA approach we keep our options open and keep the sticks of nationalisation and vulture capitalism to beat the bankers with. If we nationalise then we have done our worst and the bankers and borrowers can work things out at their pace. Presumably it will be a case of the slower the better to keep themselves in a job.

    The reason for NAMA is because it is a form of solution which we may be able to implement and which all parties may be motivated to take part in. It is all about implementation. What reasons are there to think we can motivate all the relevant parties to co-operate in nationalisation? Is there any proof in the Anglo pudding indeed?

    Also, so far as I can tell, Labour-Lucey Nationlisation goes beyong Anglo style limited liability. this means that nationalisation is fraught in many many ways. Does Joan Burton’s beloved law of unintended consequences not come more into play in the case of Nationlisation?

  9. i went to the first one, for such an important event i’m surprised that there were only 3 people in the gallery!

    out of curiosity: why are the germans talking about a ‘bad bank’, the UK are taking the insurance option, the US is only taking institutions that actually go to the wall (the same way we did with anglo – which should have closed [although i was all alone in that opinion at the time]) if nationalisation is really the answer at the end of the day?

    Why are the leaders of countries around the world not listening to the calls for nationalisation? It’s certainly not limited to Ireland.

  10. @ Karl D – Firstly I would note that the various world leaders aren’t making independent decisions here – presumably Ireland (and others) would be more likely to nationalise if Obama were doing so. So I don’t think you can necessarily take all the instances of non-nationalisation as independent data adding up to an indication that there must be something wrong with nationalisation.

    As to the why, well it could be that Timothy Geithner, Larry Summers, Gordon Brown (and Brian Cowen/Lenihan) are not quite over the spell of market magic set by the wizards of Wall Street/the City. This would be Krugman’s view – that “top officials in the Obama administration are still in the grip of the market mystique” and “believe that once investors calm down, securitization — and the business of finance — can resume where it left off a year or two ago.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/opinion/27krugman.html?ref=todayspaper)

    Or maybe there’s a less ideology-based explanation, maybe Wall Street/the City (and other finance centres) are politically influential?

  11. A good story now building on this. Effectively the NTMA asking the bleeding obvious question:

    “How are we supposed to manage the liabilities currently managed by organisations manned by hundreds of personnel?”

    I can’t wait to see the solutions proposed for this conundrum. I wonder if it involves hiring hundreds of suitably qualified personnel?

    And I wonder where ne might find hundreds of suitably qualified personanel? I know, the banks are currently firing and will have less need with fewer problem loans. Hire them.

    Looks like we’ve found the perfect recipe for “not nationalising” a bank.

    Brilliant.

  12. NTMA at the Public Accounts Committee:
    http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebate.aspx?F=ACC20090514.xml&Node=H4#H4

    The NTMA were on a sticky wicket trying to account for their performance in managing public funds and particularly the -30% loss last year. Somers gave a masterclass in deflection. It’s true that successive governments have looked to NTMA to sort out a variety of messes even the army deafness fiasco. But his apparent exasperation with NAMA did not stop one of his lieutenants from taking the top job (will the banker’s salary cap will apply?)

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