Articles on NAMA

There are two articles on NAMA in today’s Irish Times.

The one by Anthony Leddin is sceptical, while that by Pat McArdle is more optimistic.

50 replies on “Articles on NAMA”

It is amazing how honest people can pinpoint the problem with NaMa. Yet the people who created the land valuation bubble want NaMa. They really want it. Liquidation and bankruptcy are good for the little people, but not for land developers and banks.

What is hidden in the banks? Why do the Irish government with a history of corruption at the very top, and from the bottom up on land rezoning, not require a commission of permanent investigators to combat corruption?

It’s worth re-reading Pat McArdle’s analysis of the infamous “Future Shock” RTE programme in 2007.

The title of his note is “The property boom need not end in bust”

Selected quotes

On the core negative view, that all booms are followed by busts – “This basic assumption is wrong”

On the British property bust – “This was against a background where interest rates hit 15%, unemployment 10%, widespread lending in excess of 100%, frequent equity withdrawal via top ups and a reversal of population growth. None of this is present or likely here.” Well he got 1 out of 5 I suppose.

As for today’s article, paying €60bn for “assets” with a market value of €50bn is about as good economics as the above property note.

Off topic, possibly worth a separate post but the UK regulator have stopped RBS from buying back subordinated bondholders, which Anglo Irish and Bank of Ireland have all recently done. They said banks subject to restructuring with state aid should not use government money to repay equity and subordinated debt. There was little outcry from the Irish government when the Irish banks did this and I for one was disappointed as I saw it as another case of throwing good money after bad.

Pat McCardle writes:

“The quotation marks are used because the Government will not pay anything to the banks. Instead, it will issue them with IOUs the banks can use to get funds from the European Central Bank.”

By the same argument, UCD doesn’t pay me either. It just issues me pieces of paper with pictures on them that I’m able to use to get stuff in shops.

@ Pat Donnelly @CM @ Osama Bin Whelan, it is interesting that, sometimes, the moment you know a writer’s affiliation, you’re fairly sure what angle they will take on almost any issue.

This isn’t intended as an ad hominem attack on Mr McArdle in any sense, but, to provide a little context, a quick browse through the Irish Times archive for Mr McArdle is instructive.

Monday 11 December 2006 and Wednesday 03 January 2007: Mcardle predicts a soft landing for the construction sector.

No need to increase banking regulation, writes McArdle on Friday, May 29, 2009:

Banking sector welcomes decision to set up asset agency,

Mr McArdle does make one very good point in his article–by providing a testable hypothesis for who is right, and who is wrong wrt the LTV ratio:

“The National Treasury Management Agency, in effect Nama’s parent organisation, and the Department of Finance have been going through the books of the banks for more than nine months now and the results indicate that the average LTV for the six banks involved is 75 per cent, according to the Minister for Finance.

The academics dismiss this, assuming that the 25 per cent equity was borrowed from other banks. You either believe the Minister, who has access to the information, or the academics, who do not. One side is making a major error.”

@ Pat Donnelly @CM, @ Osama bin Whelan, it is interesting that, sometimes, the moment you know a writer’s affiliation, you’re fairly sure what angle they will take on almost any issue.

The following shouldn’t be intended as an *ad hominem* attack on Mr McArdle in any sense, but, to provide a little context, a quick browse through the Irish Times archive for Mr McArdle is instructive.

Monday 11 December 2006 and Wednesday 03 January 2007: Mcardle predicts a soft landing for the construction sector.

No need to increase banking regulation, writes McArdle on Friday, May 29, 2009:

Banking sector welcomes decision to set up asset agency,

Mr McArdle does make one very good point in his article,

“The National Treasury Management Agency, in effect Nama’s parent organisation, and the Department of Finance have been going through the books of the banks for more than nine months now and the results indicate that the average LTV for the six banks involved is 75 per cent, according to the Minister for Finance.

The academics dismiss this, assuming that the 25 per cent equity was borrowed from other banks. You either believe the Minister, who has access to the information, or the academics, who do not. One side is making a major error.”

This is a testable statement, and one which, like many of Mr McArdle’s other statements, may prove to be incorrect.

Well at least the Times is giving air to both sides of the arguement.

Last nights interview with Brian Lenihan did not reveal much. It was interesting to hear him refuse to give an estimate for the cost of the loans to Nama…..because it would have market implications.

If it was not so tragic it would be comical.

Do they plan on suspending trading on the 16th and beyond…I despair

Rearding LTV’s (as was discussed on Prime Time and with Brian Lenihan last night) there is a certain scepticism 1) as to whether banks actually received deopsits / title to assets as they were obliged to by regulation and 2) whether this number is 25% as asserted.

I understand from discussions in London in the insurance and reinsurance market that there is fear of systemic loss arising from undertakings given by solicitors on behalf of developers in favour of lenders with regard to collateral. This is potentially developing into a significant problem with regard to professional indemnity cover for Irish solicitors.

This leads directly back to the issue of LTV’s. Apparently solicitors were taking it upon themselves to ensure to lenders that collateral in the form of “to be completed” developments (i.e. site purchased, building not started, but a proportion of the once completed development would be accepted by banks as long as the solicitor gave a “Letter of Undertaking”). These Letters of Undertaking were contractual relationships between the solicitors and the lenders.

Consequently it is possible that collateral that is currently being referred to is actually in the form of promisory letters from solicitors on still undeveloped sites – so not collateral at all, but maybe accounted for on banks balance sheets as collateral. This may be a small thing or a a big thing, but if big then very significant within the valuation debate.

Any Deep Throats in BOI or AIB like to comment?

Slightly off this topic but still NAMA related. Was driving home late last night and heard a discussion on newstalk between Dunphy and Frank Fahey. I presume it was a repeat of a lunchtime discussion. If it’s wasn’t so sad it would be blackly funny. I turned it off around 12:20 as was too tired for any more (and depressed from listening to it) but up until then Fahey had come out with the following:

1. NAMA is going ahead, it’s going to work it’s the only game in town. It will clean up the banks AND get the property market moving again ! It’s going to be a great success.

2. NAMA will not cost the taxpayer anything !!! Neither the government nor the taxpayer will be putting any money into NAMA it’s all coming from the ECB (free money ??). The rent roll on the NAMA properties according to Captain Frank will MORE than cover the 1.5% cost of funding from ECB. No mention of how the coupon on the NAMA bonds will be funded but maybe I’m missing something. He stated a number of times that NAMA is guaranteed to make a profit.

3. The legislation definitely contains a levy if anything goes wrong. Eamon Keane interrupted him 3 times to refute this but on each occasion Frank told him no he needs to read it again it’s definitely there. Frank was unable to say whether he’d read the draft legislation.

This is what passes for debate in the TINA crowd. But of course Captain Frank would not have any vested interest in the property market:

(l) 2 apts Castlerea, Co. Roscommon: letting;

(2) Apartments 8A, 16 Eglington Court, Galway: letting;

(3) House at Kilbeacanty, Gort, letting;

(4) Apartment at Dun Aengus, New Docks, Galway: letting;

(5) House at Dun na Coirbe, Galway: letting;

(6) House at Rinawade Close, Leixlip: letting;

(7) Shareholding in apartment at Gort na Coirbe, Galway;

(8) Shareholding in extended family owned properties at Moydrum, Athlone: letting;

(9) Shareholding in 4 Apts and Shop, Lower Gerald Street, Limerick: letting;

(10) Shareholding in retail unit, two offices and warehouse at Crowe Street, Gort;

(11) House at Jumeirah Estates, Dubai;

(12) Dwelling house, The Grove, Crowe St, Gort, Co. Galway;

(13) Shareholding in apartment at Tappen St, Boston, Massachusetts: shareholding in Fahey Higgins L.L.C Boston;

(14) Five apartments owned in partnership at Rue Paul-Emile, Janson 1000, Brussels;

(15) Ten apartments owned in partnership at Rue du Sceptre 1015, Brussels;

(16) Apartment at Cathedral Place, Limerick: letting;

(17) House at Villefranche, France;

(18) Deposit paid and contract signed on property at Porto De Mos;

(19) Deposit paid on property at Alcantarillha, Portugal;

(20) Apartment at Irishtown, Dublin.

I’m having issue with Pat McArdle’s point that NAMA will break even or turn a profit because:

“This is because the income it will receive from the loans it takes over – about half of them are being serviced by borrowers – should outweigh the cost of the six-month Euribor interest rate – currently less than 1.5 per cent – that it will pay the banks on the IOUs.”

Firstly 6M EURIBOR is very low currently, go back three years it was north of 5%. So lets make the fair assumption that EURIBOR does increase over the life of NAMA:
The fixed rate loan repayments will no longer cover the (higher) EURIBOR rate bring paid on the IOUs, so no profit there.
Secondly, the floating rate loans, which presumably pay a spread over LIBOR/EURIBOR will see a huge increase in their repayments. If “about half of them are being surviced” now, what will that amount be when EURIBOR increases. Will they be profitable overall?

I’m not sure if im missing something, but his logic seems very off…

“This is a testable statement, and one which, like many of Mr McArdle’s other statements, may prove to be incorrect.”

But unfortunately no one seems to go back and test these statements. Despite these so called experts getting it hopelessly wrong in the past the media continues to treat them as gurus. The ones who got it right and continue to predict major problems ahead are still treated as cranks.

I have been buying and selling shares regularly for the past 10 years and I have learnt which analysts to listen to and which ones to ignore completely – in fact sometimes doing the exact opposite of what they say. Sell when men are greedy, buy when men are scared.

Pat McArdle says “Unlike the banks, Nama has no previous relationship with developers and no incentive other than to act in the best interests of the taxpayer and recover the maximum amount.”

One comment, one question. Comment: Aren’t the NAMA loans going to be administered by the banks? They may be on NAMA’s balance sheet rather than the banks but because of a ‘lack of expertise’ but the administration remains with the banks. Therefore, the ‘relationship’ between the banks and the lenders will continue. McArdle’s statement seems a little confused, or else I’m a little confused..

Question: How will NAMA go about this recovery? Just hypothesising here, but take, for example, a developer with €1bn worth of loans secured against property worth (when finished) €1.35bn at 2007 prices.
Allowing a 50% price fall means the finished properties would currently be worth €675m, leaving a €325m shortfall.
But, and here is the crux of the situation, what does NAMA do? Does it (a) take the asset from the developer and sell it (in a depressed market) and then pursue the developer for the rest of the money? Or does it (b) take the property and hold it until (if) the ‘long-term economic’ value is realised?

(b) seems to be the route NAMA is going for, but if NAMA chooses this option then surely this stops NAMA pursuing the developer for any money at all beyond the property the original loan is secured against. If the first claim of the loan is on the property and NAMA refuses to establish a value on this, then it cannot work out any other claim it might have against the developer.

If I was a developer and I heard that my loan was moved to NAMA I would stop making any payments on it immediately. Precisely because NAMA would not be in a position to sell my properties in the short term and therefore would not be in a position to work out (and therefore pursue me for) the amount of negative equity there is in my properties.

Like I said, all very hypothetical, but I would like someone to show me where I am wrong.

I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this but these are the questions I sent to Prime Time for the Minister’s appearance yesterday. I understand thepropertypin was organising a questions bombardment so I don’t know if they ever got seen:

1. The government holds warrants in for shares in Bank of Ireland and AIB. This is a strong incentive to the Government to subsidise the existing shareholders through NAMA. Should the warrants not be disposed of now to remove this incentive and to remove the perception of an incentive?

2. How will NAMA be in a position to get the property market functioning again by releasing securitised property into the market when NAMA has assumed a long term value when acquiring such assets and is mandated to be run on a commercial basis? Won’t NAMA therefore contribute further to the illiquidity of the property market thereby slowing recovery?

3. What does the Minister say to those who say that the Minister is of a mind to tweak the NAMA valuation formulae however much as is necessary in order to avoid 100% nationalisation of Bank of Ireland [should have said AIB]?

4. Does the Minister guarantee that there will be 100% nationalisation if NAMA reveals the banks position is worse than anticipated?

5. What third party oversight and monitoring of valuations, including ministerial interventions, will be provided for to ensure public confidence?

6. We are told the NAMA bonds can be funded at 1.5%. How long is that rate fixed for? When it becomes variable what rate will it be linked to?

7. Are we guaranteed that the ECB will accept NAMA bonds for repo operations for the full lifetime of NAMA?

8. What proportion of bank subordinated bondholders comprise Irish investors?

9. Will there be an Oireachtas enquiry into bankers’ behaviour?

10. The Minister has spoken of making lists of developers and excluding them from the market. Is the Minister going to use State resources to discriminate against scapegoats?

11. How will NAMA incentivise the bankers within AIB and Bank of Ireland to work-out loans as profitably as possible for NAMA and to treat outsourced NAMA work with the same dilligence as bank work?

Anthony Leddin raises the issue that if and when we clean up the banks they may be subject to a takeover. This certainly could apply to AIB with the M&T and Polish stakes. However badly our native bankers performed, being at the mercy of foreign bankers would leave us in a vulnerable position. This has been demonstrated by some of them looking for their money back and seeking to exit the country when things go wrong.
If Prof. Honohan’s NAMA 2 was incorporated into the legislation then it could have the effect of not only protecting the taxpayer but providing a ‘poison pill’ to guard against this real danger.
On another note I see that the Greens are to be provided with a new draft bill ahead of their convention on the 12th.

“If Prof. Honohan’s NAMA 2 was incorporated into the legislation then it could have the effect of not only protecting the taxpayer but providing a ‘poison pill’ to guard against this real danger.”

Something they call NAMA2 will be produced. Whether it will be what Governor Honohan suggested is another matter …..

It would be good it we had a version number ready for the legislation to be put to the Greens. NAMA 1.1 if it doesn’t have staggered payments and NAMA 2.1 if it does?


Version control might not be a bad idea in a couple of weeks time!

On the subject of numbers……. with my spreadbetting hat on….. I am pretty sure now that the ‘haircut’ is going to be 23 or 24%. That’s where my money is going.

@ zhou_enlai

Perhaps another issue should be added to your list-
How will the Gov ensure that the primary purpose of NAMA (credit flowing) will become a reality.
The reports of bank actions in other jurisdictions are not encouraging –
“Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) — Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Barclays Plc, two of Britain’s biggest banks, cut lending even after promising the government to give more credit to borrowers and help revive the economy.

RBS and Lloyds Banking Group Plc, the two biggest banks bailed out by the government, and Barclays Plc reduced lending globally by 165 billion pounds ($270 billion) in the first half, according to company filings. RBS and Barclays reduced loans by about 11 percent, the most among Europe’s largest banks. ”
THE German finance minister said recently that the banks had resorted to their old ways -Gambling.
It would seem wise to insert some sort of a statutory provision to ensure compliance with the stated objectives of NAMA.


This question about forcing banks to lend came up at the oireachtas committee but it seems to me that ultimately it is a red herring. Politicians have to agree with it but ultimately they know that if the bank is well capitalised it will lend to projects the bank thinks will work. The bank cannot act in a non-commercial way

Am I wrong? Can we force or incentivise the banks to lend to SMEs and still retain the market’s confidence?

Pat McArdle says: “The difference between the initial value of the projects funded, €115 billion, and the current market value of €50 billion is split 45:40:15 with the borrowers losing €30 billion equity, the banks taking a hit for €25 billion and the Government putting up €10 billion.” This is assuming the €85 billion to be assumed by NAMA represents approximately 75% LTV of the asset values/projects originally funded.

Perhaps I’m missing something but how does he get the 45:40:15 ratio? Thanks.

“Am I wrong? Can we force or incentivise the banks to lend to SMEs and still retain the market’s confidence?”

If the German finance minister is correct when he said that the banks were not lending and had resorted to gambling on the securities markets, is there any reason to believe that our guys will not behave likewise and take ECB money at 1% and get 4.8 yield on Gov. Bonds.
With Governor Honohan’s lock in N.2 version it must be possible to include a statutory provision to make them deliver on the stated primary purpose of the legislation. The days of self regulation, nods and winks are overor should be.

@ Podubhlain

in fairness there is a very strong argument, even an assumption, that lending from the likes of RBS and Lloyds would have been cut a lot further without the government intervention, so you can’t just look at the nominal year-on-year figures without taking into account what the effect of the credit crisis would have been on them sans intervention. Also, im not sure i’d be in favour of basically ‘forcing’ the banks to lend into the economy, possibly at the expense of adequate credit policy (i know, i know, its not like they could do worse tghan before you say, but the point still holds…).

@ Pat the American

original loan values 115bn
current book value 50bn

loss on original loan value 65bn
this is split 30bn from developers (25% equity stake) and 35bn from banks (write off on transfer to NAMA)

but govt paying 60bn for the loan book value of 50bn, so subsidy of 10bn to banks.

so real loss to banks of 25bn.

So of 65bn ‘real’ loss in original loan/asset values, developer takes 30bn, banks take 25bn, and govt takes 10bn (but could break even in long run if values rise). 30bn:25bn:10bn = 46.1:38.5:15.4%

Not saying i agree with these figures, just how he gets to them…

So now we are to believe it is OK to overpay for the loans because we will ONLY be losing €10bn.

Some people seem to have lost sight of how much money €10bn is!

Do we know who the members of the valuation committee are likely to be?

This might turn out to be a key decision

Everything is relative DE! It may be worth investing 10bn in NAMA to save 5bn per year in the real economy over 10 years?

The question is what are the relative costs to the exchequer and to the real economy of the various options and how can we fund/bear those costs.

Agree your questions were good.

I would add one more:
Minister Lenihan – the financial regulator in the UK has forbidden the RBS from using money they received from the taxpayer to pay off subordinated bondholders.
Why have you done that with Anglo Irish Bank which you fully control and why have you allowed BoI to do it and AIB to announce they will do it?

@Dreaded Estate.

I was in the habit of writing €10,000,000,000.00.
I got no reaction.
But I think some people think I was SHOUTING.

All these two articles illustrate is how both those in favour of NAMA and against NAMA can make credible – well, credible to the everyday Joe Soap – arguments to support their views.

McArdle’s claim that ‘one side is making a major error’ could be amended to read ‘AT LEAST one side is making a major error’.
Parties seem to be disputing the very facts of the case on which a decision is to be made, unable to agree on foundations of the issue.
Can anyone tell me the most surefire way of determining the price that NAMA should be paying for these loans? Because its starting to feel like I’m watching the world’s longest rally in a tennis match…


The simplest way of valuing the loans destined for NAMA is to offer them for sale on the international market.

Pat McArdle says: “The difference between the initial value of the projects funded, €115 billion, and the current market value of €50 billion is split 45:40:15 with the borrowers losing €30 billion equity, the banks taking a hit for €25 billion and the Government putting up €10 billion.”

The point that McArdle misses is that the developers have *already* lost their €30 billion supposed equity, by virtue of their projects collapsing in value.

This loss has occurred *regardless* of whether the government goes ahead with NAMA, or indeed any other bail-out scheme, or even if it sits on hands and does nothing.

To present this €30 billion as the developers taking their share of the NAMA cost is disingenuous in the extreme. That equity is already gone up in smoke, if indeed it ever existed.


Thanks. I think that could have been a bit more clearly explained in the article.

podubhlain makes a good point – offer some of the loans
for sale on the international market – plenty of liquidity
out there in the global markets – then we will know what they are worth.

From the Leddin article “it seems blatantly clear that Nama is anti-competitive.”
NAMA would be a state monopoly property holding company.

It seems obvious that, the creation of NAMA would guarantee that no other company or individual in the state would be able to compete on level terms.

The European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition is responsible for ensuring that competition in the EU market is not distorted. Under EU state aid rules State aid can only be authorized if

(i) it is aimed to facilitate a restructuring process that will facilitate the the return to long term viability (ii) the aid is limited to the minimum necessary to finance such restructuring (iii) the aid does not create undue distortions in competition

It is highly likely that NAMA will be fail one if not all of these criteria.

You seem to be slightly missing the point on the €10bn cost quoted in the article.

This is the only the cost of overpaying for the assets. The total cost of NAMA to the state will be significantly higher.

Take Anglo as an example . It will be transferring about €30bn of loans to NAMA and if the haircut is 30%. We will have to put about €10bn of additional capital into Anglo as it has zero equity.
We get nothing additional for this investment it is just a sunken cost.

While we absolutely have to clean up the banks it is incorrect to say the cost of doing so is only €10bn over 5 years when it will be €30bn or more over the 5 years.

Now this cost may be justified to help the economy get back on its feet, but the €10bn extra cost just for overpaying certainly isn’t IMO.

You are right to expect gaiming of NaMa but the situation is likely so dire, that it really will not matter. I tried to identify this months ago saying that who and when they get attention from NaMa is a crux issue for the results and has a dramtic im pact on the results of the exercise. Court action can be expected whenever a developer thinks the land has gone up enough or when he thinks what NaMa is doing on other collateral, is impacting his collateral. Assuming there is any equity at all in the collateral of course!

Stephan Kinsella
Thanks! I have not read much of McArdle’s stuff and stuff it is!

Chow_and_lie may be on the valuation committee.

May I be the first to congratulate you!

I have a relation who has a field, can we meet?

Can anyone clarify the following please.
If the Irish banks got the original “€90 Billion” which they loaned to developers etc. from foreign banks. When are these loans going to be repaid.
Normally the capital is repayable on completion of the development or as sales are made. Surely a lot of these loans are already overdue.
My understanding is that when NAMA gets underway the Irish banks will have government bonds to offer as security to offset against the original loans and for potential further loans.

Will NAMA be buying the assets or buying the debt?
If NAMA buys the assets then it will be left to the banks deal with the original debts. How do we know that this will be done to our satisfaction so that we don’t end up with a backlash.
If NAMA buys the debt they would do a deal with the original lenders using long term bonds, defining liability and deferring settlement.
NAMA would then deal with the assets which they take from the banks in the most cost effective manner and settle with the original lenders in an agreed time frame, still risky.

My preference would be to set up a Good bank (SIB), not a Bad one (NAMA).
Leave all debts where they are and where they belong without imposing any risk to the government / taxpayer.
Scale the main banks down in size to an equivalent of the proposed NAMA and let them deal with the proper disposal of assets, repayment of loans, and enforcement of contracts which they agreed with developers / borrowers.. If NAMA could do it then so can the banks. They should not carry on any other banking business.
The Irish government should set up a new State Irish Bank (SIB), put €20 billion worth of bonds into it and float it. Capital would soon arrive.
This new bank could lease as many bank premesis as needed from the main banks and hire staff and the best senior management required from the redundant bank staff.
Any mortgage holder / borrower who is not in arrears and who passes a new stress test set by the new bank could be allowed to transfer their loan. All new customers would either deal with this bank or the other banks which were not going to be part of NAMA.
In time debt free banks could be allowed to buy in or buy out the state if it was profitable for the government / taxpayer.
Would this be a risk free way to get money moving through the economy again and what would be the drawbacks?


The banks will repay these loans periodically as they progress through their funding programme (ongoing process) – check the BkIR or AIB group homepage websites under “Investor Relations” and look at their debt outstanding and when the maturities fall due. Much of their recent funding expires before Oct 2010 when the govt g’tee ends e.g. AIB 3.625% 9/2010 which is a 2bn EUR deal, or AIB 3% 8/2010 which is a US$1bn bond, plus they have larger FRNs e.g. one AIB Medium-Term-Note (MTN) programme is 7 billion. In essence they are repaying and re-issuing, periodically at the same time (how the bond market works – as long as investors willing to lend).

With respect to your 2nd question – they are buying the ‘Debt’ off the banks based on current loan size (not original i.e. if developer borrowed 100 million and didn’t pay any interest/capital for last 2-years -quite common – then NAMA will be negotiating on the current loan value of say 110 million). They will then haircut this, as this is the impaired loan on the bank’s balance sheet.

The ‘good-bank’ scenario although appealing is not currently relevant as we have to deal with the bad banks as they are presently Sovereign-Guaranteed, that makes them Quasi-Government i.e. if they fail pre-October 2010 it would be a Republic of Ireland default and not a BkIR or AIB one!

If the 3 Brians, Pat, John & Eugene had not met on Sep 28, 2008 and the contingent liabilities guarantee on the 7 domestic Irish banks (everyone forgets PostBank Ireland) had not come into effect on midnight of that date, then your suggestion could be debated. As it stands, we are stuck with that fateful decision, at least until October of next year. However, the Minister for Finance has sought new powers to extend this deadline, and as this is Oirland you can guess what will likely happen.

@Derek Brawn
Many thanks for your clarification.

Some further thoughts on the matter.
I may be making an incorrect distinction here but I see a difference between buying the debt (which you would buy from the lender) and buying the assets, or worse still buying the loan, but I don’t think we are doing this, I think the banks are being left with the respossibility for the loan contracts. I thought the proposal was to buy the assets in order to provide the banks with funds to continue doing business which includes repaying the loans. If this is the case I don’t see the banks raising enough money to fulfill their commitments on these loans as they stand. I would like to see some projected figures and a cost plan because some simple figures done in my head don’t show this working. These loans need to be re-negotiated to reduce the size and lengthen the term, before the government agrees a price with the banks for the assets. I don’t think anybody knows the sale value of these assets, but it would be safer to assume that the values would follow the sale values of recent property which has been sold, minus a further 10 to 15% to allow for further falls rather than to pay more. For example this method would show that if original debt was €90 billion and estimation of assets was in the region of €45 billion then there is a shortfall of €45 billion. We therefore need to re-negotiate the loan value down to ideally €45 billion or less, otherwise we end up with an unpaid balance of the remaining €45 billion which is still repayable under contract. If the original lenders are not willing to negotiate this amount and demand full repayment of the €90 billion then we should be told this now, otherwise some people may feel they were being treated like mushrooms.
This is why I am suggesting that either NAMA or the Banks define the outcome now, before they commit to anything, and fill us in. I think it is the governments duty to ensure that this happens, especially, as you have reminded me that they have guaranteed these loans, otherwise they are signing an open ended mortgage on our behalf without our blessing.
The best way to do business is to know your legal and financial liabilities and obligations, your capacity resources and costs, and your potential profit/loss exposure/risk and include for contingencies. Then you decide if it is worth proceeding, otherwise if you enter this contract and you subsequently find it to be a loss maker you end up screwing everyone you can to try to minimise your loss.
If the Minister for finance is seeking new powers then maybe it should include one which allows him to go after the recipients of the billions of euro charged for the development land which we suspected and now know was more than it was worth.
These are just some of my thoughts, am I way off the mark?


The politicians rationale behind NAMA is to remove all loan contracts from Banks balance sheets that are development land/property development related, so that international bond investors will lend to these banks again -senior LT unsecured lending.

This is the reason that non-impaired loans (so called ‘good’ assets) will be included too. So that there can be no element of doubt.

NAMA is not buying property/land but are taking over the loans and will only end up with said property if & when developers default.

Banks have been unwillinmg to foreclose on developers. NAMA will be willing (or so Frank fahy & Willie O’Dea constantly remind us).

Your point about loan modification & restructuring may take place between NAMA and the developer borrowers at some point in the future, hence NAMA legislation includes the provision for NAMA to borrow additional EUR 10 billion to fund-out part completed projects.

Therefore NAMA is speculating on property as final sale value is ????

NAMA have already seen these loan contracts and have been working with Irish banks on this for last 3 months.

Everyone keeps asking the same question that NAMA should examine these loans in detail and should not commit etc. etc. But NAMA is politically motivated – NAMA is a fait accompli – it has already been decided that NAMA is only show in town by Cabinet and they rule the roost until a new government comes along.

NAMA has gone ‘Sale Agreed’ with final contracts to be decided this month, and the final price = what will keep the banks afloat wrt Capital Adequacy or thereabouts. It is both a tautology and a farce

For the sake of clarity should anyone ever look back at this chain (?) my previous comments (09.01 AM Sept 4th) can now be seen to be crystalizing. I quote two pieces before providing the full text.

“after it (the firm of solicitors) failed to comply with undertakings given when the loan was made”

“but in all circumstances the firm was liable for the full amount of the loan and the interest due.”

Still no Deep Throats at AIB / BOI willing to divulge what collateral really exists before you and I, as taxpayers, get buried for overpaying for NAMA??

I belive that there will be many, many cases of “ghost collateral” and there will be ramifications from the cost of PI cover to solicitors. In addition there are implications regarding the premise of LTV’s within the Government’s calculations used as a basis for pricing NAMA. Alan Hynes / Seamus Maguire & co. will be the tip of the iceberg and letters of undertaking will become a thing of infamy in Ireland.

From Today’s (21 Sept) Irish Times ;

“Solicitors ordered to repay €3m loan to AIB

A FIRM OF solicitors has been ordered by the High Court to repay a loan of €3 million plus interest to Allied Irish Banks (AIB) after it failed to comply with undertakings given when the loan was made by the bank to one of its clients.

In a case that will have implications for future cases and for the professional indemnity insurance of all solicitors, Mr Justice Michael Peart found that the solicitors were liable for the full amount of the loan, obtained on a property valued at €3.9 million in May 2007 and now considered to be worth no more than €620,000.

The Co Wexford property at the centre of the case, known as Moongate, was owned at the time by a syndicate, with a mortgage of €2.2 million from Anglo Irish Bank.

Two members of the syndicate, accountant Alan Hynes and his wife Noreen, sought to buy the property and borrowed €3 million from the local branch of Allied Irish Bank, where they were well known. The bank accepted a valuation of €3.9 million from CBRE.

Séamus Maguire and Co Solicitors acted for Mr and Mrs Hynes, while a long-standing employed solicitor in the firm, Fergal Dowling, was directly responsible for dealing with the couple.

He completed a form of undertaking sent by the bank, had it signed by a partner in the firm and returned it. This document undertook to apply all the funds exclusively towards the purchase of the property. The €3 million, minus administration charges, was released to the solicitors.

The next day Mr Dowling obtained a bank draft for €2 million on this account and sent it, not to Anglo Irish Bank to discharge the mortgage on Moongate so as to have it transferred to Mr and Mrs Hynes, but to another firm of solicitors, Taylor and Buchalter.

These were acting for the vendors of a totally different property in Dalkey, Co Dublin, valued at €20 million, which a company controlled by Mr Hynes was also engaged in buying. The €2 million was a deposit on this property.

Mr Hynes’s firms went into examinership at the end of 2008.

Neither Mr Hynes nor Mr Dowling gave evidence in the case and Mr Justice Peart said: “Only they know between them what, if any, conversations took place between them in relation to the pressures mounting in relation to the deposit on the Dalkey site.”

However, he said he was entitled to conclude that the fact that the Moongate money was not paid to Anglo on drawdown was deliberate and not through oversight.

He said he had sympathy for the situation in which the defendants found themselves in as a result of the actions of an employee, but in all circumstances the firm was liable for the full amount of the loan and the interest due.

Henry, this case is a tad more complicated than that, the judgment (link below) by ‘peart’ breaks ground in consolidating the special legal powers mentioned. It is also a classic example of the commercial court using the courts bias for fast commercial fairness versus the previous slow technical legal arguments prior to the commercial court existence.

What makes it interesting from the laymans perspective is that it shows the courts ability to bring a case similar to ‘Lynns’ activities to task, albeit the solicitor. It shines a light on developer/banking relationships in the dread-noughties. How many more banks and their loans are based on (insert your favorite words here) valuations from reputable RICS valuers not to mention others. Leaving the legal issues mentioned in this judgment aside the chronology would be comical were it not real.

Worryingly from a NAMA perspective does this case represent some of the tricks of the (developers) trade and is this more common out there but not yet heard of? Is collateral not just market shaved by 70-80% but halved again as it is counted twice? Do the banks really know what their loan ‘securities’ are? not just the figure entered on the book but the real security?

Economic discussions aside, just how bad a state are we in?

Jack, many thanks and really interesting to read your comments. I also read in today’s Irish Times (5th October P. 4) the following; “in previous and unrelated proceedings, Mr. Justice Kelly last March ruled ACC Bank was entitled to summary judgement for some €2.3m against Mr. Butler over his failure to honour undertakings aimed at ensuring the bank had security for the unpaid development loans in that sum….”. I think the insurers are probably right believing that there may be a lot more where that came from. I also think you are right that it will be common but I wonder whether NAMA will keep this under wraps and never disclose the true extent of this double counting. They’ll hope to blag it through, and hope that there will be enough time for this to all go away.

My hunch is that we are not at the bottom of the market for house prices and that NAMA will not create a false floor to the bottom. I think residential yields already point to this as refernced by Ronan Lyons. This is worse than a can of worms because there are so many flawed assumptions in the proposals. The detail is simply not being disclosed, and letters of undertaking are just one more part of it.

Will keep this thread alive if I get any more info.



Jack – I hope you’re still reading this from time to time. You’re comments above re collateral and valuations are highlighted again today in the Independent. “The country’s banks are facing additional discounts on the loans they put into NAMA because of what sources last night described as “drive-by valuations” carried out during the period from 2005 to 2007.” and “This security is often inadequate or not supported by the correct documentation due to loans being turned around too quickly by banks.”

Here’s the link;–nama-loan-discounts-2031319.html

NAMA is buying time and that is it.

Keep posting!

So, 16B shaved to 8B into NAMA on 100 odd loans by 10 odd developers… I wonder what is the security on the 8B public spend? I wonder if any other assets of the 10 odd developers have been subsumed into NAMA, what is the value of these, will the day come when these working assets are sold and “spun” as ‘a recovery’.
The big developers may have working assets in the mix, will this be the case from the big developers down to the mythical 5M NAMA entrance mark, and more worryingly still the loans below this amount that the banks hold for example put AIB or Bank of Ireland into the courts search engine for ’09 and 2010 – it’s fair to assume there is a bit of legal activity out there.
We knew before yesterday that Anglo was bust, I think we found out yesterday that AIB is effectively bust.
2% 28year old tax on insurance levies because of PMPA could morph into 10% tax increase on everything for 50+ years because of the tyger.

Law Society today bans solicitors from providing letters of undertaking in commercial property transactions. Stable door horse bolted.

Today it appears that AIB LTV’s were fundamentally wrong. Lenihan suggests the wool was pulled over the eyes of regulators. 1) Any criminal acts? 2) This site highlighted this a year ago. Was no one from government either listening or thinking about it. As the FT says today, the situation was allowed to fester. That is a disgrace and has cost us all a year in terms of dragging us out of this mire.

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