Greens Against NAMA Youtube Videos

The Greens Against Nama group have released a number of videos featuring interviews with various people who disagree with the Nama proposals. Link here. It looks like they may have more to upload but thus far there are a number of interesting interviews with people such as Ronan Lyons, Shane Ross and Peter Mathews, a former banker with ICC and currently an independent banking and property consultant.

55 thoughts on “Greens Against NAMA Youtube Videos”

  1. It seems to me likely that the Green Party membership will vote down the government programme including NAMA over the weekend and then, if I understand correctly, the government will fall on Monday? Am I missing something? I am not originally from these shores so please excuse my ignorance. Why would someone not co-opted in some way vote in favour of the current government programme including the NAMA proposal and toss away 10+ billion euros of taxpayer wealth? The decision seems, in American parlance, a lay-up (meaning a very easy choice). But perhaps I am missing something in terms of how it will be presented or avoided as a voting issue? Perhaps the Green Party will be promised significant changes? If the government is scheduled to fall on Monday, that seems like a significant news item.

    I guess that this is politics not economics but based on questions of political economy.

  2. Gregory,

    Yes, if less than 2/3 of the Green Party members fail to support the new programme for the government at the convention on Saturday, the party will pull out and the government will fall.

    On a pedantic note: the party needs 2/3 support to remain in government; however on a policy proposal the burden is 2/3 rejection. So if 65% of the Greens vote No to NAMA, John Gormley may still plough on with it.

    You’d think they’d stop supporting the government. Then you get to the next step in the chain: a General Election. Were there an election tomorrow, there would be no more Greens. Sticking around for another two years and hoping they ride out the storm is probably their best electoral bet.

    (Karl: your headline reads like the Green Party are objecting to YouTube videos about NAMA…)

  3. Well whether you agree with this stuff or not at least it is an attempt at presenting something akin to reasoned argument. If you want to get a flavour of the full despair value of the coming weekend, have a listen to the following from Matt Cooper today – http://www.radioireland.ie/lastword/8102009-17.wmv, got to 47:25. If you’re in a hurry the essential point is exposed from 53:07 onwards – i.e. that animal activists believe that they will control as much as 25% of the votes at the meeting of the Green Party and are prepared to vote for NAMA provided that a ban on fur farming/hare coursing/wtf is included in the program for Government. Really.

  4. @ Enda

    This a key moment in time for the Greens to put it mildly. A lot of the Greens felt they should never have gone into government with their nemesis FF. If the Greens vote for NAMA there will be no hiding out for them in one months time or two years time.

    One thing is certain, and that is, in two years time NAMA will already have begun to unravel. This is not about the Greens in or out of government. This is about the future of this country. Last night, on Vincent Browne a Green councillor told us that he could tear up the previous Green Program for government as it was a useless document. When the Greens went into government they split their party, now with minister Gormley and his love of power he wants to preside over a further even more divisive split. Fractional politics?

    I totally question Mr. Lenihans judgment and not just on NAMA. Yesterday, he told the Irish people that forcing John O’Donoghue from office (he is not gone yet) was” a black day for the Irish people”. A black day for the Irish people? How many would agree with that? What will be a black day for the Irish people and a very black day, will be, if Mr. Lenihan and Mr. Bacon can get the Irish people to pay inflated prices for property loans using an ECB “tracker mortgage” which has to be serviced for a minimum of 10 to 15 years. A mortgage which brings the Irish people little or no benefit for the enormous risk that the government would like to expose them to. A 10% gain over 10 years! What about the increase in the national debt, the servicing of the debt, the costs of administration, litigation, the fact that NAMA is not a stimulus not to mention the potential for catastrophic downside losses to the tax payer?

    The NAMA vote is really a vote on whether this party wants to exist in the future. I want to know why there is a need for a vote on NAMA at all? NAMA was let fester by Gormley and Ryan. The Green Party does not need the excuse of voting for or against a “program for government”, which will, in any event be, as illusionary as the last one they signed up to. It set out 13 Objectives and not one was achieved, so why vote on another one of these so called programs.

    They already have the reason to get out of government and that reason is NAMA. The fact that Ryan and Gormley have bought into NAMA shows, how the old adage, power corrupts etc. has been borne out in this case. If there is to be an election at least the Greens can come knocking on doors saying we could not support a charter or bailout for bankrupt banks financed at the tax payers expense.

    On the other hand, we cannot have it every way, we cannot tell the Greens if you vote for NAMA we will never vote for you again, while at the same time, telling them if you vote against NAMA we will never vote for you again!

    My own personal opinion is, that, if the Greens show integrity and principal by voting NAMA down, they will increase their support substantially in a general election. After all the opposition has hardly covered itself in glory and FF are gone!

  5. Interesting proposal from Rory Houlihan, a former GP county councillor in Dun Laoghaire tonight on Mat Cooper show. He claimed he wasone of 100 memebers of the party who would vote for NAMA is all (6) fur farms in the country were closed. Could KW or BL work out the implicit subsidy per mink. If the addmitted overpayment is 7billion or so, how does that work out per little furry animal.

    It might just illustrate that an awful lot of Glasrais are not of this world.

  6. @ Robert

    This is hilarious. We ran the PD’s out of town despite them being the most honest party in politics in a couple of generations, and boy how we toasted their rapid demise. People were still spitting vile on their graves over a year later in the letters pages of the Irish Times. Now it looks like we’re going to try and run the Greens out of town too, despite them being the most transperent and honest of the political parties now around. I’m pro-NAMA, but ill still respect the Greens if they feel in good conscience that they cant vote for it. At least they had the honesty and open mindedness to go against the public trends and take a long hard look at what was on the table.

    This country really does get the government and representitives it deserves.

  7. @ Eoin

    I think the Greens might be running themselves out of town.

    Will you still respect the Greens good conscience if they vote for NAMA because they want 6 fur farms closed down? At a cost of 54 billion Euro. Is that not a bit expensive Eoin?

  8. Concubhar O’Caolai Says:
    October 9th, 2009 at 7:08 am

    “Lenihan’s quote on John O’Donoghue beggars belief – what was he smoking?”

    Maybe he’s getting a little tired of his usual brand Hopium and has temporarily switched to the good old reliable Loyalty.

  9. @ Robert

    ill respect the Greens cos they went about coming to a decision based on the policy matters they care about rather than the politics of the matter that others care about.

  10. So, the NAMA “If we make losses, but won’t, nudge nudge wink wink” Levy is to be included in the NAMA bill.

    Will the Greens leadership ask any serious questions about it or will they emerge from their meetings and declare “We have in our hands a piece of paper”?

    How will this levy work?

    If Anglo is getting (approx) €20Bn and racks up losses of €5Bn will the NAMA Levy recover the losses from AIB & BOI? A nice contingent liability overhang for their auditors to consider. Of course, I am assuming that Anglo, and very likely Nationwide) won’t have a hope in hell of paying any levy.

    Nothing like last minute adjustments to make good law.

  11. jl Says:
    October 8th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    jl, Maybe we need an “adopt a mink” levy. Can’t release them into the environment. Can’t kill them.

  12. @ Greg

    where are you hearing that? Thought that the fact that it would be a contingent liability would make it a non-runner as part of NAMA rather than as a seperate legislative operation?

  13. @ Eoin,

    Morning news RTE. Seems fairly certain that it’s on the table.

    It had been a sticking point with some Greens.

    Will try to get link.

  14. So lets think this one through. NAMA overpays to keep the shareholder above water and leave the govt with a monority stake in the banks. Then NAMA claws back that overpayment in 10-15 years time and some more when it transpires that there is a big hole in NAMA.

    Moreover, as some poster points out, will the loss on Anglo and Nationwide be clawed back from AIB & BOI.

    Why not just pay the market price in the first place. NAMA in theory has many good aspects to it. If implemented correctly it might work. However, we are seeing it is now being bent out of shape on the anvil of political expediancy. At this stage,really, nothing would probably be better than NAMA.

  15. @ Greg

    cheers. I think this sort of contingent liability would hit the ‘notes to the accounts’ rather than any actual balance sheet figures right? If the existing shareholders are still around to pay for the NAMA losses (ie 5yrs) i think they’ll consider it a fair deal.

  16. This statutory clawback sounds pretty reasonable to me, if it works from a technical perspective.

    Can’t imagine that AIB or BOI will be on the hook for Anglo-related losses.

    Does this clawback not address many of the concerns voiced on this site?

    PS – the fact that mink-farming could play in the decisive role in the financial wellbeing of the Irish state is worthy of Monty Python…

  17. Eoin Says:
    October 9th, 2009 at 9:16 am

    “I think this sort of contingent liability would hit the ‘notes to the accounts’ rather than any actual balance sheet figures right?”

    Yes, I can’t see a “hard” figure hitting the balance sheet. However, the auditors will have to obtain information regarding the contingency (from NAMA presumably). If the figure becomes material they may have to sign off on the basis that AIB & BOI are going concerns contingent on not having to cough up for the levy.

    How will NAMA losses be calculated? Increase in cost of funds etc etc.

    I think (just an opinion) the reason this was left out of the original bill was that it is too complicated. How can a levy be suggested without a definition of how losses would be calculated.

    It looks like bad law for political expediency.

    “If the existing shareholders are still around to pay for the NAMA losses (ie 5yrs) i think they’ll consider it a fair deal.”

    That rather depends on how big the levy would be and whether the levy represents “pooled loses” to be applied to the survivors.

    The levy was criticised in the FT when first mooted as adding long term uncertainty to shareholder value.

    Sorry no link.

  18. Concubhar O’Caolai Says:
    October 9th, 2009 at 9:26 am

    @ Concubhar

    “Can’t imagine that AIB or BOI will be on the hook for Anglo-related losses.”

    Not being smart here, but I can imagine.

    It is of course possible that it is all a ball of smoke.

    Get NAMA over the line on a promise.

    Then don’t deliver. It is after all years in the future.

  19. I am worried by the Greens approach to windfall taxes and levies. They are in danger of turning a coherent strategy into a totally incoherent strategy. NAMA is a technical solution that must be designed by those with the technical expertise. You do not design a rocketship by voting on the shape of the nose cone and the voting again on the shape of the fins and the amount of fuel it will carry.

    The Greens are right to question NAMA extensively, to demand cogent explanations and justifications for all measures, and to reject it or send it back to the drawing board if they are not happy with it. However, proposing ad hoc amendments is a recipe for disaster. Colm McCarthy was right where he said in today’s Irish Times:

    “The deployment of every available instrument in pursuit of popular objectives is a formula for fudge and confusion in economic policy. The Irish bank rescue illustrates this point perfectly. Nama, should it come to pass, will struggle to execute the tasks assigned to it under the legislation and to avoid ultimate cost to the exchequer and to taxpayers.”

    @Eoin

    I agree with your comments about the Greens. They are open and transparent and they debate policies on their merits.

    That mink farm thing is just a slur on the Greens based on rumour. There are plenty of nut-jobs on FF, FG and Labour too.

  20. @ CoC

    whats that religous beatitude, “the mink shall inherit the earth”? Or something like that…

    The subordinated bonds in NAMA will work on the totality of the scheme, regardless of where the riskiest loans lie, so in that sense AIB/BoI are already getting a worse deal than they maybe should as a result of subsidising Anglo’s loans (we assume Anglo’s are worse obviously), so the NAMA levy working the same way wouldn’t necessarily be out of step with that.

    Most people seem to think im some massive bank cheerleader on this site (i aint), but i wholeheartedly agree with a heavy levy to fall back on further down the line if NAMA turns out worse than expected.

  21. @ Greg

    i read that FT piece, think it was in the Lex column. But given that its so far down the line, at worst it seems to be a free long term loan/subsidy to the banking sector (as i have previously described it), so i imagine bank shareholders will still be relatively happy with it overall. It would proably sit in their “annoying” column rather than “particularly worrying” one. It’s a fudge to be sure, but one that might work for all parties.

  22. I think the Greens have been more than unlucky. The decision to enter government was right – it was the only real chance the Greens would have to try to implement some of their policy. Had we not had a banking and fiscal collapse (if we only had had a recession like everyone else) the Greens might have chipped away at their areas such as planning, transport, energy, climate, or whatever. They might have had a reasonable list of achievements to show after a 5 year period – given they only had a handful of TDs. But when economic catastrophe struck, their fortune was tied to that of FF. They are in a terrible bind now. If they pull out tomorrow, even on some matter of principle, such as NAMA, or education, then they still face obliteration in the election. If they stay, even if they bag serious concessions, they will not have time to implement them since the government is too badly wounded anyway. We all know this government cannot run another two years. The best the Greens can hope for is to stay in government tomorrow and if they have got a reversal of say education cuts to more vulnernable groups, or other meaningful concessions on say, transparency and accountability, they can try to use these as a marker in the public mind to show their priorities. Then soldier on and make an exit over some other major point of principle. Even still, they will be hammered. I cannot see the Greens in government here for another generation (which is unlike the career of the PDs which saw them remain in power for over 20 years after they first got into government)

    I think strategically the Green habit of putting motions to the members on issues of policy is self defeating. It may be democratic for the Greens to give members a say, but it does nothing for their attractiveness as future coalition partners (when and if they rebuild). Imagine a major party who needs five or six seats. If the Greens are one among several options they may be less attractive because they effectively repeatedly hold a gun to the head of the major party at the whim of the membership. Not an attractive prospect. Perhaps I over-estimate this as a negative feature but it surely will come into play.

  23. Tomaltach Says:
    October 9th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Your empathetic analysis of the Green Party quandary is succinct.

    My one quibble would be that I don’t think they will get any time to implement a New PfG.

    A horrific budget, public sector strikes, 450,000 unemployed etc.

    Even if the Government get through this weekend I cannot see them surviving more than a few months.

    My personal view, and I have voted Green, is that while it would be painful they would best serve their agenda by revisiting their ethical position.

    I have commented before that if the Greens were on the opposition benches they would be screaming blue murder over NAMA. There’s no getting away from that.

  24. @Zhou,

    The mink farm is not a slur, it was said on the radio. It is a further example of the total incoherance of this goverment respones to the crisis.
    First come up with NAMA -a reasonable & pragmatic solution to the crisis
    Secondly bring in policies that undermine the value of the collatoral -reducing mortgage interest relief, tax 2nd homes, windfall taxes, increased marginal tax rates on the buying cohort
    thirdly-settle on a valuation of the assets, with no disclosure on the how you got there and why you paid a premium
    fourthly why include a broken bank in the scheme, if half the capacity of NAMA goes to Anglo how does this encourage lending.
    then bring in half assed risk sharing in terms of sub debt and a levy which are impossible to price
    then leave out a recap scheme entirely.
    We have not even discussed the isse of whether NAMA can fulfill its mandate, what staff does it have do do its job.

  25. @john

    Apologies – I didn’t realise a Green member had brought up the mink farms. In fairness, few Greens are focussing in this and it is largely RTE presenters and internet wing-nuts on other sites who are mischievously trying to make this an issue imho.

    I agree that some of the Green demands will undermine the NAMA solution.

  26. Hearing the Greens are gonna look for a good bit of real changes to NAMA in addition to the levy. Not sure what it will entail, but will be the same basic concept albeit with a lot of amended features. NAMA 3.0 i suppose. Imagine increased subordinated element, increased independent oversight, maybe increased caveats on bank lending to SME, FTB’s etc.

  27. @Eoin

    Constantin Gurdgiev has already (unjustifiably imho) purloined the “NAMA 3.0” moniker. Perhaps he can be displaced/

    I would call this latest version “NAMA 2.2” unless there is a radical shift in approach.

  28. @ Irish Pancake

    what was put on the table by the govt last month, NAMA 1.0, or NAMA 1.1 (risk sharing), or did it become NAMA 2.1 given that it took in risk sharing, albeit by a different methodology? I suppose 2.2 makes sense if it just increase the risk sharing but doesn’t have much else ‘new’.

  29. Yes. I was using the following versioning:

    NAMA 1.0 = original draft legislation
    NAMA 2.0 = Honohan risk sharing
    NAMA 2.1 = NAMA as introduced to the Dail with limited risk sharing
    NAMA 2.2 = Further Green tweaks

    The problem with NAMA 2.2 is that it may tie the Govts hands at committee stage when trying to get NAMA 2.3 with the other parties at committee stage.

    I think the Green party should vote to give their leaders discretion.

  30. @Gregory Connor “It seems to me likely that the Green Party membership will vote down the government programme including NAMA over the weekend and then, if I understand correctly, the government will fall on Monday?”.

    I believe that’s what John O’Donoghue is betting on anyway 🙂

  31. @Robert Browne

    ‘some kind of ECB tracker mortgage’. That’s very good. Best laugh I’ve had all day.

    @Zhou

    Glad someone here understands version numbering!

    I can’t believe that mink farms are the new realpolitik.

    Predicition. The government will fall next week.

  32. Are you sure they weren’t arguing about ‘minka’ rather than ‘mink’?
    Much more relevant to NAMA and the property sector.

    民家 = houses of the people.

  33. “Can’t imagine that AIB or BOI will be on the hook for Anglo-related losses. ”

    Wasn’t that how the insurance levy worked?

    Interesting that the Greens would rather walk around in hydrocarbon made polyester than a natural product like fur 🙂

  34. Great news lads, after an epic 15 round struggle against their own conscience, the GP appear to have won. “Habemus NAMA”

  35. “We” don’t have it yet. The Green leadership have it.

    It’s not over till the fat lady sings.

    Although she may be warming up.

    Not much sleep for the Green membership tonight.

  36. @jl

    Nama did seem plausible at the beginning. The analogy I would use is that of fostering children. The way social worker Brian Lenihan soothingly described it made it sound like we were minding some problem children for the banks because they were too ill to take care of them. While we fostered their troublesome children they would give plenty of love and care to their other younger children. But instead of the troubled but decent kids we thought we were getting we now learn they are really violent criminal chavs. Also, we are now being asked to give a cash reward to the parents, not usually a part of a fostering process. Especially strange as one of them owns a Polish Estate and the other owns a palace on College Green. The parents children are malnourished, but they intend to feed them only on bread and water for the next five to ten years. Unless that is we give them more cash gifts. As a concession, Lenihan, who has only been in the social services for a short time, having previously been a police man, is offering to give us back one third of the cash gift if the children violently assault us before the age of eighteen. Our Uncles Eamon and John, also social workers (and both keen organic gardeners), who have negotiated with Lenihan on our behalf, have now come back with a deal. A special tax will be charged on the parents if their violent children assault us. But they say they have no money to feed their starving kids at the moment. We will have to wait for their children to grow up before we see any of the money. And in the mean time they may starve their children even more to save up the money to pay for the tax!

    Ideally we would suspend social worker Lenihan and our gullible uncles. But I think at the very least we should all accept that this adoption process cannot go ahead as planned.

    Lets follow the advice of our good friend, world renowned child psychologist, Dr Joseph Stiglitz.

    (For those of you who need an ending, we send the violent children to a boarding school, Bondholder College, where they thrive, and we ensure that the loving but chaotic parents mend their ways. And we all live happily ever after. The End)

  37. @ Eamonn 76.

    Good story.

    Much better than the one the Green Party will hear tomorrow.

    But a story it will be.

  38. @Robert

    Nama has turned into a dogs dinner. It is as if an eccentric artist of our acquaintance, Brian Van Lenihan, offered to to paint us a giant classical style landscape painting for a small fee. But instead he covered his bicycle wheels in paint and cycled round and round. We were horrified, as were 46 passing art critics. Lenihan reacted by briefing local journalists to attack the motives of the art critics. Several other buyers of Lenihans work, worried about damage to their investments from the controversy, have gathered around our house demanding that we agree to buy the painting. We have been badly hit by the recession, and he is proposing an unusual scheme where the price of the painting will be related to the future value of the Irish property market. The protesters have now been outside the house for months, and Lenihan is telling journalists that we will “end up like the Icelands”, a local family who bought ten of his paintings and whose house mysteriously burnt down. Now two artists of our acquaintance, Eamon & John, both keen organic gardeners, have negotiated a compromise with Lenihan. If we still don’t like the painting in fifteen years he will come back and throw five buckets of paint over it.

  39. @Greg
    Thank you. But my stories are nothing like those of a local seanachie, Brian Og Lenihan or his friends Eamon and John (both keen organic gardeners). For the record organic food is grand, but Nama…

  40. This Program for Government is a real “Peace in our Time document! All FF care about is getting NAMA over the line.

    This Program for government document like the last one is not worth the paper it is written on. It is really, really sad to see how FF are getting 100% what they want, 100% what they need which is NAMA.

    Once they have got that over the line, finito. Lenihan will not even bother to contest the next election leaving it to the Greens to knock on doors and explain why they allowed themselves to be fooled not once but twice!

    Second time is much more serious than the first. Because, it involves saddling us with debt that will ensure a zombified banking and economic system for 10 to 15 years minimum as we can only watch in horror at the mother of all quangos drain the life blood from the economy.

    Almunia should save his advice for Spain an economy nearly as bad as Ireland which became like that under his stewardship or does he just want to turn the Irish people into his laboratory rats!

  41. @ Robert

    “Almunia should save his advice for Spain an economy nearly as bad as Ireland which became like that under his stewardship or does he just want to turn the Irish people into his laboratory rats!”

    Welcome to post Lisbon Europe.

    You just met your new Minister for Finance.

  42. From the above Doc:

    Pending legislation, all credit institutions participating in NAMA or availing of a Government Guarantee will be expected to comply fully with the key principles of the ‘Combined Code’, subject only to necessary adaptations agreed with the Minister for Finance or the Financial Regulator.

    The Government’s approach to asset valuation within the NAMA initiative is a carefully balanced and reasonable approach, having regard to the need to stabilise the financial system and to ensure that the economy has access to credit and financial services.

    Alternative approaches risk leaving the banking system impaired and without access to funds or capital for future development.

    Public concern in relation to the risk undertaken by the Exchequer is, of course, appropriate, and entirely shared by the Government who have taken considerable steps within the proposed NAMA legislation to mitigate and control risks and ensure the best possible return for the taxpayer.

    Included among the measures to mitigate risk is the proposal that a portion of the consideration for the assets transferred would be in the form of issued subordinated bonds, ensuring that risks are shared by the institutions.

    In addition, the Government has always stated that, should NAMA make a loss over time, a levy would be imposed to recoup the cost to taxpayers. The Government proposes to amend the legislation to ensure this levy is put on a statutory basis.

    This levy will be dealt with in the legislation establishing the Agency, having regard to the importance of maintaining the sustainability and stability of financial institutions. Any such levy would arise only if NAMA has made a loss on its eventual wind-up or after 10 years, and would be carefully judged so as not to disrupt the stability and sustainability of the banking system.

  43. I know most of us on this site are committed to discussing economic issues and not politics. Unfortunately, it has now been proved conclusively, that the running of the Irish economy has nothing whatsoever to do with economics, only politics.

    There is no room in Ireland for honest economic argument only political argument and the political arguments boils down to political maneuvering.

    This is a sad day for Ireland and a great day for FF.

    @ Concubhar O’Caolai

    “Go Greens! ”

    The are going, some are already gone but the rest of them have just handed in their notice!

  44. Net Present Value For Dummies – By Limerick Escapee & Language Teecher.

    NPV of NAMA to Green Party Leaders: Zero.

    NPV of NAMA to Taxpayers: €38 billion in lost interest
    (assuming ‘break-even’ from forced house-price-inflation causing homelessness).

    NPV of Mr Gormley’s Pension – Oct 2009: Not bad.
    Escape from Ringsend’s lousy bicycle paths and incinerator. Free at last.

    NPV of Mr Gormley’s Pension – Oct 2012: Excellent.
    Retirement in Bali. Lucrative directorships in the Green Friends-of-EPA Industry.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_qdRqFPGZw2o/SqQNPClC5aI/AAAAAAAABzo/pEKy_UccBJc/s1600-h/thegormley-5.gif

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