Commission Approves NAMA

I guess the news that the Commission has approved NAMA (statement here) will get some attention over the next few days but it’s hardly too surprising. EU guidelines allow governments to introduce an asset management agency of this type and it’s very hard to imagine that the Department of Finance had designed something that wasn’t guaranteed to get approved. However, as I’ve noted before, if you read those guidelines closely, they also suggest that the Commission isn’t in favour of packages that are overly friendly to providers of risk capital.  For instance, the guidelines state

(21) As a general principle, banks ought to bear the losses associated with impaired assets to the maximum extent …

(22) Once assets have been properly evaluated and losses are correctly identified, and if this would lead to a situation of technical insolvency without State intervention, the bank should be put either into administration or be orderly wound up, according to Community and national law. In such a situation, with a view to preserving financial stability and confidence, protection or guarantees to bondholders may be appropriate.

(23) Where putting a bank into administration or its orderly winding up appears unadvisable for reasons of financial stability, aid in the form of guarantee or asset purchase, limited to the strict minimum, could be awarded to banks so that they may continue to operate for the period necessary to allow to devise a plan for either restructuring or orderly winding-up. In such cases, shareholders should also be expected to bear losses at least until the regulatory limits of capital adequacy are reached. Nationalisation options may also be considered.

The relatively tough line suggested by these statements has been evident in the Commission’s rulings on payments to subordinated bonds and on various restructuring plans. This approach undoubtedly limits the government’s ability to overpay for the assets going into NAMA and with the assets falling in price with every passing month, the opportunity to keep the banks from actual or near insolvency via overpayment seems to be slipping away.

In my exchanges with our old friend John the Optimist, I have regularly pointed out economists shouldn’t necessarily be judged on their forecasts and I certainly have made calls here that have turned out to be incorrect. However, I will take this opportunity to point out that tomorrow is the one year anniversary of this column that I wrote for the Irish Times. Among other things which I’d still stand by, the column pointed out the following:

In addition to being unfair, it is questionable whether the bad bank proposal could achieve its goal of properly re-capitalising private sector banks. There may be limits on the price the Government can pay for impaired property loans under EU state aid rules. Banks may still have to write down their assets. It is easy to imagine a scenario where banks struggled with weak capital bases even after a bad bank scheme has been put in place.

And here we are.

49 thoughts on “Commission Approves NAMA”

  1. “This impaired-asset measure, which is specifically targeted at real estate assets , is therefore key to cleaning up Irish banks’ balance sheets.”

    I think he should have qualified that as “commercial real estate assets”.

    Even at that it ignores loans advanced on land banks (and various bogs) which could in no way be described as “commercial real estate”.

    It also ignores completely residential mortgages, unless Almunia is under the misapprehension that this bad debt problem is covered under “real estate assets”.

    Almunia makes no reference to “Associated Loans” representing 36% of the loans which NAMA will acquire.

    Did we ever find out what “Associated Loans” were?

  2. “Today’s approval concerns only the NAMA scheme.”

    Heavily qualified approval – the devil is in the detail (i.e. actual decision), the EU individual reviews of transfer transactions and bank restructuring plans. For example, the Mfor F has stated that “the valuation methodology set out in the valuation regulations will be amended to take account of the Commission’s decision”.

  3. The Decision is not available yet but even with the Statement by the Commissioner and Mr Lenihan’s responses there is cause for trepidation:

    The Commissioner Statement talks about reviews of transactions at EU level and

    “These individual reviews will include a claw back mechanism in case of excess payments.”

    These reviews have the potential to negate the purpose of NAMA which was to clean up the banks’ balance sheets. If there is a risk of a review and a further claw back then that doesn’t give you a clean balance sheet – it gives you a balance sheet with contingent liabilities, akin to what they have at present.

    Mr Lenihan made statements in respect of some of the Decision detail as follows, quoted in the Irish Times:

    “Mr Lenihan said the valuation methodology set out in the regulations would be amended to take account of the Commission’s decision, with a higher remuneration risk margin and higher enforcement costs applied.

    “There will however be a reduction in the interest rates used for loan discounting purposes. In overall terms the proposed valuation methodology which the Commission has endorsed is broadly as originally proposed by Government,” he said.

    Let us see what this in fact means but on the face of it, it may herald a larger haircut.

  4. By the sound of it, each loan transferred is going to be approved individually by the EU?

    Some additional nuances in the French version of the text? See from this post onwards: http://www.thepropertypin.com/viewtopic.php?p=360114#p360114

    Anyway, if we are taking credit for predicting the ‘failure’ of the bad bank, I’d like to put forward this one from December 2008:
    http://www.thepropertypin.com/viewtopic.php?p=177289#p177289
    “These calls for a ‘bad’ bank beg the question – what’s going to fund it? They also seem to come from people who have the dimmest view on the price of Irish bank assets (i.e. they believe they are in a far worse state than even the most pessimistic estimate so far). So on the one hand you have people claiming that all the banks assets are toxic to the tune of high numbers of billion (which I happen to agree with) and then that the state should pay money to take over a bank to use as a wind-down vehicle for these assets. The likely results of this approach:
    – massive government borrowing over years to wind-down the debts/purchase the assets
    – the survivors becoming zombie banks beholden to the government
    or
    a massive transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to the survivor banks
    – still no credit in the system”

    Of course, ‘failure’ is a relative term. If we end up with zombie banks, it’ll be a success…

  5. @Karl Whelan
    If the Irish government really want to transfer their citizens money to Irish bank shareholders and Irish megadevelopers, while being Europe’s shining light of fiscal retrenchment, then the EU were probably always going to allow them to do it. If they want to transfer their public’s money to subordinate and senior bank bondholders then the EU are even happier. In fact if they weren’t doing the latter and tried to do the former then the EU might have vetoed NAMA, thus preventing the rescue of megadevelopers and bank shareholders. The crony Irish establishment could never have allowed that. There are problems with the loss of competition in the Irish banking sector but also gains. Supernormal profits (i.e. gouging) will:
    – help to rescue Irish bank shareholders
    – disincline the banks to go after the megadevelopers
    – prevent the banks having to go back to the bondholders

    The EU and Ireland’s insiders both gain from NAMA. The losers are:
    – Irish consumers and businesses who will face higher charges and interest rates
    – the Irish citizens who will hugely overpay for these toxic loans (and are already losing out through the bank guarantee’s effect on our national borrowing costs)
    – staff of the non-systemic banks (AIB, BOI and Ulster)

    I wonder though if Anglo/Nationwide is now a bank too far. It should have been long ago but the collapse in development land values may finally force the issue. If not it’s another huge cost.

  6. @ Tony\Oliver\E65\Paul

    Thought you said you were quitting the site. Can you please do us a favour and just stick with the one moniker from now on? And, if you are going to post, no more coversations between your various editions.

  7. “The European Commission has published detailed guidance on how Member States can recapitalise banks in the current financial crisis to ensure adequate levels of lending to the rest of the economy and stabilise financial markets whilst avoiding excessive distortions of competition, in line with EU state aid rules”

    In the case of Ireland,

    “States can recapitalise banks in the current financial crisis” ….. Fail

    “ensure adequate levels of lending to the rest of the economy” ….. Fail

    “stabilise financial markets whilst avoiding excessive distortions of competition” ….. Fail

    “in line with EU state aid rules” ………. Pass

  8. EU regulations state: Once assets have been properly evaluated and losses are correctly identified, and if this would lead to a situation of technical insolvency without State intervention, the bank should be put either into administration or be orderly wound up, according to Community and national law.

    I have a genuine question. Does that concept also apply to state agencies that are deemed to be insolvent? Or is the Irish taxpayer expected to bail them out in some fashion also? It is not only my personal bile towards DDDA. I would be interested in peoples’ ideas. I compiled together a sort of ‘time line’ myself, (like an amateur financial investigator) to help me to understand the North Quay Investments commercial project, which will shortly end up in NAMA. In fact, it will be one of the first lame duck to drag itself through the doors of NAMA. In the course of my forensic investigation, I did turn up something in Deirdre De Burca’s 12th August 2009 e-mail to minister John Gormley of the Green party. De Burca asked:

    “Why has the DDDA been unable to publish its 2008 accounts yet? [-break-] It will be interesting to see if the DDDA accounts are published after the NAMA valuation whether the NAMA 2009 valuation will be retrospectively applied to the 2008 accounts or whether a “true” 2008 valuation will be shown. [-break-] I would dearly love to see Mr Gormley’s answers to these questions !”

    http://designcomment.blogspot.com/2010/02/north-wall-quay-time-line.html

    You can follow my time line for the North Quay investments project at my blog. It does contain stuff which, aludes to my personal bias. But I did try to stick to basic principles of factual investigation etc, etc. It is interesting to see it spread out in a time line of events. No doubt, that is the task facing the banking inquiry at the moment. To establish the time line. BOH.

  9. @ Al,

    garethace at hotmail dot com

    Honestly, once professor Niamh Brennan’s report is published – whether it covers the entire facts or not, for better or for worse – I will retire permanently from this public (dis-embodied) life, which has somewhat taken over my every-day life.

    When I go to sleep at night, I see the face(s) of those poor guys, I knew working at North Wall Quay and other places around Dublin. The sight of that skeleton concrete structure, is what troubles me most, for some strange reason. I need to get over that, as I believe, Mr. Carroll and other(s) do depend on closure at this stage, for their own existential purposes. Best of luck to NAMA, is all I can say, at this stage. BOH.

  10. “2. RESTORING LONG-TERM VIABILITY

    9. Where, on the basis of previous Commission guidance or decisions, a Member State is under an obligation to submit a restructuring plan [12] that plan should be comprehensive, detailed and based on a coherent concept. It should demonstrate how the bank will restore long-term viability without State aid as soon as possible [13]. The notification of any restructuring plan should include a comparison with alternative options, including a break-up, or absorption by another bank, in order to allow the Commission to assess [14] whether more market oriented, less costly or less distortive solutions are available consistent with maintaining financial stability. In the event that the bank cannot be restored to viability, the restructuring plan should indicate how it can be wound up in an orderly fashion.”

    “It should demonstrate how the bank will restore long-term viability without State aid as soon as possible”

    So, if the Commission believes that NAMA satisfies its criteria can it now demonstrate that Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society can have long-term viability without State aid .

    If the Commission can do that I’ll buy everyone a ticket to Fossett’s Circus.

    Of course I’d rather they didn’t.

    I’d rather that Ireland didn’t borrow and waste another €10bn on this black (as hell financial) hole.

    This money cannot be borrowed for Social or Infrastructural purposes. It can only be borrowed to fund Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society.

    If the Commission allows Fianna Fail and the Green Party borrow this money on behalf of the Irish people the Commission will have lost credibility.

  11. @Frank Galton.

    Thank you. Iceland! You gotta love it.

    @Karl, Just to put all today’s news into one paragraph.

    NAMA is given the green light as a policy, but the mechanics of it are still up in the air. Loan transfers will take at least six months and then the banking system will need to be sorted out – as the official release says http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/198&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en “This is an important step towards the overall restructuring of the sector”. Only a step on the road. Lots more to do. Meanwhile Postbank have followed Halifax and bailed out of the market. NIB are cutting branches and rumour has it that ACC will soon be gone too.

    So, six months before the next step in the return to ‘normal’ banking can happen – post NAMA. And in the meantime all independent competition is leaving the market.

    Am I missing something, or are we not going to have a functioning banking system by summer?

    (This is not a rhetorical question, I really would like to see where the light is – and yes, I did read all of Lenihan’s speech)

  12. 14. …..As the Treaty is neutral as to the ownership of property, State aid rules apply irrespective of whether a bank is in private or public ownership.

    “Those communications recognised that the severity of the crisis justified the granting of aid, which can be considered compatible pursuant to Article 87(3)(b) of the Treaty establishing the European Community”

    “1. Save as otherwise provided in this Treaty, any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods shall, in so far as it affects trade between Member States, be incompatible with the common market.”

    For Fianna Fail and the Green Party to “give” another €6bn to Anglo Irish Bank and to “give” €2bn to Irish Nationwide Building Society appears to me to contravene the Treaty.

    “…in so far as it affects trade between Member States ….”

    As a European I do not need Anglo Irish Bank or Irish Nationwide Building Society funded by Fianna Fail and the Green Party to determine my choice of bank.

    There are hundreds of banks in Europe.

    Let them compete.

    As a Citizen/Taxpayer of Ireland and as a European I don’t need Anglo Irish Bank or Irish Nationwide Building Society to exist.

    I want the European Competition Commissioner to do his job or at least live up to his “Vision for Competition Policy”.

    “As Competition commissioner, I’m here to ensure that competition policy delivers for consumers and for businesses. To that end I will focus on fighting against cartels, preventing dominant companies from abusing their market power in any sector or any country in Europe , and maintaining a rigorous scrutiny of proposed mergers. I also intend to further consider how to achieve effective compensation for victims of illegal antitrust behaviour.

  13. All independent banks are leaving Ireland as fast as they can disengage themselves from the morass. Mr. Lenihan on the news last night “we cannot have innumerable banks in the country giving innumerable lines of credit”.

    Am I living in the same country as this man or is this just some faustian nightmare I am having? “Innumerable banks” and “Innumerable lines of credit” Is this a bad joke?

    At the moment, we don’t even have one properly functioning bank in the country. I honestly think this man has lost it completely.

  14. @ Robert Browne,

    Let me make something quite clear here, from the most sincere and sympathetic, project management perspective. We go on, and on, and on pointing the finger at minister Lenehan. The fact of the matter is, he is one man fighting his very own existential battle. He has been concentrated, in all his energies and in all his efforts, for the last 2 no. years, on this big huge concepts like NAMA and the ECB. He has nothing to counter-balance that, to offer him a proper view of main street in the Irish economy. The point minister Lenehan is making about mutiple lines of credit refers to build-er(s) and developer(s) who behaved irresponsibily, and without heed of any consequences of their action(s) for the past number of years, in Ireland. Yeah, darn the politics that enabled it. Yeah, minister Lenehan is correct to warn the Irish people, they don’t want to return to the brickie pyramid scheme of old. (Not that the Irish people will not try to re-instate the brickie pyramid scheme of old) Darn it. What we need is to reduce the no. of credit lines available to such build-er(s). But we need to open some more to a different sort of individual.

    Jerry Beades, executive member of FF was correct. We haven’t anything or anyone on the front benches at the moment, who are new and have something new to contribute. Just as we needed new faces in the banking institutions, we also need it in politics. Yes, indeed, our failure in this country is an organisational one. Yes, we need to distribute more talent and more expertise throughout our bureaucracy and our system. Yes, our failure to do as such, in this country, is all our collective failure. It is the failure we are now paying the price for.

    The trouble isn’t minister Lenehan as such. It is the fact, as Jerry Beades point-ed out on radio. The loss of Willy O’Dea’s ‘financial brain’, saw the removal of a substantial amount of the intellectual capacity, from the FF/Green cabinet. That simple statement of analysis, right there, courtesy of Sean O’Rourke speaking to Mr. Beades on the 19th Feb 2010, on The News at One, should tell us all something. We should all look at one another, and ask ourselves: How did we arrive at a situation, where Sean O’Rourke’s summation of Willy O’Dea, is probably correct? How did WE arrive there, or all places? BOH.

  15. Yes, I’m sure we will see plenty of pro-NAMA and pro-Lenihan stories in the press this weekend. As I’ve said before, I may not agree with what they say but FF have a very good spin machine.

    @Brian O’Hanlon – “The loss of Willy O’Dea’s ‘financial brain’, saw the removal of a substantial amount of the intellectual capacity, from the FF/Green cabinet.”

    If Willie O’Dea = intellectual capacity then heaven help us if the rest of the cabinet are below that standard.

    @Everyone interested in NAMA

    But more to the point, whatever happened to the original objective of NAMA – getting credit flowing into the economy? We seem to be in an even worse place now with many of the smaller banks looking to disengage from Ireland.

    The Irish Times broke a story recently about the IMF telling Brian Lenihan last April that it would not achieve its objective. Sadly, it hit the front page of the paper on the same day that George Lee resigned and was washed away. I also note that the actual IMF guy who told him this is joining the NAMA board.

    I never saw any follow up of the story in the IT (were they nobbled and told not to pursue it?) and – perhaps I missed it – there doesn’t seem to have been much mention of it on this site.

    Any thoughts out there?

  16. @Joseph

    On this site neither the orthodox nor the heterodox need the IMF to tell us what is patently in front of our eyes …………. check back. Mind the black hole. Black day. The Con-Job of the century on a oh so supine citizenry. 57 seconds to meltdown. I’m off to the rugby – to vent some frustration and lividity; more civilized than a bazooka but almost certainly not as effective.

  17. KW
    “This approach undoubtedly limits the government’s ability to overpay for the assets going into NAMA and with the assets falling in price with every passing month, the opportunity to keep the banks from actual or near insolvency via overpayment seems to be slipping away.”

    More delay is a “Good Idea”. The international, sovereign and banking markets are being targetted now by speculators, who have decided to help speed up matters. The disruption will slow matters down as it will make it clear that credit is scarcer than most think. Much scarcer, as those who were swimming naked are shown up. Buffets business partner Charles Munger has already sounded the death knell of the US economy in SLATE.com. All the signs will be negative very soon, like the Titanic becoming vertical, yet somehow staying out of the water, until…..

    Taking on ballast or millstone grit, at this time by borrowing for any but the most urgent of purposes, is sheer folly. There is no r.o.i. on borrowings, even at 0% rates, if asset deflation is running at 10% pa. Iceland? JAPAN!

  18. @ Joseph,

    “If Willie O’Dea = intellectual capacity then heaven help us if the rest of the cabinet are below that standard.”

    That is exactly the point I wanted to stress. When you look at the Willy O’Dea affair, after all of the rumpus has died down now, you balance up whether the cabinet is better or worse, in matters of NAMA and the economy – and the shocking realisation is, the cabinet is worse of. That puts a heck of a lot into perspective, doesn’t it? BOH.

  19. Joseph said:

    “The Irish Times broke a story recently about the IMF telling Brian Lenihan last April that it would not achieve its objective. Sadly, it hit the front page of the paper on the same day that George Lee resigned and was washed away. I also note that the actual IMF guy who told him this is joining the NAMA board.”

    Isn’t that the truth. But how much, of the story in general, would wash away – had it not been for a bunch of concerned economic professors, who devoted much of their unpaid time, to the act of getting the story some air time? That is the real question, unfortunately. What the entire NAMA affair should draw into very sharp focus, is the reality, Ireland is a sleep-y nation. Che Gavara, once said to a soldier, a country which cannot read or write, is easily fool-ed. We know in Ireland, that a country which has no economists employed in its civil service (permanent government), and no desire or will to install any, is easily fool-ed also. This is the lasting legacy of my own parents generation – and Willie O’Dea’s generation – which my generation will have to live with. Perhaps it is the fact, that so many of my parents generation emigrated from this country, that people lost all and any focus on domestic matters. In other words, the kitchen larder was wide open for anyone to help themselves. That is precisely what happened. Tighten our belts, and all of that. BOH.

  20. Greg
    Very close now and behind the scenes all the CBs are trying to avoid the collapse across the system that occurred in the last depression. Banks will cause domino action, so national, sovereign, liability increases. They can avoid most problems, as most of the speculators are actually controllable, one way or another, but trade mis dying and so is money flow. Legalization and taxation of all “sins” may be tried soon. US rates went up involuntarily and that is the end of the beginning. How well they can choreograph what is happening is crucial as the strains increase considerably. If there is disagreement, and there is, then it will collapse, possibly badly.

    TPTB are aware of Minsky. When all the actors in the sytem stick to their lines, it can totter along for a while. It all started for the west, in 1999, but Japan, a very homogenous society, has had it for longer. Some CEOs in the states have decided to call it a day, and their banks are also losing old hands. I doubt that anyone wants to be near the system as it falls over…… any volunteers?

    A recap for those like PropertyGal who is no longer reading this blog…
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17736

  21. Joseph
    You simply do not understand do you?

    All the real capital, that underpins banks and stock exchanges, has been lost in bad investments. It cannot be recovered. Where a physical asset stands then good it has some but far less value. Where we had promises on paper, well they are worth maybe 1% or soon will be. Loans are assets to banks. But no one will borrow as they will be unable to pay back, even if the bank was able to get cash for that purpose. Cash will be getting short now. Instant cash in the states in one nation wide bank has recently been made subject to a possible one week delay. Remember that Argentina destroyed all deposit accounts? Don’t worry, it will only affect the middle class. They will have very little left.

  22. I attempted to explore the concept of what an un-protect-ed ‘kitchen larder’ might be, at a blog entry recently. You can take it for the amateur attempt that it is.

    http://designcomment.blogspot.com/2010/02/ryanair-to-fail.html

    But the key issue is, that Lemass created something at a time in Irish history, when people still wanted to believe. They may not have believed, in the 1950s, as UCD historian Tom Garvin would recall. But the point is, they wanted to believe, and many gained some faith, when Lemass became Taoiseach. By the time of the Celtic Tiger however, after the 1980s, I think many of those people had lost hope again. One has to place NAMA in the context of all of that social history. The most interesting one, is how Vincent O’Brien, horse train-er salvaged some the indigenous horse industry, and brought it back from the brink. There is something interesting there. The show jumper(s) for instance were exported for profit, (and lost for good) by our government agencies. BOH.

  23. @ Pat Donnelly

    Thanks for the link. Haven’t looked at Global Research in a while.

    @ Joseph

    “whatever happened to the original objective of NAMA – getting credit flowing into the economy?”

    It was propaganda. Did you actually believe it?

    The NAMA money will never see the inside of an Irish bank vault.

    The bookkeeping will be done by the ECB.

  24. Greg says: “The book keeping will be done by the ECB.” I was throwing out some old newspapers this afternoon, and I came across Dan O’Brien’s article from the SBP, 10th Jan 2010.

    O’Brien wrote: “If policymakers in Dublin do not concern themselves with moral hazard, their counterparts in Brussels see it as the most important issue beyond the firefighting stage of the crisis. All banks that have received significant state aid will have to submit business plans to the European Commission.”

    http://www.sbpost.ie/commentandanalysis/banks-eu-to-call-the-shots-46640.html

    BOH.

  25. We must try to see things (from a European, as opposed to Irish point of view) beyond the banking and financing industry – this fair-ness of competition issue, relates to practically all industries. I even have to study EU legislation myself now, with reference to new standards for building construction. Before now, it was only the national regulations – now there is another level of ‘fair-ness’ which has be complied with, on an EU level. I don’t know if Karl Whelan’s blog entries have emphasised this aspect before ? ? ? This quote is from the same article by Dan O’Brien:

    “This is in keeping with a long-term trend that has seen the commission become one of the most aggressive competition authorities in the world, as some of the planet’s largest companies, which have been on the receiving end of its zeal, can attest. Intel, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and GE have all either been fined hundreds of millions of euro for anticompetitive behaviour or have had their takeover plans thwarted.” BOH.

  26. I listened to Karl Whelan on the Saturday View radio program. 2 no. points emerged in the chat. Firstly, that NAMA, ECB etc, has become a bit like Obama’s war for Ireland. We are so focussed on these macro- issues, there is no one, in the Dail chamber focussed anywhere else. The Green party, have done the typical rookie, first time in the trenches bit, thrown a huge wobbly, and decided they are wiped out. So they ignore politics and devote what time they have left towards Ireland’s contribution to combatting climate change. The second thing that emerges from the Saturday View radio show, is Karl Whelan’s point – we cannot stay looking at the weeds. We need to lay down plans for what the heck happens, in the inevitable situation, where we have to recognise – and take ownership of the responsibility – to do something, because our banks are not only national-ised, but insolvent. Neil Callanan pointed out the political reality – most international shareholders in the 2 no. Irish banks have stomached their losses and fled. The only bank shareholders remaining are the many, small Irish ones. Which the government seemed resigned to protect at all costs. BOH.

  27. @ BOH,

    Thanks for the link. It will be interesting to see what ‘value’ Nama will place on the toxic loans to the Becbay consortium. Some are estimating the writedown at over 80%. With the EU in charge this may be nearer the mark for the overall writedown, rather than the 30% as mooted by Lenihan. Majority ownership of the banks by the state is inevitable.

    Much is known already about the Becbay debacle. More will be added by the reports when published. Cowen has questions to answer.

    “What the directors agreed that morning is regarded as so ruinous for the taxpayer that there are rumblings that it could topple the government.”
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article7043853.ece

  28. Professor Niamh Brennan claims not to be able to find any documented evidence, which explains the reasoning for the DDDA to obtain the 25% stake in Becbay, in the joint venture with McNamara. Of course she can’t, because she can’t see through the eyes of an urban designer.

    To me, it seems very simple. Liam Carroll owned 15 acres next door to the Irish Glass Bottle site, and would have both the IGB site too, only that Anglo put it beyond his reach, at the €412 million price tag. One must remember, Carroll owned a large chunk of North Wall Quay, huge tracts of the North Lotts, Ringsend and had the shareholding in Irish Ferries. The idea of having McNamara in the joint venture was arranged, so that two of the best build-er(s) in the city got into a stand-off. If you ever watch kids fighting in a school yard, there is always one smart-alec standing up against the wall, smiling away, who managed to start it. (That was Anglo btw)

    Nick Webb and Louise McBride, did an article in the Sunday Independent, February 15 2009, Lifting a lid on Anglo’s links to the docklands, which explores all of the connections between Anglo and the DDDA. Effectively, the DDDA was a non-state funded, state owned planning authority, which was under Anglo dictatorship for much of its existence. Indeed, the two organisations grew up together from childhood. One is a twin of the other. I haven’t a huge problem with that, except that an all financial dominated executive board, didn’t understand the planning side of what was going on – namely, the ‘revised scheme’ for North Lotts and Ringsend, which DDDA senior management had undertaken. BOH.

  29. From Justine McCarthy’s Sunday Times piece:

    The other six directors were Mary Moylan from the Department of the Environment; Declan McCourt, a director of Bank of Ireland; Angela Cavendish, of Alexsam Corporate Finance; accountant Donall Curtin; Niamh O’Sullivan of Arup, consultant engineers employed on the Irish Glass Bottle (IGB) site in Ringsend; and Joan O’Connor, an award-winning architect.

    It should be noted here, that Joan O’Connor, member of the executive board on the DDDA, was the cheer leader for developer Mr. Sean Dunne’s and his famous ballbridge project. Mr. Dunne, being the man who took the DDDA to court, about the planning permission for the North Quay Investments project (owned and operated by Liam Carroll).

    ? ? ? I mean, seriously, how complex can this whole thing become ? ? ?

    BOH.

  30. Pat Donnelly,

    Again thanks for reminding me of Global Research.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17736

    The “Macro” “Economists” need to believe that the “State” will prove their philosophy correct, though I suspect most of them don’t know that they are the philosophers of their own destruction.

    They expect “some state”, “some central bank”, “some king or queen”, “some messiah” to increase the productive capacity of the thing they observe.

    And when it is no longer capable of their observation they will plead to their Gods and beg indulgence.

    And their Gods will say “Thanks for believing, your State is lost, your Money is worthless, your Government lied, your Messiah is crucified”.

    And the Macro Economist said to the Lord, “Why did you do this Lord”.

    And the Lord said, “Because you believed”

  31. Brian O’ Hanlon,

    “Greg says: “The book keeping will be done by the ECB.” I was throwing out some old newspapers this afternoon, and I came across Dan O’Brien’s article from the SBP, 10th Jan 2010.”

    Brian,

    I don’t think you understand me.

    The “bookkeeping” I refer to is not that some French, Dutch, German or Turk is going to put manners on the “Irish” to make sure that they don’t “overpay” for Anglo Irish Bank.

    What I mean is that the French, Dutch, German and Turks will make sure that “Ireland” overpays for Anglo Irish Bank.

    That’s the “bookkeeping” Brian.

    The “Irish State” must provide the Turks with €15bn to pay of the debts Anglo Irish Bank.

  32. Time to Die

    “I have seen things you people wouldn’t believe, attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, I watched Seabeams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate, all those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain, time to die .”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOW4QiOD-oc

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2010/0301/1224265372916.html

    “Anglo’s new management team is taking an aggressive yet realistic view of the bank’s exposure to the collapsing property sector and wider economy. The bank plans to recognise higher losses on business loans.”

    Time to Die

    Fianna Fail and the Green Party have one time and one time only to explain why they are providing €15,000,000,000 to Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society, and why they are indebting the Irish People with that €15,000,000,000.

    Time is running out on this farce.

    The €7,000,000,000 cash given in Preference Shares to AIB and BofI is now known to be farce.

    Time to Die

    Add it up people.

    Never mind NAMA. We’re already looking at €22,000,000,000 added to the National Debt.

    For what?

  33. @ Greg,

    Thanks for the clarification. On front page of IT today: Anglo Irish Bank will report record losses of up to €12bn.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2010/0301/1224265372916.html

    BTW, in my time-line blog piece, North Wall Quay Time Line, I was very careful to construct it, while on purpose, omitting NAMA and former Taoiseach Ahern from the time-line. Because they tend to over-shadow far too much. That is what grabs the media attention. I managed to do that, except, I had to mention that Bertie installed Sean Fitzpatrick as director in the DDDA, around the time Liam Carroll had gained control of Dunloe Ewart in 2002. When you consider that, former Taoiseach Ahern referred to Mr. Dunne, affectionately as ‘The Dunn-er’, and when you consider the relationship between Ahern, Fitzpatrick and Dunne – and between Carroll and Fitzpatrick, and Dunne and Carroll.

    Well, you get the picture don’t you? It was effectively Ahern, Fitzpatrick and Dunne (who had ram-sacked the DDDA for what it was worth) against a single individual, Carroll, who was trying to operate the do business in the DDDA’s jurisdiction. None of this is interesting, except for the fact that DDDA and Anglo were joined together at the hip – and the taxpayer has pumped million(s) and billion(s) into both. What the media is so asleep on that, is beyond my comprehension. BOH.

  34. When writing initially to Alberto Bacchiega of the European Commission Competition DG on NAMA last August

    Form at Sect 4 …. (c) “Who is the beneficiary?”

    “Banks AIB, BoI, Anglo Irish Bank Irish Life and Permanent, Irish Nationwide. International bond holders and hedge funds and pension funds who’s asset values are to be re-inflated by NAMA using tax payer commitments lasting 15 to 20 years”.

    (d) For what purpose was the alleged aid given (if known)?

    “To remove toxic assets from bank balance sheets to get credit lending again to business. However, these banks are insolvent, will become much smaller and will spend years repairing their balance sheets.

    Grounds of Complaint Sect 5
    “The government in acting to prop up insolvent banks are wasting tax payer money are saving banks shareholders and bond holders. The government in creating a state monopoly property holding company called NAMA guarantees that no other company or individual within the state can compete on level terms. Having failed to regulate they now want to regulate by monopoly and granting of sweeping legislative powers. NAMA will end in state bankruptcy and will have major implications for monetary union”.

    I believe the commission must refuse Anglo or as Morgen Kelly said, “Might as well take the money to Stephen’s Green and burn it”.

  35. I believe the commission must refuse Anglo or as Morgen Kelly said, “Might as well take the money to Stephen’s Green and burn it”.

    Listen Robert, we have no one to blame only ourselves. We still have nothing prosecuted, after more than 12 months of Gardai investigations. I already knew 12 months ago, that BUPA Ireland was raided by Taoiseach Ahern and his friends, at the same time they were doing their utmost to milk the DDDA dry also. The brief summary is here:

    http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2010/03/01/the-economics-of-something-must-be-done/#comment-37835

    The basic concept, or plan, was to ensure that made-up master(s) of the universe, the Irish build-er(s) were propped up, as phoney prize-fighter(s). Taoiseach Ahern’s only responsibility was to ensure, simple minded build-er(s) kept on believe-ing the fairy tale he spun for them. I think, the version of Rocky, where Bilbao realises he has defended against no one, since beating Apollo Creed, hits the nail on the head. BOH.

  36. @ Brian

    The Gardai cannot even close head-shops the proliferation of which is a very, very sad reflection on the state of this country. Ireland is a sad place right now and when Krugman was asked what did he envisage for the people of Ireland over the next 5 years he said i”n a word pain”. Personally, I think the pain will become too much and the country will convulse itself.

    What is plain to see is that the plan the “masters of the universe” have is that they will still be able to send their children to finishing school in Paris or America. We have just had 13 years of Tribunal mockery from the most privileged section of the legal glitterati. I know barristers and they might as well be on the dole because they are not in the inner sanctum.

    As Brian Lucy remarked on the Front Line tonight with Pat Kenny (01-03-1010) “a lot of people think that NAMA is going to be a retirement home for barristers” and other so-called professionals. I agree. NAMA whether it works or not, and these people don’t care a whit whether it works or not, will deliver gobs of money to our professional classes and that is what it is designed to do.

    While they waffle on about LTEV they will be milking NAMA for every cent they have and I believe they have already exceeded their legal bill for all of 2010 and we are only into March. Surprise, surprise.

    This is not about getting credit flowing and it never was, this was always about conjuring up an SPV for the golden circle to carry them on the next leg of their selfish journey. It remains to be seen whether the EU will reign in NAMA with regard to valuations etc but even if it does, their attitude will be, who cares, as long as the Invoices are paid and the Irish tax payer services the interest on NAMA…. we are on the pigs back.

    Where the whole thing will fall apart is if the Irish tax payer back is not broad enough to bear the weight of the deflationary government policies, which has trimmed it’s supports for sustaining jobs, has increased stealth taxes four fold, expects businesses to function without credit, runs up a Gross National debt of 110% of GDP, (was 25% end of 2007) blows the NPRF by way of recapitalising and nationalising insolvent banks (Anglo will never trade again) sucks every cent it can from the capital program. Does all this while ignoring the elephant in the room which is the next massive wave of defaults coming down the line (1) defaults on residential mortgages and BTL and (2) The problem with commercial premises from Athlone to Grafton street where businesses are queueing up demanding lower rent or we will hand back keys and fold. Problem there is, that many of these individuals and syndicates are leveraged up to the hilt and need the rent roll. So you can see the problems are piling high and the government are moving the deck chairs.

  37. As you all know, I never hesitate to make predictions, not forecasts.

    There will be more of these to come:

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/aib-boss-faces-quiz-over-8364774m-loan-to-tycoon-2085227.html

    Robert Browne
    You may also be accurate! This whole mess comes back to the voters who among others, elect that FG type in Tipperary, whose name I have thankfully forgotten and care less about. Rest assured that those who are members of certain societies will remain immune from any consequence, other than an early retirement.

    I am astonished that posters have not gone into this issue but it will become more real as time and pain goes on.

    Greg
    Sorry.

  38. @ Robert Browne,

    Good overall analysis there. You said,

    “The Gardai cannot even close head-shops the proliferation of which is a very, very sad reflection on the state of this country. Ireland is a sad place right now and when Krugman was asked what did he envisage for the people of Ireland over the next 5 years he said i”n a word pain”. Personally, I think the pain will become too much and the country will convulse itself.”

    Yeah, I hear what Karl Whelan is saying in relation to the Fintan O’Toole column in IT March 02nd 2010, on the other thread. But the fact is, it is so difficult for journalists to engage in debate properly, when the full facts are obscured by investigations, which seem to be dragging on for 18 months now. Especially, given that in 2008, an awful lot of the reality was becoming clear to me, and other people in our everyday affairs. I mean, I didn’t even follow the Taoiseach Ahern whole saga, and I couldn’t be even bothered an iota. I still couldn’t. But I do feel, to pick up on Mr. Paul Krugman’s point about Ireland – how could he utter anything else, when we cannot even come forth and hold public trials, of inquiry into the banks, name and shame individuals and promptly put them away? They had basic rules for the Dick Turpins in the past. That seems to have gone away with time however. I accept the legal system is there to protect us all. But it seems like a disproportionate no. of financial crooks, escape through the net. That is all I am saying, a disproportionate number. I know that modern cyber crime has exceeded the capabilities and resources of security forces to chase after, but still. Using old fashioned methods, there must be something we can get to stick? BOH.

Comments are closed.