NAMA Business Plan

NAMA have now published their business plan (announcement here). I haven’t looked at it in full detail but a few comments are worth making at this point.

First, it’s not much of a plan. It doesn’t bother trying to update the draft plan‘s year by year analysis of cashflows. As such, the scenario analysis, such as it is, seems like it will be pretty useless to those of trying to assess its credibility.

Second, in relation to Monday’s leaks, the prize for accuracy goes to the Indo’s John Mulligan who correctly reported the new information on cash flows was that NAMA now estimate that 25% of the loans are cash flow producing, which was more accurate than the Times report of about 20 per cent. To be specific, the plan says:

the draft Plan assumption was that 40% of acquired loans would be income-producing; however, the level of debtor impairment evident from the first tranche loan transfers suggests that 25% may be a more reasonable estimate. Similarly, the actual LTV ratios that have become evident during the Tranche 1 due diligence process have been higher than those indicated by institutions last autumn.

There are two possibilities in relation to the difference between the current and draft business plans in relation to their assessment of loan quality. Either the information provided to the government by the banks last year prior to the passing of the NAMA bill was highly inaccurate (speculate yourself as to why this might have been) or the loan portfolio is deteriorating rapidly.   It would be useful for NAMA to clarify the relative contributions of these two factors.

Third, I find it interesting that when NAMA CEO Brendan McDonagh appeared before the Oireachtas Finance Committee on April 13, NAMA had already paid for most of the first tranche of loans. And yet, at the time, McDonagh said that “we estimate the figure is probably closer to one third, that 33% of the loans are cashflow producing.”

It might be possible that the discrepancy between this estimate and the current estimate is accounted for by new information about Anglo’s loans, which were still being analysed when McDonagh gave his one-third estimate. That said, why it should be difficult for a government to find out how many people are repaying the NAMA-bound loans beats me (a point that applies doubly when the bank in case has been nationalised bank.) Less palatable is the idea that we are finding new nasty surprises about loans after we have already paid for them.

115 thoughts on “NAMA Business Plan”

  1. On percentage cashflow producing, IIRC the performance report indicates 19%. The plan 2.0 says first portfolio acquired is likely to have a higher proportion of investment loans.

  2. [ Comment reposted from related topic – could not see how to simply link to it ]

    First glance suggests that the new BP is merely a framework document which sets out operating principles, structures, definitions etc.

    It is most certainly not a business plan as it contains no proforma financial projections or detailed financial picture. Maybe, Nama learnt from last year’s draft business plan that the fewer the number supplied the better (for it).

    Given that Nama will be taking over loans amounting to almost half of Ireland’s GDP, its business plan should, at a minimum, have included “scenario-based” P&L statements and balance sheet projections as well as cashflow forecasts for the ten years. These would have given a fuller picture and facilitated analyses which might have helped anticipate problems identical to those being experienced by the banks that Nama is seeking to rescue.

    Nama is adopting an accounting policy (page 18) which “considers expected cash flows, not contractual cash flows, on loans. This means that the Profit & Loss account will reflect what is happening in reality in cashflow terms, rather than taking income to the Profit & Loss account that is not cashflow-based e.g. NAMA will not accrue interest rollup to its Profit & Loss account. It reflects an accounting approach which values the loans by taking the “actual” initial value plus future expected cashflows less potential impairments.” It also means that Nama will be burying loan and interest write offs over the next ten years. These could amount to, think of a large number, €30-50 billion.

  3. Brian,

    But it does. Fourth line down in the executive summary.

    “To attain these objectives, NAMA will pursue all debts owed by turnips to the greatest extent feasible.”

  4. If you want to see what a proper business plan looks like then take a look at the guidance notes and datapack sent to developers by NAMA to produce their own developer business plans.

    http://www.nama.ie/Publications/2010/NAMADebtorBusinessPlanRequirements.pdf

    http://www.nama.ie/Publications/2010/NAMABusinessPlanDatapack.xls

    What was published today is undeserving of the moniker “Business Plan” and NAMA know that (particularly Brendan McDonagh ACMA) . It’s an unsubstantiated range of predictions of NAMA NPVs together with some general information about NAMA – nothing you wouldn’t have known or guessed before. The document today contains less solid information than last October’s draft which was for “illustrative purposes” according to the NAMA CEO.

    Of course as stakeholders in NAMA we (general public, academia, non-NAMA connected property industry) have quite a large appetite for information but we have a low importance to NAMA’s success. If you are unhappy with the information provided today then the EU (Mr Almunia, Competition Commissioner, who concluded in a letter published yesterday that Brian Lenihan had broken State-aid rules would be the appropriate contact) would be the best place to lodge your grievances.

    I would like to think the best for the people who run NAMA but with €40-45bn of our money at stake, it is too much to leave to blind trust alone.

  5. Page 5 / First sentence.

    “The fees that NAMA will pay over its expected ten-year life amount to about €1.6 billion. A breakdown of the 2011 budget shows that a significant proportion of these fees will be incurred as payment to the participating institutions to administer loan assets on NAMA’s behalf.

    There are many companies in Ireland and throughout Europe that have proven track records in this kind of administration.

    Was there a competitive tender issued on this (Government) contract?

    Are Competitive Tenders not compulsory?

  6. Greg

    I’m doing an entry for my blog about this at the moment and here is what I was planning to say on this point:

    The plan states that “Nama will pursue all debts owed by debtors to the greatest possible extent” on page 2, 7, 8 and 10. What is not very clear is that these debts only relate to the payments Nama makes to acquire the loans from the covered institutions and not to the nominal value of these loans.

    In other words, Nama does not appear to be seeking payment of the haircut on these loans with the result that its debtors could be securing a bale out of up to €40 billion (based on a 50% discount).

    This would appear to be confirmed by looking at the accounting treatment of the loans (€814 million nominal) from EBS and INBS taken into Nama’s balance sheet (at €371 million) during the first quarter of 2010 (see page 17 and accompanying note in Nama’s quarterly financial statements for period ended 31 March 2010).

    If this is correct, Nama’s statements about chasing debts is misleading. Its huge “forgiveness” merely merits a footnote in the accounts.

  7. @Brian Flanagan
    Eamonn “minister for everything ” Ryan was saying the same thing on Matt cooper – developers will have to repay “all that they can repay”. Which could be thruppence on the pound…. Dan Boyle twittered the same issue yesterday. that NAMA will recoup its costs. We have been here before in June. that time the Dail was in session so this got traction, but now its bucket and spade time
    But they will deny that its a bailout to the bitter end.

  8. Can someone help me with the figures in Table 4 of the revised business plan. Is it referring to the long-term economic value of the loan facilities themselves or to the underlying security (land/property) ?

  9. “Derivative transactions with a nominal value of €14bn (principally interest rate swaps) will also be transferred. A substantial number of these derivatives are nonperforming and NAMA will pay nil consideration to acquire them.”
    ok…but please tell me that we arent exposed on this. someone…?

  10. Let’s say I wanted to set up a shop selling DVD players. If I went to my bank and produced a “business plan” that used the same level of financial detail as this NAMA plan, it would read something like this:
    January Buy DVD Players €5 million
    February- Dec Sell DVD Playes €7 million
    Gross Profit €2 million
    Conclusion: Sur’ it’ll be grand.

    Seriously- don’t we deserve better?

  11. But Brian who is being bailed out? It is not the bank shareholders or even the hated subordinated bond holders. The equity in the banks has already been writted down or off or in the case of the subbies they have been trimmed. The bank shareholders have lost most of their initial investment.

    The guy getting bailed out is the developer laddy, he only has to pay back 50p in the euro. Now where did he go on his holiday at the end of July.

  12. @Brian Lucey,

    “ok…but please tell me that we arent exposed on this. someone…?”

    Sorry, Brian, but according to Savills we could potentially have a €1-3bn liability for unwinding these (if necessary)..

    “Delegates at the company’s annual Financing Property presentation in London were told £120bn (€146bn) of UK commercial property needed to be refinanced between now and 2012, but that the aggregated cost of unwinding the swaps could be more than £10bn.

    Borrowers use the swaps to hedge against the risk of rising interest rates.

    William Newsom, UK head of valuation at Savills, estimated the cost of unwinding a five-year swap put in place in June 2007 as now being 11.7% of the size of the original loan.

    This cost would rise to 20.4% for a 30-year swap.”

    http://www.ipe.com/realestate/interest-rate-swaps-blocking-uk-disposal-pipeline-savills-says_35702.php?articlepage=1

    (free registration required)

  13. Anyone care what the planned level of bailout now is?

    In October 2009 the default was 20% of 77bn or 15.4bn and 4bn was going to be realised from asset sales so net bailout then 11.4bn.

    Anyone care to guess what our new improved business plan is saying for default?

  14. I’d like to qualify my comments above (9:05) by mentioning that the plan states that “debtors will continue to be liable to Nama for full loan balance recovery of €81 billion” and that the recoveries assumed in its NPV projections are “based on the amounts that would be recovered if NAMA foreclosed on debtors and underlying assets had to be realised by reference to the long-term economic value of the assets”.

    This qualification sets the record straight but does not really change my contention that Nama’s “official” debts only relate to the payments it makes to acquire the loans from the covered institutions and not to the nominal value of these loans. In other words, Nama does not appear to be expecting payment of haircuts.

  15. “If this is correct, Nama’s statements about chasing debts is misleading. Its huge “forgiveness” merely merits a footnote in the accounts.”

    Agreed.

    I never thought NAMA would pursue the developers.

    As has been pointed out by Ahura (I think) before. NAMA need only recover its outlay and expenses to raise the flag and say “Mission Accomplished”.

    They have no incentive (and every political disincentive you can think of) not to pursue the developers for the full amount.

  16. @Brian L

    “Jagdip….you bad. I meant that rhetorically. sure whats a billion or three”

    If your name is Wilkins Micawber or your organisation is NAMA it is the difference between happiness and misery 🙂

  17. Brian,

    “ok…but please tell me that we arent exposed on this. someone…?”

    Well excuse me for harping on about this for the last year.

    If these derivative contracts are being transferred at nil because they are non-performing it means that we are on the hook for what is now a guaranteed loss.

    The fact that they are “non-performing” does not mean that the counterparties don’t want settlement.

    But hey, we got them for nothing.
    !0% of €14bn would be … emm …emmm oh …€1.4Bn.

  18. Excellent stuff.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for a reply.

    They know what they’re doing.

    They don’t need the peasants getting uppity.

  19. There are two possibilities in relation to the difference between the current and draft business plans in relation to their assessment of loan quality. Either the information provided to the government by the banks last year prior to the passing of the NAMA bill was highly inaccurate (speculate yourself as to why this might have been) or the loan portfolio is deteriorating rapidly.

    I think this is key….

    If its the first whats the redress? If its the second, then why are more assets being bought without deeper discounts being applied.

    Either way, NAMA is not going according to the official plan. But NAMA seems determined to avoid learning from its mistakes?

    If I went back to investors less than a year after getting funding and cheerfully admitting I got screwed by 30 to 40% on my first investments… And then my new plan had the same BS as the old one and I was planning on buying more from the same people, they would rightly shut me down.

    Strip away the mission statements and corporate speak and this is what the new NAMA plan says… It basically says were going to deliberately overpay and continue to overpay banks for crap whose long term value was argues to be higher but now is demonstrably less than its current market value…. This cannot be seen as anything other than state aid.

  20. @ KW,

    Either the information provided to the government by the banks last year prior to the passing of the NAMA bill was highly inaccurate (speculate yourself as to why this might have been) or the loan portfolio is deteriorating rapidly. It would be useful for NAMA to clarify the relative contributions of these two factors.

    What we will never know is how much Fianna Fail led policies such as De-centralisation had an effect on the commercial land market around Ireland. De-centralisation and many of the state funded expansion programmes have been put on ice, and that has let the air clean out of the land value bubble. I mean, that infamous field outside Mulligar that everyone talks so much about – that was for real. There was rugby scrum kind of pressure to try and acquire those fields. And it wasn’t just the field outside Mulligar either. It was also the field outside the town outside of Mulligar, if you can get your head around that complex an equation. One of my occupations during the Celtic Tiger years was to travel around the midlands with a developer taking photographs of GAA football fields near towns. He would normally ‘duck’ in the drivers seat while we drove past, so that I could aim the camera out of his window and snap a shot. Later on e-mails and various conversations would take place with local football clubs. It was like a drive-by site acquisition strategy, and many folk were doing it. Someone actually paid me to do that! That was the extent of the productive capacity of some very well funded developers during the boom years. The best analogy I can think of, is a rock concert, where someone buys up the good seats using a credit card and adverstises somewhere, that you have the tickets to sell. That field outside the town outside Mulligar, was like the rock concert ticket. The Irish banks were the credit lines. Now all of the ticket purchasers have got left with the tickets, which was never part of the plan. Many of the purchasers of the field outside Mulligar would not know what a business plan is, if it hit them squarely between the eyes. There were naturally, a lot of genuine building and development companies, capable of carrying out work and adding value. But we need to apply the same investigation and same rigourous measures to land and property, as had to applied to rocket concert ticket sales in this country. Plain and simple. That is the only thing I needed clarified for good. BOH.

  21. Ok, steeled myself to look at the plan after watching the soccer. And, well there’s just not much to look at. Here’s an observation though.

    Baseline Scenario, Page 25.

    Amount recovered from Assets: 44.7 bn

    Debt securities to be redeemed: 40.5 bn

    NPV: 1.0 bn

    The NPV being so low given the 4.2bn gap between amounts recovered and debt securities redeemed presumably means that NAMA will not, em, wash its face. Interest payments out will exceed interest payments in.

    Actually, there’s nothing new here: Page 10 of the (in retrospect quite good) draft plan admitted to interest payments in being €4 billion less than interest payments paid out.

    http://www.finance.gov.ie/documents/pressreleases/bl112.pdf

    Still, it would have been nice to see these calculations updated.

  22. From RTE’s news headlines this evening:

    Meanwhile, NAMA chairman Frank Daly said the plan confirmed that the five institutions covered by NAMA had not disclosed or had been unaware of the extent of the financial crisis afflicting their borrowers.

    Financial crisis, afflicting their borrowers ? ? ?

    If you have a bunch of ticket touts, and they don’t sell the tickets before their window runs out, they are wiped out, plain and simple. A very large chunk of NAMA borrowers had no intention of going to the rock concert, no interest in music and perhaps no even the price of one admission fare. Not to mind the two dozen they stuffed into their pockets with a view to passing on to some poor smuck, who was genuine. It is very easy to ascertain which was which in my opinion, having worked on both sides of the deal myself – and it has a whole lot of nothing to do with the ‘financial crisis’. C’mon Frank! BOH.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0706/banks.html

  23. So, Karl. its a levy then….
    anybody fancy selling shares in a bank with a massive, uncosted, unknown in magnitude contingent liability attached? Anybody?

  24. @ Brian

    Perhaps now might be a good time for a bit of light entertainment. Remember the grave authority of Donal O’Mahony’s April piece:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/0413/1224268226001.html

    “For example, Brian Lucey’s latest condemnation (Country’s future staked on most volatile of markets, Opinion and Analysis, April 1st) of those who “do not know a subordinated bond from a Smartie” needs to be juxtaposed with his own basic misunderstanding of how the process of Nama financing will proceed.

    Far from engaging in “funding short to borrow long, the very tactic that brought down Lehman”, Nama will in fact continuously match its assets (loans) and liabilities (bonds) with Euribor-based variable interest rates, the positive spread between which ensuring that performing loans trump non-performing loans in rendering Nama cash-flow positive on an operational basis.”

  25. While we’re at it, let’s consider other figures that were being bandied about by NAMA’s supporters when the proposal was being debated last year. Alan Ahearne in the Times, September 5:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0905/1224253890855.html

    “It is important to note that Nama is buying good loans as well as bad ones. Continuing with the illustration above, it should be clear that Nama will pay its own way in the sense that the interest received on performing loans will exceed the interest paid on the bonds used to buy the loans. Initial estimates suggest that half of the loans are paying interest at an average (variable) rate of 3.5 per cent. This would generate €1.6 billion in annual income for Nama. The €60 billion in bonds that Nama would issue in this illustration would require €0.9 billion in outlays at a (variable) interest rate of 1.5 per cent as indicated by the Minister for Finance. This means that Nama would generate a cash surplus of €700 million annually. Of course interest rates are expected to rise, but that will increase both Nama’s income and outlays.”

  26. AA has gone fierce quiet of late….I hope hes ok. I have visions of him in the basement of kildare st, with the lads with rubber hoses working on him to come up with some cunning economic rationale for NAMA, one that the bloggers here cant shoot in flames….

  27. I hope that history wont be too harsh on A Ahern.
    It must be soul destroying working with the Sr Humphreys and Malcolm Tuckers…

    Ps: no relation…

  28. @ Karl Whelan

    In Donal O’Mahony’s game, brass necks count a lot more than prescience.

    How many bubble era clairvoyants continue in the prognosticating racket!!

    Regarding the statement in the current plan: “In the interim, it has become clear that some important underlying assumptions provided by institutions were, in many cases, overly positive e.g. loan-to-value (LTV) ratios…”

    It was clear that the period from the initial announcement of NAMA in April to Oct 2009, that the DoF had not insisted on hard facts from the banks.

    However, an LTV of 75% was used to spin the official line.

    This was my comment on your thread on AA’s Irish Times article of Sept 05, 2009:

    http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2009/09/05/ahearne-on-nama/

    AA: “First, the estimated average loan-to-value ratio of 75 per cent will have to be verified by examining each loan individually, as required by EU Commission guidelines.”

    Alan Ahearne represents the Dept of Finance in the article but it’s unclear how much he knows about the loan situation.
     
    There is anecdotal evidence that many residential mortgages were topped up with other loans.  
     
    It’s likely that the same applied with commercial lending.  
     
    It is assumed the the average loan-to-value ratio of 75% based on the original value of the deal but it may be based on a more recent value.  
     
    It’s hard to believe that 25% of the value of big deals in the period 2004-2007, was paid in cash – – in particular in respect of Anglo Irish deals.  
     
    Security is on both domestic and local property.  
     
    It is likely that many transactions involved complex tax shelters and other vehicles – – not a bog standard €75 million loan on a €100 million purchase deal.

    What does AA know about such deals?

    The DoF have had a 6-month lead time to check the facts.

    Given AA’s public statements, there should be more clarity on the loans in advance of the Dáil debate and vote i.e. before Sept 16th.

    AA should state that he is satisfied that the 75% average applies to most of the loans on the basis of the original purchase price/stamp duty basis price and includes top up loans.

    Simply, as a representative of the Minister for Finance, it’s his duty to provide clarity on this issue.
     
    How confident can he be regarding the risk that the same security was not used for multiple loans?

    Keep in mind, that many of the later deals were ego driven as the top developers competed for prime sites.

    If they were paying 25% of the site costs in cash, were the banks providing 100% of the development costs?

  29. @al
    “I hope that history wont be too harsh on A Ahern.
    It must be soul destroying working with the Sr Humphreys and Malcolm Tuckers…”

    Ok, lets parse this. My first question is : why would history not judge AA harshly if that is the fair and proper judgement of history? Let me preface this by saying that I think AA is a good guy, a solid economist (probably better than me), and a decent human being. However, he made a decision. That was to leave a lecturer post (not, as popular mythos has it, a chair) to go to be economic advisor to BL. In that context, he will and should be judged as harshly or not as the economic policy on which he advises.
    Most commentators here give a passing grade, for good intentions and the right instincts, to BL (and thus interalia AA) on his macro policy. However, its clear that the banking policy is apocalyptically wrong. AA was a very prominent public defender of the policy last year. Ex officio his perspective carries significant weight. In so far as NAMA et seq is costing tens of billions more than it could and should have, in the face of unanimous advice from independent commentators that it was wrong wrong wrong, then anyone who defended it needs to be judged fairly. If that is a harsh judgement, so be it. AA has tied his reputation to NAMA.

  30. BL on morning Ireland
    “there is no question of the taxpayer being exposed (if nama makes a loss”
    Thats grand so.

  31. @ Jagdip

    re the swap unwinding – isn’t that the cost to the developers (and therefore not ‘us’) for unwinding the swaps, and that this ‘cost’ is preventing an easy refinancing and/or disposal of property assets (in that article)? If anything its actually an asset that NAMA has, albeit a heavily impaired one which is likely worth nothing, but in theory could be worth something if the developers assets/cashflows could at some stage be forced to perform on the derivative contract. By paying nothing for them, there should be no downside (save for the below).

    The only way the derivatives could be a cost to NAMA/taxpayer would be if rates rallied so much as to put these contracts back in the money from the developers perspective, but given the non performance NAMA would likely tear-up/unwind/restructure them long before that becomes an issue (and most of the swaps will expire before rates can rally that much anyway).

  32. @ BL

    “In retrospect I was wrong. Hindsight is 20-20. That is life. Does that invalidate the analyses I am doing now? Not necessarily. We will know for sure [about Nama] in 10-15 years.”
    “This is not physics. It’s a social science. People are looking for more certainty that can be given.”
    “I think we need to be cautious and humble.”

    I wonder who said this and in what context.

  33. Tull
    Me. Your point? You do have a point, dont you? Ideally on , oh, NAMA? Or AA?

  34. Have I missed something? Did NAMA announce a multi-billion euro loss yesterday evening?

    I didn’t realise we were supposed to judge NAMA a success or failure based on a few months of operations.

  35. @Gavin S
    well, they announced a multimillion loss. But i think the substantive point, iin case you havent read the thread, is that …few people believe/give credence to/can fathom the business plan. That includes professional accountants, economists, bplan software engineers, etc etc. But hey …

  36. @BL

    I think his point is that your post on Alan Ahearn was childish. Maybe he will be able to turn around in 10 years and slag you off. You didn’t exactly take criticism well about you talking up the sub prime mortgage market at the peak (Didn’t you claim that the Government and NAMA supporters were out to get you?).
    I am sorry but you stopped being a serious commentator for alot people after your Anglo deposit book article and the fact that you failed to publically retract the article. And yet you laugh at people like Donal O’Mahony.

  37. @Brian Lucy

    Well make that point instead of trying to score ‘I told you so’ points against other commentators

  38. @ Gavin S,

    I do share some of the same concerns that professor Lucey has expressed publically here at the Irish Economy blog. But allow me to explain where my concerns come from. Many of the ‘team’ around the NAMA effort at the moment are chosen from the best stock. It is like watching Brazil in the World Cup tournament. Then you have to watch as Brazil come up against some team who clearly doesn’t know how to play football, doesn’t care about football, and tries to get away with every trick in the book. Does Brazil try to persevere in playing sunshine, Samba football. Or should they know how to alter their game, to adjust to the opponents they are facing? Some would argue the former, more would argue for the latter. It is a clear question of judgement, as to which type of strategist you are.

    For my own part, if I was a Brazilian coach (now there’s a big stretch of the imagination, even for me), and if I was getting the shins kitched clean off me on the field, I certainly would not persevere with Samba kinds of tactics. I take your point, we have only advanced a couple of months into the NAMA project, but even at after the first 10 minutes of game time, we have enough feedback already, to know if tactics aught to be changed or not. Failure to realise that, and persevere with something that isn’t working, could lead to a waste of the first half of playing time. And handing some of the initiate back to the opposition. Which means in the second half it will be a scramble to make adjustments and takes scores. Which hands further initiative back to the opposition, who will hope to break on the counter attack. We may have only advanced 5-10 minutes into the match time of NAMA. But that 5-10 minutes is now history. The first tranche has been paid for, and we are about to pay for the second. BOH.

  39. @Gavin S
    “Didn’t you claim that the Government and NAMA supporters were out to get you?).”
    no. the sunday independent claimed that i said it. Think on that statement. The sun-day in-de-pen-dent.
    and hey, as I have said (and so have others) if in ten years alan can slag us for being wrong, GREAT! that means we wont as a state have lost billions.
    On deposits, i posted something here but it seems to have dissapeared. Tell you what, go google “sell “deposit book” “

  40. @ Gavin S

    Honohan, Dr Fitz, A Ahearne have all “made their choices” apparently…’you’re either with us or against us’ and all that is apparently the code of honour in some parts…how’d that work out for the guy who came up with that snappy line??

  41. @BOH

    I have no problems with your views or Brian Lucey’s. I agree with many of them although not all them. I just have a problem with much of the gloating and childish ‘I told you so’ posts that I read. It adds nothing to this site.

  42. @Brian Lucey

    I did google it and found nothing except stuff to do with the original article. I agree with you about the Sunday Independent. You should get them to print an apology if you didn’t say it. Makes you sound mad! Having said that, the original article was in the Irish Independent so I probably should have taken that into account when reading it also.

  43. @ Gavin S,

    Agreed. There should be some effort put into counterpoint views, if only to represent a balanced argument. I thought that Morning Ireland radio show achieved that this morning. Sean Whelan, RTE’s own correspondent took on the task of providing the counterpoint view, with KW giving a good measured contribution from the other side. It worked remarkably well, and was a nicely presented radio interview. Thumbs up. BOH.

  44. Probably the funniest article in the newspaper today.

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/nama-chief-disturbed-as-bank-data-fails-to-stand-up-2248442.html

    Seems like the chairman of NAMA bought crap from the banks with less due diligence than a doting old lady would buy insurance from a nice young door to door salesman.

    I have an email from a ministers son in Nigeria who wants to send me 10 million if I can send him 50k. Sounds like a NAMA business opportunity.

  45. Brian,

    As my dear grandmother said the pot should not call the kettle black.

    One could equally say that few people can fathom you conclusions, since we have not seen your spreadsheet.

    I would not puch much credence in the NAMA plan but at least we can pull a few numbers apart. We never seem to see the same rigour from you.

  46. My imaginary friend… You do recall that the Russian and I out out a Nama business plan in to the public domain last April? No?

  47. @ Brian Lucey,

    From the Irish Independent article which Gavin S has linked above, Banks had told NAMA that about 40pc of those loans were at least attracting full interest payments. However, NAMA has found that just 25pc of the loans are actually garnering full interest payments.

    In my very humble view, that particular paragraph attributed to Ms. Laura Noonan is a little sloppy in its reporting. You might like to pick up on this, as I don’t recall NAMA ever stating anything about ‘full interest payments’, or full anything. To employ you own phrase, even a field with some goats grazing on it, is producing a cashflow. Where did all of this stuff about ‘attracting full interest payments’ suddenly spring out of? Am I missing something? BOH.

  48. @ BL

    I agree with your statement that
    Mr Ahern should be held accountable, have to justify the advice rendered.
    But the point I am raising is if he is being listened to at all. Or for that matter, if the Minister can enforce his will either.
    I suppose there is a book deal for him in the future after the election….

  49. Are you referring to the famous letter? Call that a Business Plan? It was more like a manifesto from Tom Doodle.

  50. @Karl Whelan

    You were cut off on Morning Ireland today when you started to question NAMA’s capacity to manage these loans. I wonder if you could expand on this.

    I also have concerns about NAMA’s ability to process and manage these loans through the institutions. This situation could be exacerbated by an Anglo wind-down.

  51. @ Tull,

    There were actual spreadsheets. Constantin Gurdgiev has made successive attempts to fathom the NAMA plan, and all one has to do is check out his blog site to obtain those. I know that BL collaborated with Gurdgiev on the same, very early on, before we even had the details of NAMA legislation. That is when Garrett Fitzgerald waded into the debate remember and pleaded with the opposition, that then was not a good time to hold a general election. Alan Dukes spoke out at the same time I recall. We have to bear in mind, there are two strands to NAMA. One which can be looked at as entirely financial, and another which has to do with legal aspects. The legal and financial aspects both extend as far up the chain, as the central EU commission. Gurdgiev has focussed more on the financial aspects and engaged in less media debate. Lucey has engaged more with the legal aspects and engaged in much more media debate. There is only so much time one can throw at this, in between a day job.

    From the time of publication of the draft NAMA legislation before the summer recess in 2009, a lot of events have happened. Much discussion has been focussed on trying to coordinate contributions from Honohan, Desmond, the 46, Kelly and many more. Through various media. We have had Dan Boyle twitters and rumblings by the greens etc, of disapproval to the NAMA approach, but the government has held firm. We have had Dublin Docklands reports and highly staged helicopter arrests of ex. bankers in Wicklow. An awful lot of action quite frankly, and probably enough for a docu-soap or two.

    I know that Gurdgiev’s blog has been pretty consistent throughout all of that, in analysing the figures. With professor Lucey taking a more of an overview of the economic circumstances in general. Karl Whelan keeping a clear record of timeline of events, so that we can fall back on. While moderating comments here, and contributions from all sorts of sources. Credit must go to the FF/Green coalition government though, in how it has manage to push through an enormous program of legislation and organisational changes etc. The fact the government has defied the odds, and remained standing to this day, has surprised a lot of people I am sure. BOH.

  52. @ Zhou

    I have always worried about NAMA’s ability to manage the loan portfolio given the relatively small amount of staff that they have.

    My concerns about NTMA\NAMA’s competence in this area has been exacerbated by recent events such as:

    1. The inability of those at NTMA\NAMA to get a handle on even a simple statistic like how many loans are being paid back. NTMA knew they were getting this job from April of last year. Over the summer, we heard repeatedly about the 300 pieces of information from each loan etc. There were repeated suggestions during September-October that the government knew a lot about the loan portfolio (e.g. “current estimates suggest LTVs of X, or income being generated by Y percent of the portfolio). Yet by October, when the bill was being passed, it is now clear that NAMA still had no idea of the true situation.

    2. Mr. McDonagh’s claim in April — after the first tranche had been announced and largely paid for — that one third of the loans were generating cash. I said at the time that I didn’t believe this to be correct and indeed it’s not.

    If these relatively simple matters cannot be dealt with, what is the hope that NAMA will manage this portfolio well on behalf of the taxpayer.

  53. @Karl

    I agree with your concerns but to be fair to NAMA, it sounds like the banks were at best incompetent or at worst complicit in hiding information with regard to loans. Therefore without NAMA and this information coming out, what situation would we have been in if we had left the banks to deal with the loans? I don’t think anyone thinks NAMA is perfect and I don’t think anyone takes pleasure in having to see it come into operation but it’s what we have.
    All we can do is to try and make sure it operates in a way the minimises the risks to the taxpayer and that’s why debate and constructive criticism like this is useful and welcome. I emphasise ‘constructive’ though. I enjoy reading this site. Would be a shame to see the useful stuff get drowned out in a load of political point scoring.

  54. @G S

    Given the states equity positions in the paticipating banks, any bank executives who contributed to this hiding of information, whether through incompetence or by deliberate choice, should be sacked. plain and simple.

  55. For those interested (or curious), I have reviewed of Nama’s latest busines plan at

    http://www.planware.org/briansblog/

    It covers general issues about the plan and comments specifically on Nama’s commerciality, approach to debtors, accounting policy and creeping losses. I conclude that Nama’s strategy is to disclose as little as possible about future prospects and intentions but endless detail after the horse has bolted. This is no way to run an organisation that could end up costing taxpayers tens of billions and resembles the “in denial” strategies of the very same banks that it is meant to be rescuing.

  56. @ Gavin

    On this issue, I agree that it is certainly true that the first step to dealing with the problem was to get banks to face up to the true scale of their problems. Only when this was owned up to and dealt with would private investors regain faith.

    That said, for argument’s sake, I’d point out that it wasn’t necessary to actually have an asset management agency purchasing the loans for this outcome to be achieved. An exercise of this sort could have been performed — in which the banks are required to provide detailed evidence on the true state of their loan books — without the additional step of the transfer of the loans.

  57. @Gavin S:
    “[…] to be fair to NAMA, it sounds like the banks were at best incompetent or at worst complicit in hiding information with regard to loans.”

    The problem with NAMA, and with the government, is their failure to ask the simple question “Why is this lying bastard lying to me now?”

    Just look at it as a matter of simple economics. The cost to a banker or developer of telling the truth (“We’re broke and all these developments are worth nothing”) is that all sorts of evilitude might happen. The cost to a banker or developer of telling porkies is nil. We therefore expect them to tell porkies: to pretend that their developments, and the loans related thereto, and the banks who made those loans, are all fine and dandy.

    Now, NAMA probably can’t come out and tell the bankers and developers that they’re not to be trusted. But what it and the government could and should have done is to refrain from drawing up plans and budgets and making statements to the public unless it was absolutely certain that its assessments and assumptions and predictions were solidly based. All they have achieved is a further reduction in public trust — in state institutions as well as in bankers, developers and politicians.

    Take nothing on trust; check everything.

    bjg

  58. Well, it seems that our dear leaders will be adjourning for hols tomorrow and not coming back until the END of September (B Cowen this morning).

    There won’t be too many people around to ask questions about any of this for the next three months…

    …the next three months seems like ‘a good time to release any bad news’.

    And no doubt we will get some and also no doubt, the PR machine will have been left behind to float a few kites in the media in terms of negative policies and austerity measures that are being ‘considered’ in order to guage public reaction to them (Will this make them go out on the streets? If not, we’ll implement it when we get back).

  59. @Karl,

    I think the transfer was necessary for another reason. Whatever about the amount of loans that were not paying interest, the fact that the banks were not taking all steps available to them to protect their assets is equally as troublesome. Allowing rent to be removed from bank accounts of someone with non-performing loans is shocking. If I was a bank shareholder, I would be looking at that part of the report with interest.
    I think if you had just done some accounting exercise to get the banks to reveal their loans, they would still have resisted to admit the whole story or manage the loans properly. It was only after the foreign banks started getting aggresive with court action that we saw the Irish banks make their move. If I have a choice of having the largest developers loans being managed by the Banks (to which the taxpayer is still exposed) or NAMA (despite its flaws), I know which I prefer.

  60. @Jospeh

    It is a joke. I am sure they will all talk about various committees and local work that needs to be done.

  61. A pre-requisite for loss-recognition is an agreed way of valuation.

    Assets can be valued in many different ways and as far as I know any solution to that accounting problem is far off in the future.

    Mark to market might make the banks insolvent now.
    NPV on predictions of future cashflows is a lot of guesswork.

    Will the new BASEL rules include guidelines/legislation/rules on how loans are to be valued?

  62. KW says: I have always worried about NAMA’s ability to manage the loan portfolio given the relatively small amount of staff that they have.

    I have a bit of a problem with the terminology used to describe NAMA’s methods. On the one hand we have a business plan which is not a business plan. A business plan, implies by definition, that someone has to buy into it. Who needs to buy into the NAMA business plan? No one, as long as the house majority stands, and anyways, the house is going into recess shortly. The only party, who might have to worry about the business plan over the next couple of months are the borrowers themselves, and I do hope some of those borrowers see the business plan as an opportunity to make good on some of their loans. If not, then a lot of this is academic. The other things I see problems with, is reference to the bank’s toxic assets as a loan portfolio. I know for the sheer sake of politeness that is what we are calling it at the moment. There are a whole lot of esteemed professionals tasked with the management of the loan portfolio. I could think of a couple of other names for the same, which might describe it more accurately.

    KW says: 2. Mr. McDonagh’s claim in April — after the first tranche had been announced and largely paid for — that one third of the loans were generating cash. I said at the time that I didn’t believe this to be correct and indeed it’s not.

    Agreed. You did call that correctly, a long time before many of us were on the same page as you. But it must really call into question a lot of professional inputs that were obtained long before transferral of the tranches. There were all kinds of sensitivity analyses and probing done of the ‘portfolios’ of the five lending institutions. Sean Whelan’s comments on radio this morning were revealing – that NAMA has only received word documents and spreadsheets for many of the accounts. It would appear to confirm justice Peter Kelly’s comments a while back, about the documentation surrounding AIB’s loans to Mr. ‘X’. I am reading comments today from Mr. Daly, chairperson of the boad of NAMA on the nature of the relationship between developers and banks. The words sentimentality and emotional being used to describe those relationships. Enough said, I think. BOH.

  63. @Jesper

    Basel III does but I wouldn’t get your hopes up. I have a document somewhere that shows their thinking with regard to loans. I will try and find it and link it.

  64. Probable list of professionals who bear some of the culpability:

    – Valuation professionals.
    – Risk managers.
    – Auditors.
    – Due diligence officers.

    Am I leaving anyone out? What do all of those have in common? Simple, an over-dependence on a property boom to generate incomes through fees. BOH.

  65. I’d ignore my first post.

    My point is that if 25% of the first tranche are cashflow producing, then we have to ask how representative is the first tranche to the whole portfolio. One key difference is – “It should be noted that investment property which constituted 52% of the first tranche is expected to make up about 30% of the final NAMA portfolio.” Now assuming investment property is property for commercial rent, then these are the type of loans most likely to generate cashflow. If the 25% hasn’t been adjusted for this, it’s likely the subsequent tranches will have lower percentages of cashflow producing loans.

    Page 10 of this performance report http://www.nama.ie/Publications/2010/Section55QuarterlyReport31March2010.pdf shows that 19% of 1st tranche are ‘performing’. Though you need to consult the footnote on page 32 to see the unusual definition (which seems to base performance on the discounted purchase price with adjustments for changes to the property value post acquisition and principal repayments).

  66. @Brian Lucey

    Seriously, don’t go down that road. Just admit you were wrong.

    Just read the article. Do you not think there might be something more to the a badly written story since they are “selling” a €3.5 billion deposit book and hope to receieve €100m-€150m?

    Feel free to link any more examples of deposit books being sold.

  67. By that I mean selling deposit books that suddenly turn huge liabilities into huge assets for a bank

  68. @BOH

    You referred to Mr. Daly’s comments earlier
    From today’s IT.

    “He said the banks had shown “remarkable generosity” to the 10 biggest developers whose loans were purchased in the first tranche between March and May. Nama found that the banks were “sentimentally and emotionally attached” to the big borrowers and had not taken rent and free cashflow to repay loans when this was available, Mr Daly said. He warned Nama would not be “a soft touch” for insolvent developers. “We don’t really do sentiment in here,” he said.”

    All very well for Md. Daly to say that NAMA doesn’t do sentiment.
    Hopefully they don’t do corporate entertainment either as overfamiliarity seems to have led to capture by the borrowers of the bankers.
    Stockholm Syndrome etc.

    But given the small scale of Ireland where everyone knows everyone why should we believe that NAMA will have a stonier heart than the bankers?

  69. @ Brian “the deposit king” lucey

    eh, you linked to that article as a joke, right? Keep ’em coming…

  70. @ MOL,

    We need to figure out what it is exactly, our professionals in Ireland need to be doing for us. The banks and/or developers will all stand behind their professionals ultimately, and say they received all of the best advice and most stringent controls. If anyone was doing the entertainment and hospitality bit, I believe, it was the large companies who offered the professional services. It would interesting to allow the banking inquiry to explore somewhat along that vein, to see what it might uncover. There are a quite a few dots I am unable to join there myself, and I would certainly like the assistance of the bank inquiry on same. The concern I have today, is that in 2010, we are still fairly much wedded to the same professionals as we depended upon back in 2006/07/08. Nothing much has changed on that side of affairs – we can argue that changes have been made, as minister Lenehan did on Morning Ireland radio, on the boards and management of banks. But who do those same boards and managers go to to avail of professional services? BOH.

  71. High number of variables in a formula is not a guarantee for its accuracy so some more information than that hundreds of variables (questions being asked) are being used should be made public.

    Why aren’t the NAMA valuation criteria public?

    Is there a suspicion that if they were made public, then the banks would try to game the valuations?

    I’d rather risk the valuations being gamed than not knowing what the criteria are so that I have at least half a chance to figure out if I find them reasonable. That is my preference, others might have different.

  72. Is it really possible that Brian Lucey still thinks that Ango-Irish can sell 28 billion euros of customer deposits (i.e. the banks liabilities) for 21 billion and thereby make a profit of 49 billion on the transaction?

  73. I didn’t think this was a social networking site. You still haven’t explained why it is necessary to have private email correspondence nor – more importantly – have you indicated if you still believe that Anglo could sell its 28 billion deposit book for 21 billion.

  74. John
    No, its not. Heres the thing. I have explained, time an again, that sales of deposit books are possible. What can one get from them? Another question. More than zero anyhow. I have explained time and again that the anglo-philes assert without figures or consistency in those they give while the anglo-phobes put the analyses out there. Tull and his minions clearly have some sort of jones for me – which means im winning! So, no, i cant be bothered giving them more troll bait. anyhow im off on holidays tomorrow.
    So, tull and all the rest reading from the FF “what to say when challenged on Anglo – Ch 3 : Dig up old stories and latch on like a rotter” playbook, if you are genuienly interested in the academics of this issue, email. If not, stop amending a new anglo version of Godwins law.
    Later….

  75. Really does sound like you believe the government are out to get you Brian. I am astounded that you still honestly believe Anglo could still sell it’s deposit book. No-one on this site, the majority of whom you can’t accuse of being Nama or ff supporters have backed you up on this. It really does begger belief but I am not wasting my time debating it anymore. People can make their own minds up.

  76. In your article of April 1st in the Irish Independent you clearly said Anglo could sell the 28 billion in customer deposits for 21 billion. You’ve avoided my question regarding whether you’ve changed your position on this with some childish bluster.

    Of course, deposit books have some value. But you are, in effect, valuing the Anglo deposit book at 49 billion. You are expecting the prospective buyer to take on the liability of the 28 billion and then pay an extra 21 billion for the pleasure. A prospective buyer (i.e. another bank) might be interested in the 28 billion in customer deposits. It gives such a prospective buyer new customers which will enable it to lend and therefore generate new interest income. But such a prospective buyer would expect Anglo to take care of the liability.

    I think it is best to break the deal into two steps. In the first step the prospective buyer would expect Anglo to give it 28 billion in exchange for taking on the liabilities of the customer deposit book. In the second step the buyer would pay Anglo an amount for taking over the customer deposits. I doubt if this amount would be much more than one billion. It would certainly not be anywhere near 49 billion.

    Enjoy your holiday.

  77. @ Brian Lucey

    is the key to selling a deposit book for a material amount of money some sort of third-secret-of-fatima type riddle that can only be discussed in private? Jesus man, stop digging, and stop ‘disappearing’ whenever people ask questions about it…

    Btw, as regards your earlier contention, essentially, that the Sun-day Ind-ep-end-ent was full of shizzle, wasn’t it their sister paper the Ir-ish Ind-ep-end-ent that published your opinion piece about selling on deposit books for fantastical amounts of money? Was that the reason we shouldn’t have paid any attention to your nonsense back then? Unfortunately none of us on here have a newspaper opinion page as an outlet to tell people that you can’t sell a deposit book in the manner you have suggested, and thats probably the reason a lot of people “latch on like a rotter”. Ask the Indo for a spot to correct your error and all will be forgiven.

  78. @ Eoin,

    Perhaps if we are to line up old newspaper articles and take pot shots at them, we should not omit some real classics. What was that DD’s article said about the Irish banks sorting out their own problems? Michael O’Leary of Ryanair was sort of in the same camp – the Irish banks know where the bodies are buried etc. I guess in a years time, some articles will appear even more ridiculous than they do today. But what about professor Lucey’s article about the mortgage arrears and consumer debt? His article at least helped to introduce that element into the debate at a time it was being ignored. BOH.

  79. Ironically, a deposit taking franchise is extremely valuable if it can collect cheap and sticky deposits in an cost efficient manner either through branches or the internet and grow that deposit base steadily. But it must be able to deploy those deposits into higher yielding assets to yield a steady spread.
    But Anglo had none of these features. The deposits taken in by Anglo were not cheap, not particularly sticky and as we now know earned no steady spread. So there was no annuity income that could be present valued that somebody would pay for.

    It is the depsoti gathering institution that has the value not the deposits per se. I was merely trying to establish how you got to your numbers.

    I was also disppointed at the the attitude towards Alan Aherne. The guy is a valuable resource to have in the DOF and I hope played a key part in improving NAMA from the original iteration where the govt and banks appeared ready to connive at 20% haircut to the current version of a 40-50% haircut. If you could only realise that the constant forensic analysis of KW and others all on this site has resulted in a better outcome for the taxpayer.

    Anyway enjoy your holidays. Perhaps you would like to come along to the next Dail CC meeting.

  80. @ BOH

    there’s a difference between having an opinion and it turning out to be incorrect, anyone is capable of and allowed to do that. And as you say, Prof Lucey has added at other times some very valuable analysis to the debate. However, the deposit selling concept is complete fantasy, based in little or no reality, and there has yet to be a proper correction of this issue. Even today he seems to suggest that he was only a little bit off on his figures, or that there is some missing academic context that can only be discussed in private which will clear it all up! Unfortuantely there are probably still people out there saying “why the hell have we not sold the deposits like that Lucey fella suggested!”. It belongs in a skit on Apres Match (regular watchers will understand!), not in the Irish Indo, Irisheconomy.ie and on Newstalk.

    @ Tull

    +1

    Alan Ahearne “made his choice”??? Jesus, the guy tried to honestly help the country out at a time of crisis and he’s painted out to be some sort of academic turncoat or mercenary. Depressing stuff.

  81. @ Eoin,

    You probably never heard the podcast, but I remember I got in from Newstalk 101 website one time, where Garret Fitzgerald intended to give Karl a good dressing down, in relation to some point about fiscal deficit figures. Fitzgerald is really a person who doesn’t take prisoners. If you ever get a chance to listen to the podcast, it is worth a good listen. I mean, what Fitzgerald was saying was, statements on fiscal deficit by prominent economists are capable of affecting markets. That was Fitzgeralds point of view anyone, even though, I don’t think Karl needs to use Fedspeak either. BOH.

  82. While I still hope that he’s right and I’m wrong, my suspicions on the whole NAMA scheme and the way AA was describing it have not changed much since 2009…although the Independent’s editors added more commas than I would normally use.

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/nama-deal-is–a-pig-in-a-poke-1871890.html

    Of course, the current process may mean that the facts of the case are identified sooner than I feared. Is it good that we know quickly that we’ve been totally screwed? Probably.

  83. Sorry, im only getting my head round this news of Prof Lucey in 2006 recommending Irish banks to get involved in sub-prime lending and forecasting house prices to continue to rise until “at least” 2010!? How did i miss this? Deposit book sales, house prices to keep rising, subprime is a good idea – eh, credibility, we’re making a margin call on you…another reason to be a bit less preachy on AA methinks…

  84. Why has AA not come out and publicly repudiated his statement about NAMA washing its face? What Lucey said was that he has gone awfully quiet. And he has.

    @tull, one can only speculate the contribution AA has had if any in improving the legislation. MAybe it has been substantial, maybe it has been none. We can only make a judgement based on what is public and what is public is that he helped sell NAMA to the ordinary people by making statements that have since turned out to be flat out wrong i.e. “NAMA will wash its face.” KW’s forensic analysis has helped incredibly. But I have no evidence that AA did the same from the inside.

  85. Brian Lucey’s comment on the sale of deposit books didn’t cost the taxpayer a cent. Comments from Alan Aherne are more concerning as he has access to sensitive information and the ear of those in power.

    If you must vent your ire at the billions being poured into Anglo and INBS, then target it in the right direction. The person who boasted the “Cheapest bail-out in the world so far” and told the Dail “There is understandable concern that the Exchequer is potentially significantly exposed by this measure. I want to reassure the House and the Irish people that this is not the case. The risk of any potential financial exposure from this decision is significantly mitigated by a very substantial buffer made up of the equity and other risk capital.” has more to answer for.

  86. @Garo,

    I have no desire to defend Alan Ahearne. He is a big boy and is alot smarter than me so can look after himself. How do you know that he is wrong about NAMA being able to wash it’s face? They announced Q1 results and haven’t even finished transferring all the loans. It’s way too early to make definite judgements on the eventual success or failure of NAMA even if the business plan didn’t exactly inspire confidence.

    All people can do is speculate and that’s fine. You can criticise NAMA, figures, assumptions etc but leave the personal attacks out of it. Brian Lucey has written some crap in his time and yet still considers it appropriate to sneer at other people’s contributions. That’s what some of us have a problem with. Not healthy debate about facts and figures. As you say, there has been alot of useful forensic analysis and I don’t want to see it get drowned out by a people trying to settle personal scores. People can go onto politics.ie if they want to try and score political points.

  87. @ Ahura,

    and told the Dail “There is understandable concern that the Exchequer is potentially significantly exposed by this measure.”

    The political rebuttal to this nowadays goes something like – sure, it was due to the diligence of the FF government in running up a fiscal surplus for a number of years – that Ireland is today, not in a much worse position.

    Make of that rebuttal, what you will. But Jim O’Leary’s recent Irish Economy note, was a timely and certainly welcome comment. BOH.

    http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2010/07/05/external-surveillance-of-irish-fiscal-policy-during-the-boom/

  88. @ Ahura

    “target it in the right direction”

    you’re quite right on that. And im pretty sure Brian Lenihan takes a lot of flak on these pages, amongst other outlets, from a wide array of people, and very often from Brian Lucey himself. Calling Prof Lucey out on his inaccuracies (im being kind) is only the other side of this debate. As i alluded to earlier, if you are given the opportunity to pen a wide variety of semi-regular opinion pieces/contributions in national newspapers and radio shows, there is a rather large onus on you to be correct in what you are saying. Adding in previous contributions in 2006 about ever rising house prices and sub prime lending, and there is a fair question out there about Prof Lucey’s underlying credibility in criticism aimed at both the banks and our government. Throwing in the critical comments on AA and you get a picture of someone who seems quite willing to throw out damnation on people for not calling things completely right, while completely forgetting about his own lack of foresight or knowledge at certain times. Humility wouldn’t go amiss here.

  89. NAMA version 1 proposed paying around 60billion for a bucket of toxic assets with face value of 80-90-100bllion depending on what day of the week it was.

    The current NAMA version envisages haircutting that 80billion total by about 40-50% with part of the proceeds paid in the form of loss bearing subbies. The diffence between version1 and the current version is about 16bn.

    So forensic analysis by this site inter alia has influenced many actors ranging from the EU/DOF/NAMA/GP/FF to cut the price and the taxpayers exposure accordingly. Anybody who tells you that NAMA will make a profit or loss of Xbillion is engaging in B/S. Nobody knows what will happen over ten years. I find no evidence that AA has been a malign actor in all this. I am reassured that he is in there in the first place.

  90. @ Tull,

    Hasn’t the different skills of different economists a part to play here. At least from my observation of the Irish Economy blog – I know that Colm McCarthy has delved into competitiveness, perhaps because stimulus is so miserable an option for a small, open economy. Kevin O’Rourke has taken a view of world trade, over the centuries. Philip Lane looking at Macroeconomics. Some others have tried to explore issues with capital investment programmes. Karl Whelan hasn’t dared to venture too far into the EU macro-economic situation, though it pertains highly to the operation of NAMA. Brian Lucey has looked at all kinds of debt, in all levels of Irish society. Pat Honohan looking at governance and so on, in recently published report. Mr. Tol on all aspects of a new green economics. External bloggers, such as Ronan Lyons making contributions on property economics. I always find Constantin Gurdgiev’s look at taxation etc, of interest. You have Stephen Kinsella in Limerick taking a re-think about education of economics at third level, to include more debate/discussion. For a small country of its size, we are not doing so badly at all. I don’t know much about Peter Lunn’s work. We have also external commentators such as Stiglitz, Krugman, Johnson wrapped into the debate. Lets not leave out McWilliam’s contributions either, or those of former deputy Lee. The list is endless, I’m leaving lots of people out as it is. But the field of economics is trully vast. BOH.

  91. Lucey admitted his mistake. Many on the pro-NAMA side have uttered untruths which they knew to be untrue before they said them and they kept on saying them even when challenged. I think Alan Aherne should not be attacked on a personal basis (or Richard Tol) and neither should Lucey – which is what bringing up this article and the property report all the time amounts to.

    Aherne is only one man (personally I think they should have brought in many more good men and women) and can’t freely debate with his critics. Most importantly he is an ADVISOR, not a decision maker. And he was brought in AFTER the collapse. It is quite possible that he has been a brake on government insanity, in which case we are all indebted to him.
    I hope so.

  92. Oliver,

    What do you mean?

    Pointing out your track record is not an attack. Anybody who prognosticates in a public forum is going to make mistakes. Chances are they willbe wrong about 50% of the time if they are any good.

  93. @tull mcadoo
    This wasn’t a thread about Lucey it was a about big NAMA story development but it was turned into a thread about Lucey. Who gained by this? The NAMA lobby. I have seen enough NAMA lobby spin efforts to know these coordinated diversionary attacks by multiple posters are not innocently motivated. They saw an opportunity to derail a thread they didn’t like and they took it. This has happened dozens of times on multiple forums.

  94. Oliver,

    Brian Lucey himself turned this thread into a thread about himself with his attack on Alan Aherne and his attack on everybody who disagree with him. i would reject you characterisiation of my spat with Mr Lucey as a co-ordinated attack by the NAMA lobby. For that,
    * would have to know who John Martin, Gary S et al are which I don’t.
    * would also have to be a supporterof the govt, which believe me I am not.
    *I would also have to be a supporter of NAMA-a toughie-I genuinely am not sure about that.

    I divide people in this economy into 4 groups
    *those who genuinely called the bubble. I would include people like Morgan Kelly, Dave McWilliams possibly George Lee and definitely Cormac Lucey
    *thos who saw it but were not proactive enough but were sceptical enough not to lever up too much & will survive as long as we can earn the AIW.
    *those who maxed out on the coolade- Fingers,Seanie,Cowen and the CIF
    *those who were boosters for the bubble and now dishonestly try to tell you they were not.

    Yor attitude that anybody who does not share your view is mendacious and in the pay of somebody else is arrogant in the extreme.

  95. @Tull McAdoo
    I’ll repeat this was a thread about NAMA not about Brian Lucey. The NAMA lobby saw their opportunity and made it about Lucey. I will accept that you were unwittingly used in this but used you were. I have seen it happen on hundreds of threads. The names used by the NAMA lobby commenters change but the tactics stay the same.

    “Yor attitude that anybody who does not share your view is mendacious and in the pay of somebody else is arrogant in the extreme.” If you read my earlier post you will see that I too disagreed with unnecessarily personalised comments about Alan Aherne.
    I’ll leave it at that.

  96. Brian does not share your view. He views me as a pro FF NAMA stooge who is out to get him.

    “Tull and his minions clearly have some sort of jones for me – which means im winning! So, no, i cant be bothered giving them more troll bait. anyhow im off on holidays tomorrow.
    So, tull and all the rest reading from the FF “what to say when challenged on Anglo – Ch 3 : Dig up old stories and latch on like a rotter” playbook, ”

    I must contact FF HQ to see if they have room for me at the trough.

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