We have a narrow definition of whingeing in this country, it appears.

You might think that someone who represents a rich constituency complaining about value-based property taxes “punishing people for their address” could be fairly described as whingeing. Indeed, you might think that such a person should be reminded that “The country’s in crisis. We can’t put our fingers to our ears and pretend it’s not happening”.

Apparently not. Whingeing, it seems, is a concept that only applies to people complaining about cuts to the public services on which poor people rely, not to people complaining about higher taxes on people in expensive neighbourhoods.

Report on Hotel Sector

RTE news had a story last night on a report on the Irish hotel sector written for the Irish Hoteliers Federation by Peter Bacon.

The highlight:

John Kilraine: Economist Peter Bacon, who compiled today’s report, said across the country zombie banks are allowing zombie hotels to remain open because they owe the banks a lot of money.

Peter Bacon: The problem is the most insolvent hotels are not the ones that are going under and the reason they’re not going under is because it’s not in the banks’ interests to foreclose upon them.

And the reason it’s not in the banks’ interests to foreclose on the insolvent hotels is because the banks want to sell these loans on to NAMA at their “long-term economic value”. Why foreclose on them now when you can get NAMA to carry the can? The report recommends that stakeholders

should ensure that banks fully recognise bad loans within the hotel sector and face any capital adequacy issues which might follow.

The report also warns about the potential damage to profitable hotels if NAMA shows forebearance to those hotels with bad loans.

Now if I recall correctly, the NAMA plan was recommended to the government by an economic consultant of some sort.