February 28, 2010

It took Europe to rein in Nama

Posted in Banks · 273 comments ·

Have you heard of Neelie Kroes? Last November, this column said that the European Commission would save us from the crazy excesses of our politicians – and it delivered last Friday.

We should get down on bended knees, because the commission worries more about your money than the Irish politicians you voted for.

Last Friday, the commission – with Joaquin Almunia now holding the competition brief – told this reckless, incompetent government, which has been throwing around billions of our money as if it were confetti, to get a grip. The commission has said the valuations the government is putting on land for Nama are too generous to the banks.

Despite this, the spin put out from Merrion Street is that the commission was happy with Nama. This is not the case.

Closer reading of the press release suggests there is considerable unease in the European Commission about our latest ill-advised adventure. Of course, the mainstream media swallowed the government’s spin hook, line and sinker. No surprise there.

However, the press release, designed to obscure, not inform, is quite different. Hidden in the Department of Finance’s press release, there is a crucial line that states: ‘‘Within the valuation methodology, a higher remuneration risk margin and higher enforcement costs will be applied.”

As a result: ‘‘It is not the minister’s intention to perform another top-down aggregate estimate of the potential haircut that the institutions will face.”

This means, in plain English, that the commission believes the government is trying to shaft us, the taxpayers, with its optimistic valuations. It has told the government that there is no way the commission will allow it to stick to its original 30 per cent discount.

You might remember that, originally, the government said that it would apply a 30 per cent discount to the property loans Nama was supposed to buy off the banks.

The commission has obviously told it to snap out of it. The commission maintains that the valuations will have to come down significantly from the minister’s original estimates.

This clearly means that Nama will not make a profit – which was the silly spin of last year. It also means that, unless there is another inflated property bubble, the taxpayer will be left holding fields in Mullingar that no one wants.

The meaning of the minister saying he will no longer give ‘‘another top-down aggregate estimate’’ is that each loan will now be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, as opposed to the government’s original blanket discount approach. This means there will be enormous variations in every bit of property that goes into Nama.

Logistically, we can already see how this Nama is going to grow to be a bureaucratic monster.

On the upside, the commission’s intervention could be good news for taxpayers. But why did the commission side with the taxpayers while the government sided with the banks? Why would the remote commission side with ‘outsiders’, while elected politicians side with the ‘insiders’? What happened to the assumption that the government acts with the best interests of the people at heart?

The commission not only believes the government is living in cloud cuckoo land, but must be perplexed at the behaviour of ministers who tried to railroad through valuations which would impoverish the taxpayer, and enrich the banks and their investors. This stance of our politicians is quite extraordinary, and the opaque language of the press release is depressingly revealing.

Rather than speak plainly about this huge financial gamble, our government – possibly because it knows Nama is a mistake – tries to obscure the truth and muddle through. Pathetic really.

Why did the commission act to constrain the government? Maybe the commission saw the news from Athlone last week that development land valued at €31million in the boom is now worth only €600,000.Could it be that this 98 per cent fall in the price of development land made the commission think again about the 30 per cent discount that the government was trying to get away with?

The commission – unlike Brian Lenihan – concluded what the dogs on the street know to be true: much Irish land is almost worthless now. To force the Irish taxpayer to pay the difference between today’s price and the boom price would bankrupt the place. It also saw that what the Department of Finance was trying to do with the 30 per cent discount was keep the wretched Irish banks open by giving them an unfair ‘dig-out’ – or, in EU parlance, state aid.

So we know why the commission acted as it did, but why has the government acted against the interest of the taxpayer? The Brian Lenihan who discussed banking issues with me never struck me as someone who would put the banks’ interests ahead of the taxpayers’. In fact, the rhetoric suggests the opposite, but the reality is that he has put the banks before the people.


He is advised by people who, from the beginning, wanted a certain outcome, irrespective of the facts. The people who came up with Nama had the answer they wanted before they asked the questions. They wanted to keep the banks as private entities at all costs.

The banks are required to hold a certain minimum amount of capital. If a bank is trading recklessly without sufficient capital, someone has to inject capital. But without investors, the government has to nationalise. Of course, for ideological reasons, Lenihan and his gang wanted to avoid nationalisation.

The other night, as I was doing sums with my seven-year-old son, I thought of an easy way to explain the government’s dilemma which the commission has seen through. We were doing additions and takeaways at the kitchen table. We lined up rugby players to visualise the sum and make it easier.

Using the sin bin analogy, which kids love, the sum is how many Irish rugby players would be left from seven if five were sin-binned. The answer is two rugby players.

Let’s turn it around and say then if seven rugby players minus five rugby players is two, what is five rugby players plus two rugby players? Answer: seven.

OK, so what’s two plus five? Wow, it’s seven. So if I have seven players and I want to be left with two players, what do I take away? Answer: five. So if I want to be left with two – not one or nil – and I start with seven? The answer has to be five.

Now think of Nama. Lenihan started with €70 billion-odd of bad developer loans. He needed to have capital of €20 billion (some of which he had in the pension fund), so the value of the bad loans couldn’t be lower than €50 billion odd.

So the clever people behind Nama knew the answer to the question before they asked it. The discount had to be 30 per cent, not because that’s what the land was worth, but because anything lower than that risked having to nationalise the banks.

This is why they have tried to rip off the taxpayer, when we know that the value of land has fallen by much, much more than that. This is why they keep blustering and spoofing, and this is why the commission called their bluff.

If only they had been up-front at the beginning, they would have saved us all this angst. They could have told us that Nama was never about land, but was always about protecting the banks – which the government erroneously thinks are viable only with the present ownership structure.

This would have explained their irrational and, at times, tragicomic obfuscation. But then again, could it be that maybe being this straight-up is just not in their nature?

  1. wills

    Astonishing Article David.

    • wills

      Q. How far will the ‘controlling interests’ take things in order to get their way and keep the banks private.

      Q. Would the ;controlling interests be willing to hire hit men to remove any powerful freedom fighters resisting their reign and their pinky and the brain schemes like NAMA.?

    • wills


      Your article highlights people in control are LUNATICS>

    • Ruairí

      Its a bit like the “What have the Romans ever done for us?” sketch!

      Although I was / am vehemently against the Lisbon Treaty and its enforcement on the Irish people, I do wholeheartedly support many of the egalitarian efforts of the EU and its predecessor the EEC. Whether the moves to constrain our national government are in order to hammer out a better deal for Irish (EU) citizens or whether its part of a larger EU strategy to contain the rot Celtic Tiger excess and stop it causing an irish government default and consequent EU crisis, the moves are a most welcome dose of sanity into an insanely run country.

  2. Just read your latest (dare I say “diatribe”?) article, David.
    Like a good wine ,you keep getting better and better,with each passing week.
    I detect a sense of “angry George Lee” in this contribution.
    You know I was thinking about how to reward the suffering taxpayers who will endure so much pain for the coming decade- or longer.
    As we are now socializing the enormous losses of our obscenely rich developer class,surely we can do it properly.
    With this in mind I made a little video which I believe will prompt Mr Lenahan to act as I believe he is a decent enough kind of guy,accidently enmeshed in a nexus of sleaze,incompetence,cronyism, and corruption.His unhappy birthright.
    for what it’s worth Joe Higgins our new Euro MP would probably fervently support my proposal outlined here:

  3. A stake through the heart of all the lies and propaganda.
    It’s a pity this only appears in the SBP and catches the ABC1′s. Not many average punters buy the SBP, mores the pity.
    Whats the chances of doing a DMcW Lite for the C2,D&E’s, particularly the recently dispossessed E’s?

    Mrs Furry is well impressed.

  4. maltt


    In order to make sense of the antics of the political and economic elite in Ireland in the current situation, I think that you need to look further back to at least the 1930s and then refer to Fintain O’Tooles recent history and analysis. One can only then conclude that they are as dissolute a bunch as any corrupt republic in the developing world not excluding Zaire under Mobuto. Why would they need to care? If the country fails to develop,or worse moves backwards they still have their capital stashed, their overseas investments and their Dail and EU pensions, connections for their families and cronies and to quote the late Dr. Noel Browne – ‘a politically illiterate electorate’ . There is no guillotine, metaphorical or otherwise casting a shadow over them

  5. PS I have ghost written a script for Mr Lenehan to announce the plan to the nation.
    It may appease the angry multitudes and prevent civil strife;

  6. ste

    One of the main arguments that the No side of the Lisbon treaty put forward was that we would be handing over more control to Europe and that this would be bad for Ireland. I think that Europe and other external forces are the ones keeping this country on any sort of straight track. The government are a sham and putting band-aids on corpses. Listening to government ministers talking about how great a thing it was to get shares instead of hard cash back from the banks, how it will be worth more in a year.
    The next 6 months will probably define the next 20 years in Ireland. Simply put, money is going to be lost. €70,000,000,000 will be €20,000,000,000 or less (98% less even!). It is the government who decides if the loss will be the tax payers money or bankers money. I know which way I would do it but it seems the government are happy to spend the publics money on property that is worthless rather than on things like transport, education, health and all the real things that matter to real people.
    The government needs to go and the discount needs to be at least 70%. Let the banks go to the wall.

    Ste – statusireland.com

    • Ruairí


      its not a sufficiently valid argument to give up aspects of culture and sovereignty (e.g. couldn’t we have held on the nomenclature around our collective currencies but use the new notes and coins? Shouldn’t our language be included as an official one as a matter of course, whether its declining or not??); but yes, I agree, as did the Libertas campaign (and SF as a campaign strategy only ;-) ) that the EEC and now the EU have given more to the Irish people in terms of rights and responsibilities than almost any of our successive administrations. We’re traditionally quite poor on the ‘responsibilities’ aspects but I think the EU will show us the way now; either gently or forcefully.

      Its a common myth that the No to Lisbon campaign was anti-European, trotted out by the likes of closet intellectuals such as Dick Roche and his ilk. This is not so. Its the manner of that ‘democracy’ that bothered true thinkers. The devil is always in the detail………

  7. On ‘The Front Line’ aired on Monday 21st September 2009 Pat Kenny put it to Minister Lennihan that Richard Curran from the Sunday Business Post had valued the loan book of the banks to be bought by NAMA at 40bn and not 47bn euro as estimated by the government.

    The minister said that if Mr. Currans esitmate is correct then NAMA would pay 47bn instead of the 54bn it had estimated, that is to say the 7bn will be tagged onto 40bn and not 47bn.

    7/40 is not the same as 7/47. Why would the minister still overpay by 7bn regardless of the fact that a 7bn overpayment on a 40bn valuation (totalling 47bn) roughly corresponds to a 15% overpayment and a 7bn overpayment on a 47bn valuation (totalling 54bn) roughly corresponds to a 13% overpayment.

    This discrepancy of 2% may not appear to be significant on the face of it when we are dealing with estimates to start with but that is not the point!! The crux is not in the discrepancies between figures but in the method of calculating them.
    Is the minister thinking in terms of percentages or in terms of 7 billion’s when calculating his overpayments?

    If the minister had actually thought about his answer before giving it, and if he was indeed calculating a 7bn overpayment as a percentage based overpayment, surely he would not have said he would pay 47bn (an estimated value of 40bn plus the 7bn overpayment) because 7 is not 13% of 40. This to my mind is significant as it seems to betray what’s going on in Mr. Lennihans head.

    Is the minister bent on overpaying by 7bn regardless of what percentage of the overall value it is? If so why? Why has 7bn such signifciance in a world where we don’t yet know how much the assets are worth? Does somebody need a bailout of 7bn euro?

    Or did the minister just not think about the Sunday Business Posts valuation prior to answering the question relating to it?

    If the latter is the case, why did he answer the question falsely before the entire country on this programme?

    Surely if Mr. Curran’s estimate does turn out to be correct, the minister is not going to overpay by the same 7bn as he would have done had his own (significantly higher) estimation been closer to the mark.

    Or did the minister just make a mistake? Can such a schoolboy error be accepted from this minister, at this point in history, in this context?

    I think myself that this answer has betrayed either the wooliness of Mr. Lennihans thinking on the valuation by NAMA or a hidden agenda behind the whole thing. What do you think?


    • wills

      Keep the banks in the hands of the controlling interests at all costs.

      • Tadhgd

        As there are an estimated 750,000 homes worth less than what were they were bought for then are all these home owners complicit in wanting NAMA too?( in order to put a floor on their house price) People who didn’t buy do not have enough numbers or are not vocal enough in not supporting NAMA.

        • wills

          I would say, question is, how many, % of the 750,000 purchased a home to live in for the future and purchased a home for to POnzi scam it.

          50 / 50..?!

  8. watchman

    Excellent article, David.
    It is refreshing to see somebody saying it like it is

  9. Alf

    Hi David,

    The decision is sufficiently vague to allow the disaster to continue. ‘Claw back mechanism’ brings the term ‘shifting deck chairs on the Titanic’ to mind. Whats to claw back if these same banks never make a profit or go bankrupt anyway?

    The commission repeats that the State should not pay over ‘long term economic value’. The government implies that this price is a higher value than current market price and therefore this is as an implicit approval of the governments approach and they will use this to their advantage. Payment for assets is also a distraction because any markdown will need to be balanced with recapitalization. We can watch as the government uses this argument to overpay.

    Overall I think the idea that taxpayers should clean up balance sheets was perpetuated by the EU. Talking of future claw backs will not help as the interest payments build up, as the attention switches from Greece to Ireland and its newly doubled national debt. Talk of claw backs from banks may just lead to more State recapitalization.

    In the meantime, the State will have to claw back more from the taxpayer for the debt burden. In the meantime there is no new money in the economy to loan out so functioning banks continue to flee. Talk of claw backs is a bit like talk of a lifeboat that may never arrive.

      • Alf

        Hi Furrylugs,

        I just get a feeling that its sufficiently vague so the EU can play both sides and approve in principle but distance itself from any overpaying so it can criticize Ireland later when the deficit get larger due to servicing this debt load. The ruling is too vague for my liking. No mention of relief for Ireland if that is the case.

        Hopefully I’m wrong on that.

        • As far as I can make out Alf, logic plays no part at all. Nor any vestige of social decency as I understand it. It’s all about saying what the other fella wants to hear so that he gets screwed more cheaply for a bigger profit. It’s a disease, a sickness for pathologically greedy people completely devoid of any conscience.
          And if no mercy is what they understand, then no mercy is what they should be shown.
          Of the estimated 200bn printed to save the UK, an estimated 8bn has found it’s way back into the economy. The Irish banks are soaking the social life blood, our taxes, and returning nothing.
          Not only that, they’re behaving as though they have a God Given right to salvation.
          And they’re propped up in this by complicit people in grey suits masquerading as Civil Servants, Self Servants really, who remain unidentifiable and unaccountable.

          I lived through Thatcher and it was scary at times, but she was accountable. There was only so far she could go, though that was far enough at times.

          This is worse, far worse.

          There is disdain, hubris, aloofness and subliminal threats, all the hallmarks of a far right jurisdiction retaining power.
          They are not hanging on to power, they are not on a knife edge nor even under the slightest pressure, though they promote this because it would, under normal circumstances, be true.
          They hold all the cards because they have infested everywhere, even to the highest levels of Europe.

          They will retain power by whatever means because to fail would mean destruction. There are too many skeletons in the closet and too many murky deals to allow the ceding of power.

  10. Reading the Sunday newspapers to —day, I don t know which is more depressing
    The prospect of having the opposition takes the place of the current bag of misfits in the Dail
    I mean they haven’t really distinguished themselves and I am not so sure of their solutions to the whole NAMA Con job.
    Their proposals are exactly what???
    The Government seems to be trying to control the content of our main stream newspapers by touting the cabinet’s possible re- shuffle in the coming weeks and is deflecting away from more important thing like NAMA
    I know I should say shuffling the chairs on the titanic but you all know that is the case already doesn’t you!
    Anyway the good news this week was that the European Commission’s latest’s utterances on the subject NAMA , looks like it would save us from our own corrupt governments attempt to defrauded every man woman and child living in the state with is attempt to overpay bankrupt banks billions for worthless toxic assets !
    I lived in Germany for 12 years and have been saying that exact same thing about property values here in Ireland to many of my acquaintances mostly in vain
    I personally believe we will see values in Dublin come down to meet common since levels within two years .I.e. .Apartments at about 65,000 to 75,000 thousand Euros .an example last march apartments came on the market at (Bakers yard) for 330,000 plus 33500 for car parking
    I was told by an investor he could pick up these now for 135,000 I told him to wait as I believe he will be able to pick them up for 45,000 euro when NAMA wants to rid itself of them in a few year’s time .
    anybody buying now is simply being ripped off the banks know this and that is why they do not want to lent money for property now .
    Oh I could go on and on your article says it all so much better David

  11. David , your forgetting something about how F.F. do sums and using the Rugby team well that just isn’t fair as while you may have 7 rugby players and you take off 5 , well our F.F. department of Finance would of course not SEE they have two left on the field as they would be looking at the NUMBERS on the backs of the 2 left out there so of course depending on the 5 who got Sin binned , you could have a variety of answers for the remaining two on the field , 5 players from 7 could leave you with 23 ( 10 and 13 ) ….so when you are dealing with such idiots you cannot simply say the answer is 2 ! , ( sure you never have 2 , number 1′s on the field ! ) .
    Unfortunately, NAMA is not a laughing matter but your Average Joe Soap who likes his few pints on a Saturday and maybe a can or two while he’s at home watching Man U or Liverpool on a Wednesday still doesn’t see what this scheme is going to do to the country, he doesn’t yet see what a drain this will be on our future as a country how it will effect our schools, hospitals , infrastructure and all social services from our Garda, Fire fighters, to the county council road crews.
    Brian Lenihan at the Berkeley Court last week already was talking about taking a further Billion from infastructural projects for next year claiming this will not have a big effect as prices are coming down!. Of course taking this money out of the economy will have a detrimental effect which will send us further down the raod to the biggest prolonged Recession Ireland has seen since the very foundation of the State.
    The truly frightening thing is within the department of Finance we have so few civil servants there who eevn have degrees in economics or in accountancy they just don’t know what they are doing, but they REALLY don’t care either as like our Politicians on both sides they are still under the belief that they will have their nice pensions to retire on.
    We may as well have Robert Mugabe ruling us
    Biffo been the Great Party Man that he is with his few pints on a Wednesday before he hits it hard again at the weekends cannot see out side the bubble he is in with a State driver and all the cronies Bertie made sure are there running around him.
    All our Politicians got ‘into’ property over the last decade and naturally they are going to try and protect their vested interests, while the ordinary electorate will be passed on the bill to protect the losses The Big Boys are facing now.
    I have a very good Greek doctor friend who told me in the last few weeks that the Greek’s will not lie down like we have as while they do of course try and avoid paying taxes , they were not the ones playing the stock exchanges.
    As you wrote in your last article Someone needs to Shout Stop.
    Perhaps when your over in the West this week you can begin Shouting from there , Ireland now more than at any time in it’s history needs , Political Scientists and Educated Business People to get up and get Involved .
    Otherwise ….well we will have more to worry about here than which Rugby players have been Sin binned !!

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  13. ps200306

    The sluggishness with which anything gets done in this country may have helped us out for once, along with the Euro Commission coming to our aid. The man in the street is beginning to glimpse that our banks cannot be bailed out … they’re in too much trouble and we simply haven’t got the money, nor can we feasibly borrow it.

    One thing which someone more knowledgeable will have to explain to me — I’m guessing that not all bank creditors are equal; that there are “preferred” creditors and that foremost among these will be the bondholders. That means that depositors are at best second in what’s likely to be a long queue. I’m guessing that the government can’t bail out these, anymore than it can bail out the banks. The implications sound nasty (even if, as one would suspect, savers are in a minority).

  14. Good Morning

    Sorry, but I don’t know what to say.

  15. roc

    It seems on the surface as if NAMA has morphed into a bail-out for certain favoured professional classes. But it’s hard to read into their (the governing classes) intentions because these people venerate a culture of cunning, deviousness, lying and spin. I wonder when we are going to stand up and demand that this insidious culture and the institiutions that propagate it be turned around on their heads.

  16. Deco

    David another tough article on the muppets who decide what happens in Ireland, regardless of what the taxpayers interest.

    And David – also compliments on being consistent with regard to your analysis of the economy in Ireland. You are not one of the ‘Johnny come latelys’ who indulged Ahern and the IBEC/ICTU consensus of controlling Ireland, and then decided to change tack in order to re-establish credibility.

    The EU has to have rules, and there is more pressure to make them transparent. Especially in the current climate with respect to the PIGS. Neelie Kroes is very strict compared to our easily compromisable political and financial establishments, who tend to produce endless fudges. And let’s face it, NAMA is a fudge/coverups. The Irish concept of authority must be preserved – at whatever costs, so that the Irish Establishment can be preserved. The problem is that the establishment in Ireland prefers oligopoly to competition in it’s own sectors, and competition in all other sectors.

    It is a form of capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich. Competition for the disconnected, and oligopoly for the well connected. The problem is that it is the complete antithesis of EU Competition Law as formulated over the last fifteen years.

    The Irish concept of how to regulate and implement Competition policy is clearly evident in the Hanger 6 debacle.

    NAMA – I get the feeling that NAMA will act as a holding body to take that gigantic housing supply off the market and thereby prop up prices again. Bear in mind that the state has applied taxpayers money to social housing schemes that have purchased houses at above their market value in recent months. And that the ‘Builders bailout’ is still law. We have one party which is unashamedly corrupt and a collection of others who are queueing up for the chance to be corrupt under the pretension of fighting corruption. We need to get beyond this straighjacket to the point where the entire political establishment is under the control of the people, and not the other way around. The fact is that NAMA is load of nonsense. But there is a serious hard sell in progress – a bit like Lisbon 2.0. The media are complicit in this deceit also. The most hilarious being the so-called paper of record – which has anti-NAMA commentators on one side, and pro-D4 banking commentators on the other, telling us that there is no alternative.

    And so the fudges are building up. Official Ireland is speaking now. And Official Ireland is an entire establishment on the fudge. NAMA. Anglo. Nepoto (INBS). The Duopoly. The ISEQ – which is an extension of the commercial interests of the Duopoly. The auctioneers. The legal profession. The media. Our advertising sponsors. IBEC. The KClub. ICTU. The political parties who are aligned to the above interests in various ways via various connections.

    All we can do as individuals, is break outside of the intellectual climate created by an establishment that is fudging and dodging. By seeing things as they really area, and calling them thus. Which is what David’s articles are doing.

  17. Deco

    In case anybody is looking for some entertainment.


    It is about the only return that we have got so far for the billions given to the banksters.

    • Tull McAdoo

      @Deco , that guy is hilarious, I have read some of his stuff before. He seems to be the Judge Roy Bean of the midlands. If anyone out there has money issues with the Banks try and have your cases heard with Neilan , its your best hope.

    • yeah saw this , I wonder is he one of the Judges who Actually took the ten pre cent pay cut !

  18. Deco

    Can somebody tell me why we are giving billions to the banks when they have shares in other ISEQ companies that can be sold ? These shares are not in the strategic interest of the banks. The directors of the big two banks(AIB/BoI) use these shares and the recommendations from stockbroking firms that they control, to be able to appoint themselves and their cronies as directors to these companies. And thereby they get nice handy little earners.

    If they sold these holdings, then they would not need to be getting such massive injections from state borrowings.

    • Now why didn’t I think of that.
      Bloody good point Deco.
      Liquidise non-core assets and then see how the cookie crumbles. Just like a real private sector company would do to survive.
      If the truth be known, without these assets, the emaciated state of the banks would be exposed for all to see.

      • Ruairí

        David’s pointed out before that this would be instructed to ‘happen’, by the EU commissioner, as has happened already in the UK. It was either sell off the assets and pay back the state or the government would have to nationalise the bank in question. Why its taken so long for the EU to act in Ireland’s internal market beggars belief actually. We will see some high-impact moves shortly on AIB and BOI, I think.

        • Ruairi, On that wise note, we need to consult with professor J Allen and the cosmic influence this weekend. He’s an uncanny way of predicting many things (except Rugby results).

    • http://www.businessworld.ie/bworld/livenews.htm?a=2563895

      Looks like someones been watching your posts Deco………………………..

  19. Deco

    Another question. Can we have a proper examination of the developers who are in default ? It seems that even though they are declaring bankruptcy, many of them still have considerable assets in the names of relatives or companies that are registered in places like Lichtenstein, Bermuda, etc… And then we have the likes of David Drumm(ex Anglo) and Mr. Quinlan Private who decide to flee the jurisdiction and live in mansions elsewhere, even though they are in dire straits here.

    Are we the taxpayers just left carrying the can for the liberal laxity that exists in Irish company law where assets and liabilities can be seperated from each other, and the speculator class can sucker us with and the banking system with companies that are rotten with liabilities ? While they run off with the assets.

    If this is the case, then we can expect the legal profession to be extremely protective of flawed legal codes that ensure that they clients are allowed to stick the bill to the rest of us. I don’t see any commentators in the media, some of whom have decided to exploit this crisis, saying anything about this….If this could be sorted out, then it might put a very quick end to this entire NAMA debacle. The builders/speculators would be forced to repay their loans. The banks solvency issues would be resulved, and we could get back to applying pressure to reform authority in Ireland.

    The legal profession seem strangely quiet on this entire matter.

    • Original-Ed

      The problem is that the legal and other professions , including politicians, are up to their eye balls in debt over property investments – David touched on this, in a previous article. If these guys are forced into bankruptcy, they’re out on their ear, so they’re hoping beyond hope that NAMA will rescue them – they’re the real architects behind the whole thing.

      • Deco

        True – Wasn’t Cowen caught up in something in Leeds ? I’d say he took a haircut over the decline in sterling. But it is small money to a many who gets better paid than Angela Merkel or Barrack Obama.

        I get the feeling this is the tipof the iceberg.

        • It’s the Very Tip all right from Mary our President with her UK portfolio down to our bank bench TD’s who have the few small houses in the wife’s names .the whole political class are involved to some degree

  20. liam

    I always, (possibly naively) thought that booms and busts it could be argued, are simply different modes of wealth redistribution. People who get rich in booms can lose their shirts in a bust. Nama from its very inception was intended to ensure that the latter did not happen, as those losing their shirts are plugged directly in to the governing elite, and in fact includes members of the Oireachtas, including the Taoiseach.

    Nama is a fait acompis, it is a very bad idea, made somewhat less damaging by the EU, who’s primary motivation is the protection of the pensions, savings and investments of Germans and French.

    One of the primary objections in my mind to Lisbon is that political integration without economic integration was the way to serious trouble, and so here we are, with a common currency but everybody covering their own asses and to hell with anybody else.

    Ireland is simply not a serious country, and it is not governed by serious people. Until that changes, you kids will see this all happen again in another 20 years.

    • Tull McAdoo

      I suppose when you stand back and look at it , it just seems as if FF and FG run a very effective “conveyor belt of cronyism”. When a vacancy appears , they always have someone lined up to fill the slot. “Bred” as opposed to” fit” for purpose, again I suppose it was inevitable that all this would end in trouble, as Darwin had warned of the dangers of reducing the Gene pool to the extent where extinction would become enivitable……….Jasus Tull your getting very profound in yere auld age, must be the familiarity with all this shit that’s leading to this insights. LoL .

      • Deco

        FG claim to be clean because they are not fingered as much as the others. But really it is because they never had the access to power that FF had, or even as much as the various FFcoalition partners over the last twenty years (ILP, PDs, PDs, PD(only 1), GP, plus assorted independents). George Lee spilled the beans on FG.

        And besides FG had a love in with IBEC (the real source of power) in January – and they kept George Lee out of it. I wonder why ??? It was effectively FG courting IBEC. The type of rubbish that Lee would let out into the public. I just get the suspicion that FG will continue business as usual, and the ILP will join them to keep ICTU in the picture. An alternative goverment that is a replication of the previous one.

        Apart from anything else, watch the coverage provided by Denis O’Brien’s radios and Examiner groups newspapers – as they are both FG backers. DOB is trying to get control of IndoNews Media to make sure of matters. If he suceeds he will have more control here, than Murdoch has in Britain !!!

        It is amazing how members of the ‘tax diaspora’ have such strong opinions on how the state should be run, when they regard taxation as ‘optional’.

        • Ruairí

          Well said. Our tax diaspora should, with all due respect, shut their big mouths when it comes to Ireland. And that goes for Nono and SirSh1tesonalot too. Big charity gestures are easy when 1. you don’t pay taxes like Joe & Jo average and 2. the spotlights are on ya and you’re sweating just a tad.

    • Deco

      Liam – Ireland is not a serious country. Too right. Ireland does not mean business either. Coughlan going missing concerning Hangar 6. Martin Cullen attacking anybody who questions Coughlan’s motives. Bill Cullen making an ass of himself, talking about patriotism and working without pay, while asdirector of the DAA he sanctioned increases in charges being levied on tourists who decide to visit. Cowen trying not to be photoed beside Mr.Tayto, with Paudi in the middle. Nonsensical rules about traffic operating below 18 mph in the city centre. A Minister for Environment who wants incinerators as long as they are not in his own consituency. A Minister of Health who is not healthy. A Minister for Industry and Commerce who understands neither. Hundreds of people marching on the French Embassy over a handball, while NAMA gets shoved through the Dail, Cork city gets flooded in addition to large parts of the MidWest and West.

    • liam

      Tull, yes there is something in what you say, as far as I am concerned. I keep saying this but I’ll repeat it once again. We don’t have a system that is capable of producing statesmen or effective leaders. In fat that skills required to be a success politically are often the opposite of those required for effective and democratically responsible leadership.

      Deco, Bad as the behaviour of the “Government” and their other colleagues in the Dail is, it is more remarkable to me (but perhaps unsurprising) that this behaviour is acceptable to the thousands of civil servants that work with them as well as the population at large.

  21. Tull McAdoo

    @Tim, I see where your favourite “International man of mystery” the one and only Mr.Peter Sutherland has managed to get his son Shane onto Maire Geoghegan Quinn’s team in the European Commission. FF have bypassed the Greens and Deirdre de Boooorka’s request for a slot on the Commissh. I would have thought that Peter Sud’s was more of a FG voter, then what would I know since they deported me and my kinsmen to van deeeeemens land.

    • Deco

      Well spotted Tull.
      This should be given more notice. I presume that it is a case of MGQ giving “Suds Junior” a start, and in return Suds senior gives somebody from MGQ’s clan a start.

      This does not merely stink…IT REEKS !!!!

      But as long as we know, as long as we pass it along for all to know, it is in danger. De Bore Ka has already shown us that the allocation of these posts is pure decided on the basis of “who you know, not what you know ” !!!!

      Strange think it….Suds is FG….Suds was appointed AG by Garret Fitzegerald – (by the way are they related ?). And let’s not forget that of all the scandal prone Irish banks, Suds was MD of the one that is the most scandal prone of the lot by a country mile.

      It all just shows that FF versus the others is a piece of theatre constructed to convince us that they are not all in cahouts with each other !!!

      • Tim

        Deco & Tull McAdoo, there is that old drum I’ve been banging again: “Democratic defecit”.

        While I’m at it, here are the slides from the talk Lenihan gave on Friday-last to the Irish Taxation Institute (via Karl Whelan). Spot the Freudian slip on slide No. 11 says “Iceland”!!!

        (Does this betray the true mindset of the mandarins in the DoF?)

  22. Meanwhile the hoteliers of Ireland are squealing like stuck pigs because no foreign tourists are coming here any more-and besides, the banks operating hotels now in receivership and offering very good deals(at last) .
    Among the most profitable air routes from Ireland, for both Aer Lingus and Ryanair,
    must certainly be those to the Canary Islands.
    I live on Gran Canaria and whichever company I travel with,there is always a high seat occupancy.
    Ryanair have come in the Gran Canaria route a year ago after negotiating a package with the Spanish government which is bringing many millions of tourists to Spainish resorts every year from many European countries.
    They are (as usual) consistently undercutting Aer Lingus who nevertheless still appear to be holding their own at least on this particular route.
    Dear Sirs,
    In a recent article by Mr Bill Cullen,who is on the board of the DAA, he criticizes Michael O’Leary as follows:
    “We’ve got Terminal 2 built and Michael says it’s a joke, because, while he puts up sheds, we put up something that the country can be proud of. We have huge plans for the whole thing which maybe he might want to disrupt.”
    In my humbler opinion,The new levies and taxes which will encumber all travellers to Ireland for decades to come to pay for the DAA “white elephant” passenger terminal in Dublin (besides the government travel tax which is certainly illegal in European law) will destroy the only industry capable of reviving our economy.
    I propose that the cerca 1 billion Euros spent on the DAA terminal now be absorbed by NAMA rather than loaded on the backs of passengers travelling through Dublin Airport -in the form of new taxes, every year.
    If Mr O´Leary wants to turn hanger 6 into a new terminal there are compelling arguments to allow him to do so.
    He has his own facility in many large European airports,Marseilles comes to mind as atypical of one of his no frills, bare brick wall, terminals.!
    If developer cronies of the incumbent government can have their massive debts mothballed, to save the banks-why can not the businessmen, hoteliers, (citizens and taxpayers) of Ireland not be
    given a chance to promote the country with realistic low priced promotions- which in conjunction with cheap flights-just might bring in taxes and revenue from new tourism, sufficient to begin a regeneration of economic activity and help the country emerge from its present desperate state.?
    I will be sad to see our national airline if it goes into liquidation. I always travel with them (for sentiment sake) even if the price differential between them and Ryanair is around the 20 Euros mark.
    I also fear that an end to healthy competition will benefit no traveler in the long run.
    Fianna Fail are doing the citizens of Ireland no favors, in denying Michael’OLeary an opportunity to reinvigorate Dublin Airport.In fact I would call it criminal.!
    It would never have happen if the 300 jobs new were promised to
    Donegal, Offaly, or Kerry!

    • Deco

      The solution to the Hangar 6 issue is very easy.

      Get Jackie Healy Rae to see the need for Hangar 6 to be made available to RyanAir. Despite all the criticism thrown at JRE – he will make a quick decision. 300 jobs good. No jobs bad. An elementary decision that all the other muppets in there cannot reach. Calamity is in hiding until the storm passes. She is doing nothing to help the workers. Disgrace. Union appointed directors to AL, DAA are also a disgrace.

    • Ruairí

      This scenario will play out in every sector of the economy.

      Bad money will drive out good. Not so much in currency terms, but in capital terms. I’d love to see David spell this out in an article. I’ve seen a highly worked version of it before but I’m damned if I can locate it. Its essentially that capital that was earned the hard way, wealth produced from work and reward, will be ground to dust by capital produced from credit and credit busts. Assets that have been acquired more cheaply after an examinership / liquidation, be they hotels, retail units, car parks, marinas, commercial properties etc, will compete more favourably against ‘old money’ assets, as they don’t have the overhead or more correctly the income contribution expected of capital. Their floor is a lot lower…….
      In the hotels’ case and in the Irish property market more widely, it appears now, and has been aired by Olivia Mitchell TD (SBP 28/02/10), that the banks are actually injecting working capital to artificially sustain unworkable business models until they can get the assets included in NAMA. Now that NAMA is swinging into action, can’t we expect to see a jettisoning of unworkable businesses and see a maelstrom of unemployment as many retail and hospitality zombies begin to collapse?

      • tony_murphy

        Is this what you were looking for Ruairí? I seem to remember you posting it some months back



        • Ruairí

          Thanks Tony, much appreciated.

          Actually, its the original article, that I came across one time, that I can’t put my hand on. I recall you saying you liked those links alright. That link you give is still not the source of my enquiry though ;-( Hopefully, I’ll eventually dig it up and post it. Not too far removed from this http://www.psyfitec.com/2009/10/business-of-capital-is-bust.html But even more focussed at sector levels, following the flow of credit and credit busts through a competitive arena. It was all about how, for example, a bust shopping centre gets new legs from its bank owner, then is in a position to give out rents at 20cent in the euro, due to a lower cost base. Where a competitor hasn’t gone bust and took on dear (recent) debt, they don’t stand a chance against this post-bust lean machine. Where an old established business has no debts, it too may struggle as the prices being dictated by the newly revamped entrant are too low to achieve profit on the old business model.


    In yesterday’s Sunday Times, Damien Kiberd estimated the cost of NAMA , bank recap etc of 80 bill euro.This is the equivalent of the UK having to pay 1 trillion sterling as a bail out.At least they have all that oil in the south atlantic to look forward to!.What happens if sterling collapses in the run up to the UK election in May?.Businesses north of Swords will, be wiped out.Can’t wait for Anglo results to come out.Fitzpatrick should be fed to the Lions in the zoo.

    • Deco

      Actually Mick – I seen an article on the British website MarketOracle.co.uk providing evidence that the British had already used up more money saving British Banks than the Americans had used saving American banks. Amazing considering that the US economy is almost six times the size of the UK economy. And the amount mentioned I think was 1.4 Trillion USD. Gordon Brown is adament that all that money was not wasted, that it was “invested”.

      This is actually a serious problme for us, because if the British are behaving recklessly, then our number 1 export market is going down the tubes. And that will bring any hope of an export led recovery down with it.

  24. “We have one party which is unashamedly corrupt and a collection of others who are queueing up for the chance to be corrupt under the pretension of fighting corruption”
    Good one Deco..

  25. Malcolm McClure

    The competition commission’s provisional announcement is here: http://ec.europa.eu/ireland/press_office/news_of_the_day/commission-approves-nama_en.htm
    It says:
    “The Commission has found that the establishment of NAMA constitutes state aid to the participating institutions pursuant to Article 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), but that this aid is compatible by virtue of Article 107(3)(b).”
    The full adjudication will be published when confidentiality issues have been resolved.

    As I wrote yesterday, “What the EC is doing seems to be reviewing NAMA under the provisions of Articles 107 and 108 in http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2008:115:0047:0199:EN:PDF
    Strangely, they don’t mention Article 108, which requires that ” the Council may, acting unanimously, decide that aid which that State is granting or intends to grant shall be considered to be compatible with the internal market, in derogation from the provisions of Article 107 …..”

    David says “Closer reading of the press release suggests there is considerable unease in the European Commission about our latest ill-advised adventure.”
    Question: was the Competition Commission acting unanimously in making this announcement?

    I think we should be told.

    • Ruairí

      Splendid work Malcolm, as always.

      http://www.thepost.ie/story/text/eyqlgbmhsn/ Olivia Mitchell questioned the ‘interference’ in the hotel sector by banking actions.

      “Fine Gael’s spokeswoman on Arts, Sport and Tourism Olivia Mitchell also wrote to the Competition Authority.

      She asked Minister for Tourism Martin Cullen to raise with the Financial Regulator and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement the issue of the banks giving their biggest debtors an unfair advantage.

      ‘‘My office gets repeated reports of money for working capital being poured into these hotels in order to keep them afloat until such time as their loans are transferred to Nama,” said Mitchell.

      ‘‘Hotels that should have gone to the wall are receiving credit from banks on the back of taxpayers’ money. It is unethical and was not envisaged when we put money into the banks. Neither was it envisaged for Nama,” she said in the Dáil last week.

      The Irish Hotels Federation holds its annual general meeting in Galway this week. Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Cullen are both attending.

      In the absence of the government unveiling a strategy to deal with the current crisis, the reception is likely to be lukewarm.

      ‘‘We are waiting with bated breath,” said John Power.”

  26. It’s a very interesting question as to why the European Commission are taking a double take look at NAMA.

    The Lisbon Treaty plus the gathering together of positions from member states on how to manage meltdown within member states is focusing on how best practice solutions can be formulated.

    So NAMA is being looked at in terms of its
    1. unfair advantage distortion of the market place eg hotel industry
    2. unfair advantage distortion of the banking sector.

    Private gain against public expense generates more pressure on a total meltdown or bankruptcy of states like ours. Failed solutions like NAMA increase the risk of this.

    NAMA is certainly see thread last article in breach of A45 of our constitution because of unfair advantage it gives to banks at expense of taxpayers.

    It is in its original incarnation in breach of the Lisbon Treaty breaching all those articles re competition and the rights of taxpayers.

    But what the Commission really worries about is that it is a failed entity that instead of relieving the meltdown and danger to the euro, NAMA is a potential earthquake/timebomb that will bust not only taxpayers in Ireland, economic life in this country, but will have profoundly damaging consequences for the rest of member countries, if its negative effects have a domino effect.

    Its not so much the damage NAMA creates for Ireland, its rather the potential damage for Europe if it fails
    that is getting Commission attention.

    Basically they worry the bailout money for NAMA is money down the shore they might not get back!

  27. Nice heads up here from the good doctor.

    Economics 01/03/2010: AIB, Nama & tomorrow’s numbers
    Posted by Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev

    From the Dolmen guys – today’s preview of AIB results announcement tomorrow -

    “We expect operating income of €2bn for the year, impacted by lack of demand for credit by Irish consumers and lower Net Interest Margins (NIM). Due to a pre-tax loss of €2.7bn, equity tier 1 of the group will move down to 5%. Overall, the market will be looking for guidance on NAMA, capital raise and credit quality in the non-NAMA loan book. It is also likely the group will announce an exchange offer on its Lower Tier 2 debt.”

    Note the figure of 5% Tier 1. Internationally (e.g. UK) target is for 8%+ Tier 1, for banks with Loan-to-Deposits (LTD) ratios in excess of 100%. AIB’s latest accounts I have access to show LTD ratio of over 150%. This means that the AIB will be on the hook for up to Euro 4 billion in order to plug in the Tier 1 capital gap with its international peers. And this is before the expected loans losses of Euro 5-5.3 billion expected in the tomorrow’s announcement. So on the net, H1 2010 demand for funding should be around €3.8-4.5 billion before Nama kicks in and before provisions for a new batch of bad loans…

    This is more than 3 times the current market capitalization of the bank!

    Also note Dolmen’s reference to the lack of demand for credit. Spot on – the problem is that no matter how one spins the current credit crunch, consumers and businesses (burdened by massive debt and facing rising tax curve into the foreseable future, along with high risk of unemployment and huge uncertainty about the future performance of the economy) are simply in no position to borrow. This, along with the crippling expected cost of Nama to the real economy means that there is not a snowball’s chance in hell the credit bubble can be relaunched in Ireland… at any level of interest rates..

    • Deco

      Here for entertainment is a positive spin on AIB’s disastrous results from Davy. “Results broadly in line”. Really ? If results were broadly in line then why are we the taxpayer being asked to fork out all this money ? Davy have recently rated AIB as “outperform”. Clearly they expect great days ahead for AIB.

      Now Davy are not part of the AIB ‘house’ as such. But this should be seen as an indication of circling of the wagons of the Irish Finance sector. No surprises there – 80% of assessments in Wall Street investment advisors on NYSE stocks are nuetral or better. And almost two thirds are positive. The Irish finance houses are merely playing the same game.

  28. Colin_in_exile

    Great article David.

    You’ve exposed that

    1. Lenny is a fraud (I never bought into that bullsh!t that Lenny was the good guy and won the NAMA debate which the commentariat tried to spin us). The truth is David McWilliams / Peter Mathews would have wiped the floor with Lenny if the opportunity ever arose). Lenny, just because the dail passed NAMA doesn’t mean you won the debate – all that means is that the government have more votes than the opposition.

    2. The mainstream meeja are frauds.

    3. The EU care more about Irish people that FF.

  29. G

    Yet another ‘no spin zone’ article from David ~ good.

    Thanks for highlighting the issues, as I became midly despondent when I heard the media line that the ‘European Commission had given green light to NAMA’ – I should have known better than to accept statements from Big Brother without further analysis.

    You did a great service with this article bringing to light the nuance in the statements issued, who knows what the government submitted to the Commission but no doubt they have their own sources and know the score.

    Do people think we could be on for a 1980s UK style property collapse (every effort is being made to keep the property market inflated) but can ‘the centre hold’?

    I would welcome some insight as I am considering a purchase next year when prices have further declined, but uncertain given government pronouncements on further public service wage cuts………my own political sources indicate this government will not be around to implement same and will spend next 5+ years in opposition.

    Other items from today’s Independent, which can be good for the anecdotal…….

    Judge prefers pigs to bankers

    Interesting story on Apple

  30. Goons,

    Facebook: 42 fans.
    Twitter: 24 followers.

    This isn’t bad for a just few days, but if we want the No2NAMA / SitDownToStandUp event to have any effect, we need waaaaay more.

    Please follow / become a fan – and get all your contacts to do the same.

    * “Become a Fan” on Facebook: bit.ly/czDHHg
    * Follow on Twitter: bit.ly/aws9D1
    * More Details on site: bit.ly/bybKA4

    Pass it on!

  31. Just in case anyone missed this at the tailend of the last post from the host;-



    The winner of big idea would appear to be “Lets get all the Proles talking about a big idea to keep them occupied”.
    Cynical Shoyte.

  32. Tim

    Folks, ANGLO in news today:

    “ANGLO IRISH BANK WILL REPORT LOSSES OF UP TO €12 BILLION – State-owned Anglo Irish Bank is preparing to post losses of between €10 billion and €12 billion – the largest in Irish corporate history – when it announces its financial results over the coming weeks, writes the Irish Times. The bank is expected to write off the record amount for the 15-month period to December 31st, 2009 as it faces an estimated discount of 35% on €30 billion-€35 billion in loans being moved to the National Asset Management Agency (Nama). 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. The losses will deplete the bank’s capital reserves, triggering the need for more cash from the Government, which has so far invested €4 billion. Anglo is estimated to need a further €6 billion – and possibly more – depending on regulatory capital requirements and whether its restructuring plan is approved by the EU. This will bring the running total on the Government’s bank recapitalisations to €17 billion, with a further €2.4 billion needed at Irish Nationwide and EBS building societies. AIB and Bank of Ireland need capital of about €7 billion, analysts estimate, in addition to the €7 billion already invested by the State.”

    • Deco

      Woohh. This is unbelievable. Just goes to prove that Anglo should have been allowed to fail. Capitalist consequences for capitalist misadventure !!

  33. Ruairí

    Worth a read for those wondering how the US economy will fare in the next 2 years: -


  34. Has David seen the EU Decision which sources are saying will be months before it is published to protect confidential information – so we will have bought most of the NAMA loans before we get the Decision.

    If NAMA is so good for the banks and so bad for the taxpayer, then why haven’t more than 5 banks elected to take part in the scheme. Isn’t the truth that no-one really knows whether this is going to be good or disastrous for the banks – BoI, AIB, Anglo, INBS and EBS arguably have no choice regardless of whether it’s disastrous or not.

    As a symptom of the opaqueness of NAMA, they have failed to lay their quarterly report before the Oireachtas and certain journalists seem to be able to quote quite specific information from NAMA which is not in the public domain. And as for unfair, presumably NAMA’s valuers will have access to the Land Registry’s actual sale prices when evaluating the banks’ valuations. So goodbye to a level playground on the high street estate agency market as well.

  35. Deco

    Oddly enough…there is a country where the behaviour of the banksters if even worse than here….next door…


    Gordon Brown has facilitated this with his steadfast drive for socialism for the rich.

  36. [...] 1, 2010 by namawinelake Today, David McWilliams, prominent arch critic of NAMA reviews the Commission’s Statement giving approval to NAMA. It would appear that David isn’t yet [...]

  37. Tim

    Apologies, here is the link to the slide show accompanying Lenihan’s talk last Friday (mentioned above):


  38. Tim

    Folks, the comments from Brian Lucey, Michael Figgegan and others are well-worth reading, here:


  39. Tim

    Folks, this is a pretty *serious* perspective!:

    “To put the Irish position into perspective, each Icelander owes approx. €9,000 to the UK arising from the default of their banks, and a further €4,000 to the Netherlands arising out of their State guarantee. The Icelandic people are voting on whether to renege on that deal, and have won the vociferous support of John Kay in his Financial Times column this week to do so. Our debt to the Germans is more than three times greater than that of Iceland to the UK and the Netherlands. ”


    • lff12

      True, but the difference between the two countries is that Iceland as a non-EC member has far more freedom to renege on deals done whereas Ireland cannot without severe consequences. The historical reasons for that are Iceland’s ties to Nordic countries, some of whom are also not in the EC.

      Had Ireland and the UK not joined the EEC in the early 1970s, we would probably face a similar situation with regard to the UK. Iceland’s situation is still no better than Ireland because it doesn’t benefit from EC involvement.

  40. lff12

    David, you may have read this already:

    “News, Noise, and Estimates of the ”True”
    Unobserved State of the Economy”
    Dennis J. Fixler and Jeremy J. Nalewaik
    from Fed Reserve website.

    General gist is to reevaluate the measures used to evaluate economic performance more realistically. Found it from the Freakonomics Blog from last Friday @ http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/is-okuns-law-really-broken/ debating why there has been an increase in unemployment while the US economy APPEARS to be improving. He suggests that by using income measures, the rise in unemployment is logical and matches the alternate measure which suggests things are not so rosy.

    My concern about NAMA is that they don’t have any obligation back to the tax payer or country who bailed them out. They can do just what they like with the investment they receive. That is why there is a preference for nationalisation, although ironically it would not be unfavourable with a weak FF leadership that is likely to simply bend over and take whats given by the banks.

  41. ps200306

    Sorry for going off-topic, but I was just marvelling at how the BBC just held an interview over Skype with a resident from the earthquake zone in Chile.

    Meanwhile, here in Wexford I can’t buy an internet connection despite being less than 2 km from an ADSL-enabled Eircom exchange, and the gangsters running an alternative wireless service cannot even diagnose why their service is unavailable for more than half of every day.


  42. paddyjones

    I think NAMA is a bad deal but it is only the tip of the iceburg, everywhere you look in Ireland there is huge debt , mortgages , credit cards , company loans and overdrafts the only problem is that property developers can quiet happily avoid paying their debts while we have no choice in the matter. How is it in this country if you owe a few thousand you must pay but if you owe a few million or more you get away scott free.
    Do you know in law if you steal a loaf of bread because you are hungry you get done but if you steal something you don’t need then you get off, there is a precedent for this.
    David calls these insiders and outsiders, the insiders will use the law to keep outsiders downtrodden.
    Happily we voted for Lisbon and we now have a new champion …the EU they will protect our interests at all costs but we the people must communicate with them they can be contacted at Brussels. We must put pressure on the EU to do what is right , we must expose our crony lead government for what they are this is patriotic not damaging it will help us.
    Our national debt is now 76 billion soon to be 140 billion including NAMA by the end of this year. Thats for a population of 4 million people we are worse than Greece in this regard per head of population.

    • wills

      All those people in pools of debt.

      A debt culture.

      Born and brewed through the central banking debt money system.

      Its final outcome, debt serfs and credit masters.

  43. BrianMc

    Contributions Invited:

    “5 Things the Individual Can do to Stop NAMA:”


    “5 Things the Collective Can do to Stop NAMA:”

    People will act if there is a roadmap to stop NAMA.

    • wills


      NAMA must be put into a historical perspective.

      No use stopping NAMA if an intel gap exists on its objective reality.

  44. wills


    Irish society is a fraud.

    It is not what it represents itself to be.

    Our societies socio economic system is bent in the favour of ruling elites.

    IBEC, private banks, corporate interests, international money lender interests, political interests, aristocratic interests, land owners interests, scientific interests.

    An interlocked special class ruling overlords encircling the money making machines.

    An insider hegemony.

    Low in numbers compared to the outsiders population numbers.

    Some of the outsiders work in tandem with the insider class for their crumbs from the table.

    The outsiders proportion of which are the sheeple.

    NAMA is another phase to the ‘insider s class’ paper money financial on going fraud for decades.

  45. Fergal73

    The EU cavalry has appeared on the hill, maybe they will save Ireland from the Irish government.

    I think that Ireland would be a better country if we were actually run by the Germans / Belgians / Dutch. A couple of weeks ago, I asked is anyone in favour of a US style Europe?

    I am. Ireland has been a mismanaged country for decades. We still have a sub-par road, rail, telecoms network after the years of the bubble and massive funds available. Instead money was spent on public sector jobs and ‘performance’ related pay increases. In defense of the public service, the job they did / do is better than that of the senior bankers. irish governments think tactically, not strategically. This is why we leap from crisis to crisis.

    Give me European / Germanic strategic planning any day over the nod and the wink. Ireland, run by the Irish, has never been a success, from the Civil War to the miserable 50′s, 70′s, 80′s and now the 2010′s.

    Roll on European assimilation.

  46. We must remove this corrupt government before NAMA comes in or we’ll end up paying the developers’ debts. Surely, we could put pressure on 5 TDs to withdraw their support from FF and the government would fall. TDs like maureen o’sullivan, finian mc grath, paul gogarty,jackie healy,trevor sargent might not be willing to take the flack for making us pay for NAMA. It can be done and needs to be done before we end up paying developers’ debts.

  47. wills


    NAMA is merely another feather in the ruling elites monopolistic capitalist hat.

    NAMA proves the economic political system is rigged in the favour of special interests.

    At anytime the elites may drop NAMA and try something else. The whole system is owned and controlled by an elite few.

    Anything goes as long as the elites preside over anything of power and substance and anything goes as long as it poses no threat to the ruling order.

    For the moment it is the NAMA project for the elites.

    Next week it could be dropping the NAMA project and just nationalizing the banks.

    What D’s article shows though is he has caught the elites out in their skullduggery.

    His thesis proves the gov operating on behalf of shadowy elites worked in favor of interests with a particular purpose in mind, to keep the banks private, for an extended period of time.

    So, now we can ask, what is really going on behind the story the gov and the media is lying to the taxpayer.

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