NAMA – Words, Sentences, Theories Abound In Ireland written 2009 and updated March 2016
March 1st 2016: BBC Spotlight programme which has placed NAMA at the centre of US Security Exchange Commission “SEC” investigations; and the Northern Ireland Crimes agency. Two points: The Criminal Assets Bureau “CAB” who have successfully investigated in detail the fraud charges against Mr “Slab” Thomas Murphy are noticeable by their absence in this quite shocking corruption that implicates NAMA based in Dublin and the North of Ireland. Secondly, the absence of Sinn Fein.
This BBC Spotlight programme highlights the corrupt endeavours of such a political heist by people in power in Northern Ireland. BBC Spotlight thankfully undertook to engage in this damning investigation of NAMA one the world largest holders of property and what is in effect corruption and insider trading. The Securities Exchange Commission “SEC” in the US are investigating this under their legislation relating to insider trading, bribery, and the protection of whistleblowers (Mr Miskelly, Developer, Co. Down).
Ireland post election: We are in limbo. This must be placed on the agenda and the Criminal Assets Bureau must represent Southern Ireland. This too makes it an urgent political decision which merits discussion now. For those who are now elected but awaiting …. please watch this programme. This is a crisis too.
BBC Spotlight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_wcIHrogrU
Open Publishing/Citizen Journal site is the source. No further articles permitted to site by year end 2009
What can we the plain people of Ireland contribute to the theorists, the politicians, the business people, the developers, the professions? I would suggest a little common sense is needed.
What can we, the plain people of Ireland, contribute to the Theorists, Government politicians, the Bankers, the professions, the economists – to those who have constructed NAMA. These are the people we must learn to trust and if this is so, we the plain people of Ireland must be able to contribute our views, in a collective way, as part of the people grassroots press. The common sense view is free and this is about democracy.
Simon Carswell, Journalist Irish Times, has written an excellent book which is called ‘Something Rotten – Irish Banking Scandals’. It is worth reading particularly if you can recall the Banking Scandals that have already occurred in Ireland.
As reminder, they read as follows:
- Irish Trust Bank and Ken Bates – Ireland’s first major banking collapse
- Patrick Gallagher and Merchant Banking, the downfall of a property tycoon (I remember this particularly well)
- PMPA, the failure of Ireland’s biggest insurance company and the lost deposits
- Insurance Corporation of Ireland: the State’s bail out of Ireland’s biggest bank
- Edmund Farrell, his removal from Irish permanent
- Ansbacher: a secret bank for Ireland’s golden circle
- National Irish bank, encouraging tax evasion and ripping off customers
- The DIRT Scandal, bogus non resident accounts……
- Offshore tax evasion, nowhere left to hide hot money (Not true, FT makes interesting reading about offshore accounts)
- Politicians and the banks, clearing debts for VIP customers
- John Rusnak lost $691 million
- AIB and Foreign Exchange
- AIB and the Faldor scandal
- and so many more; and so few prison sentences for white collar criminals unlike the US, the UK and of course Iceland.
George Santayana speaks words of wisdom, ‘Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it’.
I ask how did Ireland get caught out by developers, banks, business people, brokers, etc. at such quick haste from the last financial crisis, as experienced by most people in a certain age group, given the chapters in Simon Carswell’s book, as highlighted above?
How much of where we are at, is in fact due to the Global emphasis undertaken worldwide from the 1980’s onward.
Wednesday Irish Times 29th April 2009, I noticed a most intriguing article from Simon Carswell, Finance Correspondent.
We all are aware that Sweden encountered a similar crisis to what Ireland is now facing circa 1990. There is a Swedish model per consequence. A valuer who was appointed by the Swedish Government to a nominated ‘vehicle’ to determine property values during Sweden’s banking crisis reported that there was a period of denial about the problems in the market but he went on to say that this can ‘destroy’ the value of properties.
Now this is a gem of wisdom to those of us around in the early 1980’s, those of us forced to emigrate to a prosperous UK only to find that the markets had crashed in the early 1990’s, unemployment and negative equity determined outcomes and movement to countries that could provide work. For Ireland, this is the time, we are least at guard, this is the time, we need to take a deep breath and open our minds to solutions as distinct from blaming people. The people we blame have already lost significant sums of money, we need to ensure that we harness the talents in people and avoid diminishing people to sickness due to stress and long term unemployment. We need to focus on strengths with good common sense.
Today on Radio 1, RTE. Professor Honohan, Trinity College Dublin, spoke and his words were blunt. If the Government did not give the Guarantee, AIB and Bank of Ireland would be insolvent right now. He went on to say, some powerful political party had a very unhealthy relationship with property developers for too long. We are now worse off than Iceland according to Professor Honohan. He stated that Iceland was getting its act together internally and there is a slight improvement in their economy. Ireland, he said has got to face up to some hard facts. Professor Honohan welcomed NAMA with a caution that NAMA has to be independent of any political interference.
NOTHING HAS REALLY CHANGED SINCE LEMASS.
May 7th, 2009 19:52
Nothing is impossible. Recessions can Lift, with the will of people
by Michelle Clarke – Social Justice and Ethics: Dignity
We are living in precarious times. NAMA conjures up uncertainty.
Professor Honohan, Trinity College, and Professor Brian Lucey, David McWilliams, and Brian Keenan, all esteemed economists, and let us not forget, and I am not Fine Gael, Richard Bruton’s apprehensions also. NAMA is a risk. Why?
Well – the scale of the worth and value of retrieving the toxic loans. We all realise we must chase the developers for the missing billions, that were subject to abuse from idiotic banking and government approval during the myth of the Celtic Tiger. Prominent analysis – I mean people that have been through various recessions have stated this is the worst recession for decades. Only for government interaction, our banks would have collapsed. Yet today on Radio 1, the people who have borrowed the least are being hounded. Why?
One man’s story goes as follows – I bought a new truck for Euros 130,000. I have paid back Euros 68,000, I asked the Bank for some leeway due to the shortage of work. The ‘Heavies’ came and drove my truck away in front of my wife and children. Joe Duffy Monday to Friday Liveline programme on RTE was lost for words. Various callers and similar stories came from the ordinary man and people being hounded to pay debts owed. Joe Higgins phoned in and asked whether those developers who owe billions are receiving the same treatment. The taxpayer bailed out the banks but the Government bailed out the developers – I ask why.
It is easy to put pressure on small businesses. Bank managers can call to your home; get their secretaries to phone you several times a day, but for the Developers, the story different. Firstly, they are armed with a staff that can deflect the requests with a myriad of excuses. This has always been the case. In the time the Gallagher Group went ‘belly up’, so many suppliers were affected. Suppliers were lured to the hype of further development of properties on Stephen’s Green, that they allowed debts to mount. 3 month agreements to pay became 4, 5, and even 6. Then the day came, and not just Gallagher’s went to the Wall but so many suppliers also. The ripple effect was so bad that people who had bought houses in Laurel Lodge in Castleknock found that sites had been sold to independent builders but nobody had agreed to service the sites so as a result people were left without serviced sites for a number of years. This was the 1980’s and this meant houses sold at £39,000 were only worth approx. euros£29,000. It takes years for small business losses to be really assessed if ever.
Thread gently, I would suggest, in relation to the individual punter, the small business. Nobody knows, the person given a ‘chance’ could be the ‘Googler’ of the future (1st 1 billion brand name). Remember, we have a responsibility to future generations, we must act in a highly responsible way, at every left of the pyramid.
Former President Robinson recognised the potential of our Irish diaspora. For those of us who emigrated, we appreciated this gesture. I believe that there are well educated, experienced, even people with a solid capital base, who would be willing to return to Ireland and take up the challenge offered by NAMA. After all, the toxic debts relate to a value on say development property but a member of a Diaspora would have a broader vision and may be able to ‘bid up the value’, based on a broader spectrum of experience.
The Celtic Tiger sold a Political Culture and it was a success given the positives of the early 1990’s. There was planning, the was inspiration, there was vision. Now we have to embrace change. We are moving towards the knowledge economy and the diaspora are there to be tapped; add to this the ethical, social and corporate responsibility that is evidenced emanating from Harvard, Cornell, and who knows, what the Island of Ireland can achieve?
We all are aware of denominations. North and South merchandise conflict, has arisen out of the Euro value to Stg. value, we know this of old, and we know this when we travel to the US or Tokyo etc. Out of the blue, Tesco’s were forced to match the competitive advantage and the altered prices in the Tesco shops south of the border to stave off people going North to buyer cheaper products. The Euro removed controls from the Central Bank ……. influence over interest rates, and currency purchase rules…………What IF, Ireland decided to pull out of the Euro and say align with Sterling……..this is an unknown dimension, that would change considerably the value of toxic debts. It is a What If? but who knows?
‘Give vision to the visionless’