What is truth?

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While Greece is limping to its Bailout 3.0, our national heroes at Nama are busy fighting massive (California-sized) forest fires.

The Northern Ireland story (covered on this blog here) is refusing to go away:

  1. An academic legal eagle exposition from the U.S. It’s in NYTimes, which is on the ‘radar’ of all our development agencies (the folks that do have Good Minister’s ear to whisper into).
  2. And Irish News is covering the statement issued by Mr. Ian Coulter, the former managing partner of Belfast law firm Tughans. Sluggerotool.com covers same with extra details. Same covered in the Journal.ie piece here.
  3. A good article from the Irish Times on Cerberus (the fund in the middle of Nama’s Northern Ireland’s case) and its use of Irish companies as vehicles for purchasing some EUR19 billion worth of assets. “Each of the Irish companies owns hundreds of millions, or in some cases billions, of euro in assets but has no employees in Ireland and in some instances, pays no corporation tax here. Cerberus has established at least 10 such companies in Ireland since it started its European property loan shopping spree in 2013, all of which appear to be owned by Promontoria, a Dutch fund that is 100 per cent owned by Cerberus Capital Management.”
  4. Another person in the middle of Norther Irish deal – Mr. Frank Cushnahan was, it appears, a ‘serial director’ in “over 30 companies” according to this article in the Irish Times. Which, obviously, qualified him to advise Nama.
  5. Deputy Mick Wallace went on to add to the story, claiming that Nama was aware of the suspicious aspects of transaction in the North, ‘since January’. Nama categorically denied this.
  6. The UK National Crime Agency will investigate Deputy Wallace’s claims.
Meanwhile, back at the foot of this mountain of proverbial… err… at home in Dublin, revelations that our Government appointments to Nama posts could have been… surprise-surprise… political. Who would have thought this much?
There is a documentary trail now to prove that Nama was a party to Government-related discussions about ‘fixing’ the land market in the Republic. In this, the State’s objective of attempting to control the supply of land for development and improve saleability of assets is uncovered and Nama cooperation is identified. Nothing like manipulating the markets as a direct policy objective, folks. We had, of course, back in June this year, Deputy Mick Wallace’s allegations that Nama has some unorthodox dealings with the rental sector in Ireland, allegedly “a “cartel” of big property owners had driven up rental costs in Dublin” as “A small group of players now control a large chunk of the rental market in Dublin”… He also said Nama likes to sell properties in big blocks “that only investment funds, vulture funds, mostly from America, have the money to be buying”.

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