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Archive for the ‘IRISH TIMES’ Category

Irish banks are still in denial

While all the focus has been on losses at Anglo Irish, the other Irish banks are in denial about the scale of State support needed. It is time to face the facts: the three viable banks need over €17 billion, writes PETER MATHEWS 

LAST WEEK, the scary reports of liabilities at Irish banks centred on the colossal Anglo Irish Bank loan losses, the scale of which I (and other analysts) had been only too aware of more than a year ago. The focus on Anglo Irish was understandable, as far as it went. But the banking sector crisis is not just about Anglo. The Government is missing the bigger picture entirely.

The Irish banking system is analogous to a household’s heating/plumbing system with inter-related boilers. The two big boilers are AIB and Bank of Ireland. There are other smaller boilers, including Anglo and Irish Nationwide, which got really badly damaged by using the wrong fuel and, as a result, they’re now broken beyond repair. The correct decision now is to “stop-cock” Anglo and Irish Nationwide out of the overall system, decommission them and wind them down, in an orderly way, over a period of five to seven years.

AIB and Bank of Ireland (BoI) are the economy’s two heavy duty “main boilers”. Both are now in highly unreliable condition, hissing and spluttering and stopping and starting unpredictably. Both need major refits and servicing. They are severely undercapitalised and poorly directed and managed. Yet both persist in pretending they’re in reasonable shape. They are not. And that’s absolutely the case for BoI, notwithstanding the insistent protests that it is okay because it has more or less raised the capital amount indicated as adequate last March.

But that was last March. And last March’s estimates for both AIB and BoI were not enough. BoI needs €6.5 billion, not €3.65 billion. And AIB needs €10 billion, not €7.4 billion.

The proof goes along the following lines. Gross loans in AIB listed for transfer to the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) totalled €24 billion. A (light) 40 per cent writedown on this figure amounts to €9.6 billion, which should be rounded at €10 billion. We note also that AIB will have to absorb large further losses on its mortgage loan book, its corporate loan book and its SME book and also on its personal lending portfolio. In addition, it may well have uncovered exposures on derivatives. For these reasons, and extensive relevant professional experience, I feel conscience bound to point out that AIB definitely needs recapitalisation now of not less than €10 billion. Furthermore, AIB should not be selling its stakes in Polish and US banks. They are the most profitable, cash-flowing parts of AIB. AIB is only doing this as a panic measure to try and plug its deepening capital shortfall.

Similarly, BoI needs a €6.5 billion recapitalisation. Why €6.5 billion? Because in BoI, the listed loans for transfer to Nama were €16 billion. Apply a 40 per cent write down. This amounts to €6.4 billion, which should be rounded to €6.5 billion. All comments applicable to AIB in the preceding paragraph apply also to BoI.

The Educational Building Society (EBS) also needs recapitalisation of €1 billion to cover its loan losses. Four months ago, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance and the Public Service was advised that the three viable banks, AIB, BoI and EBS, needed immediate capital of €10 billion, €6.5 billion and €1 billion. That’s €17.5 billion in total. The question arises: should the State provide all of this on top of the €7 billion already invested in AIB and BoI in 2009? Clearly not. How much of this €17.5 billion should the State invest? Perhaps €11 billion, in appropriate proportions, into AIB, BoI and EBS.

All of this will result in temporary State nationalisation of these three banks. This leads to another question: where will the €6.5 billion balance come from? The State will be in majority control, at levels in excess of 85 per cent, and able to force existing bondholders in AIB, BoI and EBS to take writedowns on their holdings of bonds, while maybe offering them, say, a small debt-for-equity swap as a sweetener to soften the blow. After, say, five years, the banks will have regained reasonable annual-maintainable normal profit levels in the range €3.5 billion to €4 billion, putting the State in a good position to realise, by way of stock exchange or private sales, its investment of €18 billion in these three banks, plus a profit.

Temporary nationalisation of AIB and BoI will merely formalise the reality that, without 100 per cent State support, both are insolvent. Removal of the State guarantee on deposits at this point would lead to a run on the banks’ deposits. However, we see the banks continuing their delusory charade that they are financially sound and independent!

Realism and optimism are essential for recovery. But optimism must be based on reality. As a country we’re facing a stark reality. Protracted denial in the banking industry, the Government, official Ireland and the professions must stop. Unfortunately, the Fianna Fáil-led Government is responsible for the financial destruction of our economy. Regrettably, the Green Party has collaborated in this destruction. These are the facts. The true situation has been denied by the Government for far too long.

Finally, after two years, only in the last few days have the Minister for Finance, the Government and (some of) the banks been forced to admit the true scale of the destruction. What a waste. What a shame.

So let’s stop the stupid denial. Let’s acknowledge the scale of destruction in the Irish-owned banking sector, not just the Anglo Irish story. AIB and BoI have not been honest with us. Their loan losses are also a shock-and-awe story and they’re only being revealed, on the drip, in drawn-out chapters.

Let’s measure truthfully all the appalling financial damage. Let’s insist AIB and BoI are recapitalised at the truthful, honest, correct and much more robust levels (thereby resulting in temporary nationalisation and bondholder participation through bond writedowns) to enable them to make necessary, much larger, loan-loss provisions than they’ve done to date. Let’s reverse the nonsensical, unwieldy Nama project. This can be done speedily and simply. We’ve got to stop what has become a slow-motion Nama/banks bailout nightmare. Let’s roll up our sleeves and face the challenge. And let’s get on with the work of recovery

source http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/0909/1224278513715.html?via=mr

Comment

This is an excelent articel by PETER MATHEWS 

Early August I posted  my disbelief at the figures the EU stress test results for Allied Irish and Bank of Ireland at the time I stated I thought the figures from the EU were false and were conveniently forgetting some serious hidden derivative losses these corrupt institutions’ were keeping off the book through some fancy  account gimmickry  

My figures were for allied Irish were 10 billion and bank of Ireland, I thought 7 billion or there about .So it is nice to see an independent analyst confirm these figures

Comming over the wires I see headlines say

“Ireland has fallen four places to 29th on the list of global competitiveness and its banking system is the least sound of the 139 countries surveyed, according to the World Economic Forum’s annual rankings.”

now what does that tell you ?

Preliminary Report Into Ireland’s Banking Crisis 31 May 2010

After reading the Preliminary Report into Ireland’s Banking Crisis one can only come to the conclusion that Cowen and Lenihan are Guilty of “Gross Incompetence and Dereliction of Duty”
And should resign immediately and be brought before the courts
on charges of economic treason !

Preliminary Report Into Ireland’s Banking Crisis 31 May 2010

Help get the FF & Green gangsters out of the Dail

I missed this demonstration because I was not aware that is was taking place but you can be sure I will be there for the next one on Tuesday the 18th of May .I am not sure of the time but I think it will be 17.00 hrs at Parnell square anyone that wants to get rid of this un-elected government and bring about a new elected government with a new mandate should support these protests

Lies and dam Lies from Brian Lenihan!

Quotes from Brian Lenihan since the bank guarantee:

Source http://www.thestory.ie


photo Machholz

On Breakfast with Newstalk, April 26 2010.

First of all, that’s the position in 2009, Eurostat hasn’t decided it yet, that’s our assesment of how they will decide it, we’ll still argue the toss with them. We have to deal with 2010 yet, but let’s assume that you’re right for a minute and that all the €8bn has to be added on in 2010. Let’s assume that. We won’t be borrowing the money, we’ll be borrowing the money over a period of ten or fifteen years. We’ll actually be up fronting – in accountancy terms – the figure, but we will not in fact be borrowing… – April 26 2010.

Also on Breakfast with Newstalk

Now that I’m the shareholder in Irish Nationwide I will clearly ensure that whatever money is owed by Mr Fingleton is paid by Mr Fingleton. – April 26 2010.

Also on Breakfast with Newstalk

BL: No, no, listen, listen. This not good for the country , and it’s inaccurate. If next year we’re obliged to include the €8bn, the €8bn will not actually be borrowed next year the device of the promissory note means we borrow…

Ivan Yates: No, I know the promissory note is over ten years. You’re missing the point…

BL: No you’re missing the point! This is an accounting device! This is not real borrowing! What the markets look at is real borrowing. Not accountancy devices… – April 26 2010.

Speaking to media…

“The decisive and bold steps we have taken are not popular; and the honest and full disclosure by the Government and its agencies of the appalling mess we have uncovered within our banks has shocked the nation,” Mr Lenihan told the Dail.  “But I do believe that there is recognition among the citizens that the measures we have taken are necessary. And I believe the work of NAMA in cleaning up the banks’ balance sheets and forcing them and their borrowers to face up to their losses is winning the respect of the public.” – April 21 2010,  Irish Independent

“One of the good things about the steep discount, averaging 47 per cent, is that the residential property market will now be stabilised at a realistic level… You can now buy in confidence that the price is realistic.” – April 4 2010, Irish Independent

[Submitted by CO’D]:

The Financial Regulator has advised that all the financial institutions in Ireland will continue to be subject to normal ongoing  regulatory requirements. This very important initiative by the Government is designed to safeguard the Irish financial system and to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy caused by the recent turmoil in the international financial markets. As far as the question of ‘moral hazard’ is concerned, it will be a priority for the Government to ensure that the highest regulatory standards and standards of corporate governance apply in all of the institutions concerned including in relation to lending practices to safeguard the interests of taxpayers against any risk of financial loss. – Department of Finance statement, September 30 2008

[Submitted by CO’D]: During Dáil debate on credit institutions and financial support,

Olivia Mitchell (FG): We need to see the terms and conditions to know what will happen with regard to these people. Is there any requirement for the banks to restructure their loans? Will they be allowed to make a massive number of repossessions and have fire sales, driving house prices down further and sending the economy into even deeper recession? Has the Government any plan to deal with this?

Brian Lenihan: This is the plan.

Olivia Mitchell: […] However, we need a return to the banks of old — to the image we had of them as being dull, staid, boring, cautious and careful. We no longer have that image. What is the Government’s plan to create the conditions that will ensure this happens? What will happen to restore confidence in the banking system? If we do not restore confidence in the banking system, what the Minister is doing now——. I do not know what the Minister is laughing at.

Brian Lenihan: I am not laughing. I am allowed to smile. – October 1 2008

[Submitted by DC]: As reported by Simon Carswell in The Irish Times…

MINISTER FOR Finance Brian Lenihan has said the bank guarantee scheme was “a necessary first step” and “the cheapest bailout in the world so far”.

Mr Lenihan said the guarantee was “the cheapest bailout” compared with bank rescues in other countries, including the UK and the US, where “billions and billions of taxpayers’ money are being poured into financial institutions” – October 24 2008

Irish Times…

“We are not rushing into the banks without knowing precisely what the position is in those banks” – Nov 20 2008

During the Stabilisation of Public Finances debate, Dáil Eireann

In the context of any capitalisation the due diligence exercise will yield further information to enable us to do a far more precise identification of risk before we formulate policy on it. I would be reluctant to commit the taxpayer on any issue connected with risk without a full and definitive assessment of the risk in the institutions themselves and we must await this assessment. – Feb 5 2009

Following the publication of Anglo Irish Bank’s 2009 results. Minister Lenihan said he welcomed the increased scrutiny of Anglo as an opportunity to bring openness to the bank…

“which will ultimately allow us to draw a line under past activities”. “It is an opportunity for Anglo to employ a fully transparent approach to addressing the inappropriate activities that took place at the bank and provide comprehensive details to all stakeholders who deal with Anglo and who deal with Irish financial institutions generally.” – Irish Independent, Feb 21 2009

When challenged as to why he was not nationalising banks (at this time the State had already nationalised Anglo Irish Bank and taken a 25 per cent stake in Bank of Ireland and AIB).

“I do really want to scotch the idea that there are huge risks to the taxpayer in the valuation process because we are not nationalising these institutions.” – Irish Times,
May 18 2009

Nama Bill, Dáil Eireann.

NAMA will ensure that credit flows again to viable businesses and households by cleansing the balance sheets of Irish banks. This is essential for economic recovery and the generation of employment. It will ensure that we avoid the Japanese outcome of zombie banks that are just ticking over and not making a vibrant contribution to economic growth. – Sept 16 2009

Nama Bill, Dáil Eireann.

I am not prepared to contemplate the establishment of an entity that has no responsibility or accountability to this House. – Sept 16 2009

Nama Bill, Dáil Eireann

Nothing in the NAMA legislation will result in more repossessions of family homes. – October 14 2009

On the nationalisation of Anglo, during a debate on banking regulation in the Dáil

This decisive step was taken to safeguard the interest of the depositors of Anglo Irish Bank and the stability of the economy. I want to assure the House that this decisive step was taken to ensure the new nationalised bank will collect all debts due from persons who owe moneys to the institution. – Feb 18 2009

In response to written question from Kathleen Lynch

Taking account of the advice received the Government has proceeded with a comprehensive recapitalisation of Ireland’s two main banks and with the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank. The Government is also in discussions with the other covered institutions, Irish Life & Permanent, Educational Building Society and Irish National Building Society concerning their respective positions. – Feb 18 2009

In response to a written question from Arthur Morgan

The recapitalised banks have reconfirmed their commitment to an extensive credit package which will help to increase lending capacity to small and medium enterprises by 10% and to provide an additional 30% capacity for lending to first time buyers in 2009. The credit package also provides for a €100m environmental and clean energy innovation fund to be established by each bank. All the steps that I have outlined have been taken by the Government to ensure that the public interest is secured so that the financial system in Ireland meets the everyday financial needs of individuals, businesses and the overall economy. – March 26 2009

Written answer to Arthur Morgan

Our approach will facilitate a sustained flow of credit on a commercial basis to individuals, households and businesses in the real economy. – July 8 2009

When questioned on the delays in implementing Nama legislation on Morning Ireland

“We can’t have a lawyers’ bonanza and that is another good reason why we have to get this right.” – May 18 2009

Kicker; written answer to Joan Burton

Arthur Cox solicitors have been engaged by my Department since September 2008 to provide advice in relation to general banking matters including the Bank Guarantee scheme, the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank and the recapitalisation of AIB, Bank of Ireland and Anglo Irish Bank. The company was paid €1,628,024 in 2008 and €2,254,263 has been paid to date in 2009. The sum of €5.4 million has been allocated for legal advice for 2009 and an estimate of €3 million has been set aside for legal advice in 2010.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers was retained by the Financial Regulator in late 2008 to assist the Financial Regulator with a review of the financial and capital positions of Irish banks and to enable the Financial Regulator to advise the Government on what action needed to be taken. The work undertaken involved an initial high level assessment of the capital and liquidity levels of the institutions, stress testing of the institution’s loan portfolios over a three year period, and review the valuation of properties held as collateral against the main property loans.

The total fees paid by the Financial Regulator to the company in respect of the work was €3.8 million, which has been completed. In addition, the Financial Regulator has paid €0.84 million to Jones Lang La Salle for financial and property consultancy services in relation to the Bank Guarantee Scheme.

The National Treasury Management Agency paid a total of €7.3 million to Merrill Lynch for investment banking advice up to 30 June 2009. Following a competitive tender process in July, Rothschild have now been awarded the contract for investment banking advice. The NTMA has also retained an economist however the terms of his contract with the NTMA were agreed on a confidential basis. In addition, following a competitive tender process, the NTMA engaged HSBC and Arthur Cox to provide advice in relation to NAMA. – Sept 22 2009


NOTE: I’ve gone through the Dáil record and archives of the Times and Indo, but haven’t listened to radio or TV interviews. If anyone has a bit of time to go back and listen to a Morning Ireland/Prime Time/The Last Word/Whatever interview… t’would be useful.

* a word members of our Government like to use when scripting excuses for the negative outcomes that result from badly implemented policy or regulation. Usually follows “unforeseen”.

NAMA’s special purpose vehicle(Up-Date)

By SIMON CARSWELL

PRIVATE INVESTORS will be able to participate through the asset managers of the State’s largest banks and Aviva in investing in a majority stake in the special purpose vehicle (SPV) behind the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

The structure and shareholding of the SPV is expected to be announced shortly by Nama.

A group of fund managers, including the asset management units of AIB, Bank of Ireland and Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P), is expected to invest some €74 million, matching a €26 million investment by the State in the SPV.

The Government has set up the SPV with private investors to buy the loans with Nama as a way of keeping the agency’s estimated €54 billion debt off the State’s balance sheet after it purchases loans with a face value of €80 billion.

The SPV would issue two types of shares with Nama holding the majority of voting shares, giving the State control over the entity but leaving private investors with majority ownership of the equity.

Discussions on the structure of the SPV have taken place with the asset management firms, led by the Irish Association of Investment Managers. The €100 million invested in the SPV will be used as capital for Nama, which can borrow up to €5 billion to finance unfinished development projects.

Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM), ILP’s fund management division, Bank of Ireland’s New Ireland Assurance and Aviva Investors are expected to lead the private investments in the SPV

source  www.itishtimes.com

namawinelake

Long Term Economic Value – changes to terms?

March 8, 2010 by political accountability

The Independent today reports that Brian Lenihan signed into law last Wednesday a new valuation methodology for NAMA assets. This blog is trying to get hold of what was signed and will have a link here shortly. The Independent says

“Crucially, the net effect could change the amount being paid by the taxpayer for €77bn of loans.

It is quite possible that the allowance on the long-term economic value of the loans which the finance minister estimated at 15pc last September could now be lower.

However, this won’t become clear until the loans are transferred and the final current market value figures are known.”

Meanwhile the Irish Times today reports on a recent legal conference where the suggestion was advanced that the Minister of Finance’s role in overseeing the LTEV valuation may not be constitutional.

full posting at following linkhttp://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/long-term-economic-value-changes-to-terms/

The Green Menace

Sargent to give payment to charity

IRISH TIMES REPORTERS

The Green Party today confirmed former minister of state for food and agriculture, Trevor Sargent, would donate his ministerial severance payment to charity.

A spokeswoman said the payment had not been received yet but that Mr Sargent had indicated he would give it to the Society of the St Vincent De Paul.

The amount he is likely to receive has not been confirmed, but has been reported to be in the region of €47,000.

The Green menace!

This is great news for the St.Vincent De Paul, but let’s not go overboard on the singing of parses for this individual

Remember he was caught out lying about his contacts with the Garda

Anyway he and his band of green misfits, have an even greater crime to answer for ,the untold number of people that have taken their lives as a result of the gambling of the bankers with other people’s money and the rewarding of these same gangsters by the government Mr.Sargent has and still supports!

the wholesale dismantling of the health services and the total destruction of the educational system of this country!

This guy is no saint and his latest action in nothing short of a carefully choreographed photo shoot, designed to prop up the current dysfunctional government!

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