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Posts tagged ‘Marie Antoinette’

NAMA under Fine Gael: drastic changes expected

By namawinelake 

“A terrible noise exactly like thunder was heard in the outer room of his apartments : it was the crowd of courtiers deserting the antechamber of the dead sovereign to come and greet the new power of Louis XVI”
This was the account given by Marie Antoinette’s chambermaid of the immediate aftermath of the death of Louis XV – all the courtiers and hangers-on were making a mad dash from one end of the palace where the king had just expired to the other end to ingratiate themselves with the successor. And whilst I wouldn’t want to pre-judge the outcome of the voting count today, I would be shocked if anyone other than Enda Kenny was to be our next Taoiseach and Michael Noonan the next Minister for Finance. And I would say the ingratiating started many months back.
Of interest here is the fact that the FG director of elections for Limerick (Michael Noonan’s constituency) is none other than insolvency expert Brian McEnery of Horwath Bastow Charleton . Brian also happens to be one of NAMA’s nine board members and I would imagine that Michael Noonan is very well briefed indeed on the challenges facing the agency. And it will be the Department of Finance that has most political say in how NAMA operates in future, though other ministries like the Department of the Environment Housing and Local Government and Justice and Law Reform will also have a role to play.
So what changes can we expect at NAMA:
(1) Personnel. NAMA is probably most associated with its chairman Frank Daly and CEO Brendan McDonagh. Sections 22 and 40 of the NAMA Act provides the Minister for Finance with wide discretion as to the bases for removing the incumbent NAMA CEO and other board members including the chairman. Will FG want a change of personnel. Have some already ingratiated themselves to the new administration and convinced the putative Minister for Finance that a different set of hands would do a better job? There are certainly rumours in this area.
(2) Stopping NAMA 2: “We do not believe that transferring the land and development loans of Irish banks of less than €20 million to NAMA is in the best interests of the Irish economy” FG has said that it will stop the transfer of the sub-€20m exposures from AIB and Bank of Ireland to the agency. What that immediately means is that the stress tests presently ongoing will need examine the values of some €12bn of sub-€20m loans.
(3) Outsourcing: “We will force NAMA to outsource management of at least 70% of its assets to 3-4 competing private asset management companies” FG is keen to get third party asset management companies to take on NAMA’s loans. Indeed a long-held concern on here is that NAMA with 100 staff is ill-equipped to directly handle 175 developers (which might represent 5,000 development companies and 20,000 projects) and their €50bn of loans at par value. On top of this NAMA must manage the banks and Capita with their dealings for smaller value loans. Capita has a long and coloured history of ingratiating itself with parties in power.
(4) NAMA strategy: remember it boils down to the six actions (sell, lease, manage, develop, demolish, mothball). It seems there is a clamour for NAMA to generate more sales. These are likely to be in the UK and elsewhere abroad though NAMA needs to be careful about opportunists who expect a “NAMA knock-down”. But I expect there will be more sales here and given the condition of the market, I expect sales at levels not seen before, bargains some might say but that would be to ignore the distressed condition of the existing market which is being artificially distorted without true price discovery.
(5) Transparency: “The details of all non-performing loans acquired by NAMA will be available for scrutiny on a Public Register”
(6) Paddy McKillen’s loans: NAMA was supposed to have made a decision whether or not to proceed to acquire Paddy’s loans last Wednesday. And we are still waiting for the Supreme Court to issue its determination on the three outstanding strands to Paddy’s appeal (to do with the fairness and constitutionality of NAMA and its procedures). Will Michael Noonan decide that Paddy’s loans will destroy value at the banks if transferred? Will he persuade NAMA to release its grip on Paddy’s and other objectors’ loans?
(7) NAMA report and accounts for quarter three, 2010 which were delivered to outgoing Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan on 31st December, 2010. Will Michael Noonan now ensure they are promptly published?
(8) Dismantling upward-only rent reviews in commercial leases. This manifesto commitment is really rattling the property industry that sees 20% declines in commercial property values and a repulsion of investors fearful of those declines. At the extreme on the other hand, certain retailers and other commercial tenants are literally praying it happens quickly because with existing rent levels their businesses will die. Whatever FG does, it needs to do it decisively and clearly. Otherwise this uncertainty of this Sword of Damocles will hurt the property industry and do nothing for commercial tenants.
Of course the bigger challenge facing the new Minister for Finance will be dealing with the national debt burden including a renegotiation of the IMF/EU bailout deal, the restructure of the banking sector and dealing with the results of the stress tests ongoing at the banks. But I would expect the Minister’s fingerprints to become transparent on the operation of NAMA within days.

Source: URL: http://wp.me/pNlCf-15X

Conor Lenihan calles on Cowen to resign

Minister of State Conor Lenihan has said Taoiseach Brian Cowen should resign.

Mr Lenihan said events over the last 24 hours have raised an issue about his leadership once again and he said quick action was needed by senior members of the party.

The Taoiseach should look at the situation, he said, and the effect his approach has had on the party and its supporters over the past number of days.

Conor Lenihan said Mr Cowen’s authority and credibility has been eroded over the last few days and many people who voted confidence in him are now thinking quite the opposite.

Mr Lenihan said he was angry and embarrassed for supporters of Fianna Fáil who were looking on in horror at what was happening.

A huge disservice had been done to the name of the party, he said.

Conor Lenihan said Brian Cowen has lost the confidence of the country and he said the only way the Fianna Fáil leadership issue can be resolved is if Mr Cowen thinks about the position in which he has placed the party.

It would be in the best interest of the party if Brian Cowen moved on because he said it was not working out, he added.

Comment:

I wonder if Connor was supposed to get one of the top jobs and he is now upset because Cowen is no longer able to deliver on his promises???

So now we have people who supported Mr.Cowen saying that there have regrets this of course shows that their judgement is at best questionable and they are not fit to be in government let alone ministers.

It is now dawning on the Fianna Fail TD’s that enabled Cowen to remain clinging on to power it was a mistake and a mistake they will dearly pay for in the coming election. As far as I am concerned they are no better than traitors, they have proven themselves to be poor judges of the mood of the people and they have behaved with an arrogance that can only be equal to that of Marie Antoinette. The imposition of the so called austerity measures is even more insulting when one considers that Mary Harney will be walking away with her loot from the last of the Irish treasury bills (Euro 300.000:00) This should not be allowed and indeed should be confiscated and put towards the health costs of the poor unfortunate citizens who now find themselves without health care!

None of the retiring TD’s should be allowed to plunder the Irish treasury in this way.

Time to build a guillotine?

A highly realistic portrait of Marie Antoinett...

Image via Wikipedia

MIRIAM LORD

Ireland entered the Twilight Zone yesterday – tipped into another dimension by a gaffe-prone Government’s cheesy attempt to butter up the electorate.

Do not be alarmed, for there is Philadelphia light at the end of the tunnel. Jaws hit the floor at breakfast time when the Minister for Agriculture proudly informed Morning Ireland listeners of the great news.

“Free cheese for the needy,” trumpeted Grand Fromage Brendan Smith, having spent the previous few minutes side-stepping questions about the publication of the dreaded austerity plan.

A budget from hell may be on the way, with €6 billion in cuts and tax rises planned for next month. We are living beyond our means, cautions the Minister for Finance, reprising Charlie Haughey. The future looks grim. But at least we have cheese. Cavan’s answer to Marie Antoinette sounded very pleased with himself.

Have they no sense? Did nobody think that boasting about handing out a bit of free cheese – laudable as the scheme is – might seem a little crass when set against the financial tsunami on the way? Did the Cabinet sit in silence, bereft of ideas, at their meeting in Farmleigh and wonder what they might possibly come up with to comfort a worried nation?

Then somebody shouts: “Jesus . . . cheesus . . . cheeses . . . cheese . . . that’s it. Cheese! Let them eat cheese!” And so the low-profile Brendan Smith gets his big moment on Morning Ireland and launches into one of the most absurd radio performances since Joe Jacob’s memorable interview on what to do in the event of a nuclear accident.

photo  Machholz

The free cheese scheme has been running for well over a decade, but no minister ever felt the need to make a big deal about it until yesterday.

By mid-morning, Brendan’s announcement had made it to the international cheesewires.

The Opposition rushed to condemn what they saw as the Minister’s insensitivity. Stung by the avalanche of derision, Mr Smith fought back, saying Fine Gael’s reaction to his free cheese announcement was “deeply offensive, especially to the many charity organisations which rely on it each year”.

If there were free wine on offer, which there isn’t, John Wilson, Irish Times wine expert, recommends “a nice Chateauneuf du Pape to go with your Coalition cheddar.

It would be funny, if things weren’t so damn serious.

source http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1106/breaking1.html

Comment:

we all know what happened to Marie Antoinette and things are now getting to a state I might just start to build my own guillotine and I know who will be first in line to get the chop! 

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