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Posts tagged ‘National Treasury Management Agency’

Gamekeepers turned poachers


Here are some internal Dept of Finance documents on the move of a senior civil servant from the Department of Finance to Bank of Ireland.

Michael Torpey, who was employed on a salary of €200,000-plus annually, was transferred to the NTMA for three months and told not to work in his area of expertise – as part of a ‘cooling off period’.

He was asked not to return to his desk after Christmas because he had agreed to take a job in Bank of Ireland and was instead dispatched to the National Treasury Management Agency where, despite being an expert in banking, he was forbidden from working on any matter relating to it. Mr Torpey had been a key figure in the Department of Finance’s work on the restructuring of banks before being poached by Bank of Ireland late last year. He was due to begin work at the bank this month……………………………

full article at source: http://thestory.ie/2013/04/29/gamekeepers-turned-poachers/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thestory%2FQSEJ+%28The+Story%29

Close shaves are called for

By Shane Ross:

MINISTER for Health James Reilly has one. NTMA boss John Corrigan has one

A Mercedes?

Union boss David Begg has one. Pensions supremo Brendan Kennedy has one.

A chateau on the Loire?

Siptu chief Jack O’Connor has one.

You’ve guessed it.

Bushy beards were once the preserve of the bourgeois brethren of the revolution. Today they are sprouting in the ranks of the chief executives of the semi-states. The super quangos are beginning to demand that no one worthy of the top job reveals the colour of his chin……………….

full article at source: http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/shane-ross/shane-ross-close-shaves-are-called-for-3276633.html

God forbid, chinless wonders could soon become de rigueur in the private sector.

Last week were you startled to see yet another man with a beard on the platform, presenting the results of a report into fees and charges in the pensions industry?

Curb your enthusiasms?


So, the NTMA have issued a (welcome) note that Ireland is to resume auctions of T-bills. The note states that “on Thursday 5 July 2012. The NTMA will offer €500 million of Treasury Bills with a three-month maturity in its first such auction since September 2010.”

The details of the auction on 5 July are as follows:
• Auction size: €500 million.
• Maturity: 15 October 2012.
• Auction opens: 9:30 a.m.
• Auction closes: 10:30 a.m.
• Settlement date: 9 July 2012.
This is potentially (pending results of sale, namely yield, volume and percentage allocation to non-captive banks and funds) a minor positive for Ireland. Minor, because

  • Bills are NOT bonds – bills are short-term instruments, traditionally under 12 months maturity (bonds are over 1 year maturity).
  • Bills issued currently fall to mature within the period of existent EFSF funding programme, so in effect there will always be funds to cover these, short of a catastrophic collapse of the euro during the duration of the bills.
  • Issuance of bills has nothing to do in terms of signaling the state of public finances health or economic conditions health of the issuer, as both Greece (see here) and Portugal (here) have issued these during their tenure in the rescue programmes.
  • Portugal issuance (linked above

Figures reveal we are paying up to 6.48% on 10-year loans in the bailout!

By namawinelake

Figures supplied today by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) show that Ireland has drawn down €22.36bn from the IMF/EU bailout agreed last November 2010. The figures show that the blended average rate of interest charged is 5.58% and that the funds are due for repayment between 5-10 years with a weighted average of 6.83 years.

full article at source  http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/figures-reveal-we-are-paying-up-to-6-48-on-10-year-loans-in-the-bailout/


When the IMF\EU bailout was first announced I said that the interest charged was not 5.8% See here       http://thepressnet.com/2010/12/08/another-dark-day-for-democracy-in-ireland/

“Another point I want to make
is that the new loan from the IMF and the EU
is in fact costing us 7.3% if you take into account that we are in fact
subsidizing the funds from the IMF and EU by putting up the first 17.5 Billion
ourselves and there is no mention of the costs of setting up the loans and
subsequent charges .In any case even if you take it that the loans are 5.8% of
this 10 billion is supposed to go to recapitalize the banks and another 25
billion is in reserve so 10 billion is costing 5.8% to the banks.

Then presumably the banks are
to lend this money out to business and mortgage seekers at what interest rate?
It would have to be 5.8% plus the banks mark up of approx 2% .So the banks can
only lend these funds for 7.8% ??? Who can afford this penal interest when the
rates for every other European are 1% plus bank charge of .75% to 1.75%
interest! So we now have a Europe that is charging different interest rates in
different parts of Europe are we then looking at a break up of the Euro by the
back door.”

Taken everything in the above article from Namawinelake into consideration , I am not far off the mark!

Governor of Central Bank of Ireland claims Lenihan was “crestfallen” by EU stance on bondholders

By namawinelake 

This subject has been covered on the irisheconomy.ie website. This entry adds the transcript of the programme to highlight the precise words spoken by the governor. Also part 2 of “Burning the bondholders” will now be published tomorrow]
The under-rated Vincent Browne broadcast a special edition of his week-night programme on Friday night last as a memoriam to former Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan who died earlier on Friday after a 2-year battle with cancer. In the “pole” seat, that is the one nearest Vincent was Patrick Honohan, the governor of the Central Bank ofIreland. Other guests included Minister Joan Burton and journalist Fionnan Sheahan. Vincent started off gently discussing Brian Lenihan with the guests in the stall seats. And then about 17 minutes in he got to Governor Honohan. And Vincent gently probed the governor for his memories of his dealings with the-Minister Lenihan. And for about four minutes, Vincent tenderised the governor. And having covered the tittle-tattle about how nice Governor Honohan’s office was, we had the following:
read full article at Source: http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/author/namawinelake/


Here in Ireland we are reluctant to speak ill of the dead .and so with reluctance I say this.

Mr.Lenihan RIP, has for the last few day been canonized by his well placed pals in Irish society .Of course politicians from all sides are falling over themselves in praising this man presumably expecting to gain some brownie points .The airwaves are stuffed with praise for this man and it is becoming nauseating to say the least .I became sick last Friday when the Live line went into overdrive and one would have thought they were talking about Mahatma Gandhi or mother Theresa

Speaking of Gandhi may I take this opportunity in reminding everybody of one of his quotes?

“There is no God higher that truth” Now this been the case I am compelled to try and bring the truth back into the light of day.

Our country is the poorer because of the incompetence of Mr. Brian Lenihan. This man is responsible for the many, many years of austerity that is now been forced on to the shoulders of ordinary decent people because this man sold his country out the international bondholders, gangsters and gamblers. Mr .Lenihan chose to save his pals in the building industry and the corrupt bankers rather that stand up to them and make them responsible for their own gambling debts. Mr.Lenihan became dethatched from the ordinary people of Ireland and he became aloof and drunk with the effect of absolute power, His membership of a very select group of individuals (The Golden Circle) caused him to turn his back on the people of Ireland as he chased applause and honours from forging shores. His mind-boggling incompetence along with his former crew members has cost this nation, our independence and sovereignty and in other times he along with the other members of the previous government would have faced charges of treason and would have been shot!

Ironically he was accused of economic treason not so long ago by members of the current government and these same people are now enthusiastly  carrying out the same measures as Lenihan and his band of misfits came up with 

So I guess Lenihan wasn’t the only economic terrorist we had or have now. The central bank governor hasn’t exactly been the sharpest tool in the drawer  either!

The lunacy of Government treasury management

 by Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev
 Namawinelake blog has an excellent post on the lunacy of Government treasury management exposed by the CBofI’s latest accounts –
 read it here.

On April 7, 1775, Samuel Johnson made his famous pronouncement: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. This statement caught the chord with many other illustrious thinkers. Ambrose Bierce‘s The Devils Dictionary: “In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. …I beg to submit that it is the first.” In 1926, H. L. Mencken added that patriotism “…is the first, last, and middle range of fools.”

Whether one can separate a scoundrel from a fool or the first refuge from the last, in recent years we have seen Government officials who have exhibited all four attributes of false ‘patriotism’.

No doubt, the decision by the Irish Minister for Finance to instruct NTMA to deposit €10.6 billion of state money with the Irish banks were not supposed to be amongst one of them. However, motivated by a ‘patriotic’ desire to provide a temporary support for the zombie institutions, artificially increasing their deposits base, this was a significant mistake from the risk management point of view.

Irish banks are experiencing a severe liquidity crisis, as the latest figures from the CBofI clearly show (Table A.2, column E). Lending to Euro area credit institutions has risen from 30 April 2010 levels of €81.25 billion to the peak of €136.44 billion by the end of October 2010 and now stands at a still hefty €106.13 billion (April 29, 2011), down €8.37 billion on the end of March. That’s folks – our banks debts to the ECB. As far as banks debts to the CBofI itself are concerned, these have declined by some €12.64 billion to €54.15 billion March to April 2011. Chart below plots combined ECB and CBofI ‘assets’ that are loans to the Irish banks.
So the banks are still under immense pressure on the liquidity front.

As far as their solvency is concerned, BalckRock advisers estimated back in March 2011 the through-cycle expected losses in excess of €40 billion for just 4 out of 6 Irish ‘banks’. Although these relate to ‘potential’ losses, the likelihood of these occurring is high enough for the CBofI to provision for €24 billion of these.

Either way, Irish banks are not really the counterparties that can be deemed safe.

There is an added component to this transaction – under the deposits guarantee, the Irish Exchequer holds simultaneously a liability (a Guarantee) and the asset (the deposit) when Mr Noonan approved the transaction. Before that, the Exchequer only had an asset. In effect, balance-sheet risk of this transaction was to reduce the risk-adjusted value of the asset it had.

Lastly, the entire undertaking smacks of the Minister directly interfering in the ordinary operations of NTMA which is supposed to be independent of exactly such interference.

So whether Minister’s ‘patriotism’ of supporting Irish banks was the first or the last resort or the first and the last range, the outcome of his decision to prop up banks balance sheets with artificial short-term deposits was an example of a risky move that has cost NTMA its independence and reputation. The move achieved preciously little other than destroy risk-adjusted value of Government assets. Not exactly a winning combo…

NAMA recruiting investigators to check out developers’ finances

By namawinelake 

source :http://wp.me/pNlCf-1l9

Although the advertisement is not currently showing on the NAMA website under its recruitment section, the Irish Independent today reports that NAMA is, in fact, recruiting an unspecified number of “forensic managers and analysts” whose role will be to “verify and substantiate the credit standing of NAMA debtors”. The role will also involve liaising with unspecified third parties.
The roles will be based in Dublin and the principal duties are understood to include undertaking and overseeing “forensic and investigative searches to verify debtor credit positions”. The person specification for the role says that candidates are “likely to have a minimum of 3-4 years’ investigative/forensic experience”. Any prospective candidate must comply with section 42 of the NAMA Act which says:
“(2) Before employing or otherwise engaging a person to be assigned to NAMA under subsection (1), the NTMA shall ascertain to its satisfaction that the person—
(a) is of good character and has not been convicted of any offence likely to render him or her unfit or unsuitable to perform the duties that the person is required to undertake or is likely to be required to undertake,
(b) has not been disqualified or restricted from acting as a director under the Companies Acts, and (c) has no material conflict of interest, whether actual or potential
(3) Before the NTMA assigns a member of its staff to NAMA under subsection (1), the NTMA shall ensure that he or she provides a statement of his or her interests, assets and liabilities to the Chief Executive Officer of NAMA and the Chief Executive of the NTMA in a form that the NTMA specifies”


 I here that Nama moved to seize control of the properties belonging to developers Ray and Danny Grehan yesterday after, it is understood, they failed to meet some of the terms of a plan agreed with the agency.
Nama appointed receivers Paul McCann and Michael McAteer, of accountancy firm Grant Thornton, in a bid to recover a €650 million debt owed to the State.
The properties include the former UCD veterinary college site in Ballsbridge, Dublin, which Glenkerrin bought for  €171.5 million in 2005. Glenkerrin also developed The Grange, a luxury apartment complex in Stillorgan, Co Dublin which is still half empty and is rumoured to be considered as a target for social housing by the council.

Ireland Cannot Afford To Pay Amounts Guaranteed:Default the Only option

the articel was  published by Dr.Bill Tormey last 31 May 2010

Link: http://www.billtormey.ie/2010/05/31/kiberd-agrees-with-kelly-on-debt/

Damien Kiberd is a sound commentator in my view. His article supports my abhorrence of the NAMA project from the outset. Brian Lenihan Jnr has not been a good Minister for Finance depite the rumours to the contrary. He could be worse in the usual Fianna Fail manner but he has been enveloped by the establishment from the beginning. Kiberd in essence details the evidence that forces him to conclude that Professor Morgan Kelly of UCD is correct in his recent apocalyptic pronouncements in the Irish Times article when he concluded we are bankrupt – only a question of time.

The bloated deficit undermining us

We have slashed wages, imposed taxes and cut social welfare. Yet we still run the highest deficit in the eurozone

Damien Kiberd

On April 18, I wrote  (Sunday Times)that the rising cost of the bank bailout could lift Ireland’s debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio to 120%. I said that the debt to gross national product (GNP) ratio could rise to 150%. The logic behind this argument is inescapable.

The state has invested €12.5 billion in Anglo Irish Bank. Another €10 billion is required, according to government nominees on Anglo’s board of directors. Anglo is 100% state-owned. After transferring loans to the National Asset Management Agency (Nama), it will retain a loan book of €35 billion, of which 53.5% is classed as impaired. Further losses will be the taxpayers’ responsibility.

The government has also pumped €2.7 billion into Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS), but its final capital requirement will be closer to €5 billion. It, too, is 100% state-owned. Its debts are now ours.

So for the two problem children of Irish banking, the cost to the state is
€25 billion and counting. It is not unreasonable to assume that the bill will stretch beyond €30 billion.

The state has invested €7 billion in Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland, but did not borrow to do so. These are pension reserve investments and recoverability depends on the stock market prices of shares in the two banks. Let’s assume a happy ending.

Nama is borrowing €40 billion to give to banks for toxic loans. Only 33% of these loans are “cash generative”. The legal work on many of the loans is a “litany of horrors”, to quote Nama’s boss, Brendan McDonagh. Any write-down on loans acquired is the taxpayers’ liability.

How much will Nama end up costing the state? Willie Slattery, the head of the State Street funds operation in Ireland, says the agency will end up losing €15 billion. So, if we add in provisions for further write-offs at state-owned banks, particularly Anglo, and take this insider’s view of Nama, the total cost will amount to about €50 billion. (As of April 2011 that amount is now €70 Billion and rising)

Professor Morgan Kelly of University College Dublin uses a different method to calculate the scale of the bailout but arrives at much the same conclusion. His estimate is that debt will hit 115% of GDP or 140% of GNP by 2012 — if we are lucky.

He says the state is likely to become increasingly responsible for loan losses on credit given by these banks to developers, speculators, small and medium enterprises, consumers and mortgage-holders. He says the bill for write-offs will range from €50 billion to €70 billion. His loan loss projections are based on quite conservative assumptions of 20% default by small and medium-sized enterprises and big companies, 33% by property developers and 5% by mortgage-holders.

He picks the lower €50 billion estimate of the total cost before making his debt/output projections. Yet the resultant numbers are horrific, a truly gargantuan sum to be borne by 4m people and their descendants.

Britain is 15 times our size in terms of population. Gross the numbers up.
Would the UK’s voters accept a €750 billion tab for bank bailouts? I doubt it. The population of America is 300m. Would its electorate tolerate a $5 trillion bill for bank rescues? No.

Kelly’s solution is controversial. He says the state should not default on its core debt but should convert up to €65 billion worth of bank bond issues into bank equity.

Many analysts see this as far-fetched. Converting bank debt to equity might be impossible at Anglo and INBS, and unnecessary at AIB and Bank of Ireland. But it is right to consider radical proposals. The government is, after all, mortgaging our futures.

President Franklin Roosevelt’s first move after coming to power in the 1930s was to shut all the American banks for a fortnight and reopen them gradually over a two-year period. Against all advice from the economic establishment, he then used a minor piece of farming legislation to take the dollar off the gold standard and devalue the currency. His radicalism paid off.

But a dose of realism is in order too. Servicing the €50 billion bank bailout ( Now €70 Billion) won’t come cheap. Even if the National Treasury Management Agency
(NTMA) is lucky, this money will be borrowed at rates of close to 5%. The rate will be higher if sovereign debt markets continue to deteriorate.

And this bill comes on top of the government’s core borrowing requirement, which is just under €20 billion a year.

We cannot afford to hang around when it comes to debating this issue. Our debt to GDP ratio was 25% at the end of 2007. It hit 65% last year. Gross debt, as defined by Eurostat, will reach 89% by the end of 2011, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute.

Greece was able to float 10-year sovereign bonds at 5% as recently as January. By April, it was being asked for rates of up to 18% on two-year finance. Effectively, the big European banks shut the doors of global credit markets on Greece.

Greece did not default, but the only thing that saved it was a €110 billion EU rescue package, which in effect underwrites the orderly repayment of Greece’s loans from Commerzbank, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank and other lenders. The price came in the form of externally imposed austerity measures. Greece is bust in all but name.

Those who think any notion of renegotiating the terms of distressed Irish bank bonds are fanciful should consider the following: the two most eminent figures who suggested a pre-emptive negotiated debt restructuring by Greece (as a prelude to any rescue) were Paul Krugman, a 2008 Nobel prize-winner, and Nouriel Roubini, who is something of a prophet on Wall Street.

The latter claims that the Greek rescue money is in effect being wasted as it has not been preceded by debt restructuring.

Here in Ireland, we are attempting an even more astonishing task. We are running a country where tax income has collapsed from €48 billion a year to
€31 billion. The money value of our GNP is 25% below peak levels. We would normally be stimulating the economy, using Keynesian techniques. Instead, we have embarked on a massive austerity programme that remains to be completed.

We have cut the gross wages of public servants by 20%, while imposing additional taxes and levies on all workers. We have even cut social welfare. Yet we still run a bloated 14.2% deficit that is the highest in the eurozone and threatens to undermine our capacity to borrow money at reasonable rates. And yet nobody here talks about restructuring our debt.

A central and growing reason why we are in this vulnerable state is because we have socialised a maelstrom of unjustifiable and sometimes undocumented risks undertaken by the private banking sector. We take it as a given that the state should absorb the full cost of that risk and that the resultant “burden of adjustment” should be borne by public servants, welfare recipients, pensioners and businesses through local and national taxes and charges.

But while the gargantuan risks of private banks have now been fully socialised, the lesser risks of debt-laden citizens cannot be relieved by any public policy.

Suggestions that there should be a “Nama for little people” have been formally rejected in recent days by ministers. These same ministers have written a €2.7 billion cheque for the loan club operated by INBS. Patrick Honahan, the governor of the Central Bank, has described the Irish bank bailout as manageable. But is it tolerable?

PS: Alas Mary Harney, the minister for health, no longer has a political party to implement her finer ideas on economic policy. Outlining plans for a sell-off of VHI, Harney said it was not appropriate for the state to be simultaneously a participant in the health insurance sector and the regulator of that sector.

Shouldn’t the same philosophy then apply to airports, energy, broadcasting and — God forbid — banking. In broadcasting, the state is extracting a licence fee that acts as a direct state aid to one market participant RTE.

In electricity, we have price fixing by the regulator while the market share of ESB, one state firm, is being captured by Bord Gais, another state firm. The rates offered to depositors by subvented state banks far exceed the rates payable by truly private banks.

And if the ESB has been forced to cut its share of the electricity market, shouldn’t the same apply to the VHI? Sauce for the goose and all that.

Now fast forward to 2011 April and the situation is a lot worse

Ireland Cannot Afford To Pay Amounts Guaranteed

Default the Only option

Damien Kiebard in the Sunday Times Stated: “We are creating a debt crisis from which Ireland may never recover.” In his article of the 18th. April he proceeds to set out the total figures of Ireland’s real debt obligations. He points out that this data is not set out formally by the official economic body in the State (the ESRI) because it only focuses on published national debt liabilities. However the nature of the disastrous banks guarantee granted by Fianna Fail in Farmleigh in 2008 means that our debt obligations have in effect exploded. This is the main reason why Ireland Inc. is being shunned by foreign banks: our reliability rating have collapsed. When you read the schedule below you will realize why we are totally and utterly broke and until politicians address the fundamental issue of default all other talk is nonsense.

To summarise Mr. Kiebard’s findings on total “real debt” (in billions):

                                                                      Amount:               Cumulative:

1.       Ireland’s Foreign Borrowings:                   90                          90

2.       Borrowing over next 4 years:                      80                          170

3.       Bonds guaranteed to NAMA:                     40                          210

4.       Current /Future Bank Bailouts: *              50                          260

5.       Owed To Irish Central Bank: **                45                          305

6.       Owed to ECB: **                                         130                        435

Cost to service this debt at a rate of 5% =       20 Billion Euro Per Annum

Total Annual Taxes Collected In Ireland per Annum = 30 Billion Euro

Thus 66% of all our future taxes must be earmarked to fund our “real” debt exposure. This is the true picture of the Irish financial catastrophe.

* Based on the testimony of Mr. Alan Dukes, Chairman of Angle Irish Bank, To RTE live news January 2011.

** These funds were given to the Irish Banks to fund their “day to day” needs as cash being withdrawn could not be refunded on the open markets. Ultimately the Irish government is on the hook. When bonds are issued, to cover this liability, the interest on these financial instruments will be the responsibility of the Irish State (i.e. the Irish taxpayer).

Unless the government come to their senses and face reality Ireland hasn’t got the earnings ability to even pay the interest owed on these guaranteed sums, our country will continue to get sucked into a never-ending debt servicing quagmire that will enslave our people for generations to come

Face reality Ireland Cannot Afford To Pay Amounts Guaranteed: Default only option!

The EU and IMF are ‘deeply unimpressed’ with Irish public sector pay levels

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The EU and the IMF are reported to be ‘deeply unimpressed’ at the disparity with counterparts elsewhere.

The salary structures at NTMA remained a deep and profound secret since it was established 21 years ago until details were disclosed to the Public Accounts Committee on 7 January 2011 – after exhaustive probing. No less than six secretaries-general of the Department of Finance tolerated this secrecy despite it conflicting with their own

Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies.”

These revealed that:

  1. The chief executive of NTMA is paid a basic salary €490,000, with provision for a bonus of up to 80% of salary, bringing potential annual remuneration to €882,000 (51 times the Irish minimum wage). The incumbent and his predecessor is the beneficiary of non-standard enhanced pension arrangements.
  2. The chief executive of NAMA is paid €430,000 with provision for a bonus of up to 60% of salary bringing potential annual remuneration to €688,000 – (40 times the Irish minimum wage).
  3. The chief executive of NDFA is paid €330,000 with provision for a bonus of up to 60% of salary bringing potential annual remuneration to €528,000 (30 times the Irish minimum wage).
  4. No less than 16 individuals are being paid more than the Taoiseach now earns – €200,000+
  5. 103 of the 305 staff in NTMA and its offshoots are paid salaries over €100,000 so, from the perspective of the economically disadvantaged, NTMA is a goldmine that can function with clandestine opacity, immune to overall Government policy on public sector remuneration and completely insulated from trends endured by the majority of citizens.

The grading and pay rates of the  Civil Service Regulations Act 1956 may not apply to NTMA but the National Treasury Management Act 1990 does not confer any privileges with respect to secrecy or derogations from the norms of public accountability.

The salaries of chief executives of counterpart major national debt agencies in 2009, who were trawling for funding from the same sources as Ireland when our authorities raised €35 billion, were as follows:
  • The Chief Executive of the Australian Office of Financial Management was paid €250,000 and no bonus to raise debt amounting to €39 billion in 2009 – (remuneration 11 times the minimum wage in Canberra).
  • The Commissioner of Public Debt in the United States Bureau of Debt oversees of staff of almost 2,000 people and a departmental budget of €125 million. He was paid less than €120,000 in 2009.
    The Commissioner’s remuneration was 9 times the annualised minimum wage in Washington DC. No US Federal employee earns more than President Obama – €290,000 per annum.
  • The Chief Executive of the UK Debt Management Office raised debt of €267 billion in 2009 – over 7 times the debt level raised for Ireland that year. He was paid €188,000, equivalent to 38% of the basic salary of his Irish counterpart. He did not receive a bonus. The Chief Executives remuneration was 14 times the British minimum wage.

The salaries of the chief officers of those institutions providing the resources to bailout Ireland are:

President of the IMF €320,275;

President of the EU Commission €293,064;

President of the ECB €367,863;

Permanent Secretary of HM Treasury €207,000.

Is it any wonder they are ‘deeply unimpressed’?

source: http://crimson-observer.blogspot.com/2011/03/eu-and-imf-are-deeply-unimpressed-with.html


 To All the Wicklow TD’s.

As a citizen of this state who keeps hearing from the political masters of our state we are broke and thus justify the savage cuts is public services .I am applaud  to finally get hold of these shocking figures., to think that we the taxpayers are footing the bill for these monstrous salaries is just the last straw .There is absolutely no justification to pay out these vast sums to what is in effect public servants ,this is a blatant display of plunder of the nations scarce financial resources and I am calling on you now to publicly support me is condemning these lottery salaries.

I am calling on you to demand an immediate review on these salaries and bring them back down to that of their counterparts in Europe al the very least.

I recently had to visit a hospital and I was shocked at the lack of beds available to patients who had the indignity of having to wait on trolleys along the corridors. One woman was waiting 37 hours if she was your mother you would be in a state I can assure you!

We the taxpayers demand that these jobs for the boys and the wholesale plunder of the states diminishing finances be halted and again I call on you to declare you intention to stop this gravy train in it s tracks.       

Thomas Clarke

Growing dole queues expose fragility of Irish economy

Enda Kenny

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes you have to wonder if the rest of Europe understands the fragility of Ireland‘s economy.

Do the Germans and French not understand that there is a prospect of zero growth in the economy in the next three years and that forcing multinationals out of the country could finish Ireland off altogether?

Their constant attacks on Ireland’s low corporation tax rate have even got on the nerves of Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary, who has warned that any increase will jeopardise the country’s ability to pay off its debts.

Figures out on Tuesday showed a surprise rise in unemployment. Yet Ireland swiftly came under attack again for its low corporation tax of 12.5%, as if this was any part of a fix for the challenging times ahead.

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble said US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner had complained that too many American companies were investing in Ireland for tax purposes.

According to Arthur Beesley, the Irish Times’s Europe correspondent, Schäuble did not elaborate, but told reporters at an EU finance ministers’ meeting that Ireland’s 12.5% corporate tax rate “can’t stay like this”.

Solidarity was not a one-way street, he added. Referring to corporation tax, he said “if Ireland wants something additional from us, then we can raise that issue”.

But what he didn’t say was that Americans express gripes about Ireland’s tax regime for other reasons – their own regime is one of the most uncompetitive in the world.

This week the Tax Foundation found that America was soon going to have the highest corporation tax in the world, overtaking Japan with a headline rate of almost 40%.

But that too is irrelevant. Ireland is now, says one tax accountant familiar with multi-national tax structures, the “Delaware of Europe” because it enables companies to shuffle profits around a network of subsidiaries and reduce tax obligations as a result.

Ireland desperately needs the multinationals

As I said in a post earlier this week, multinationals don’t pay anything like 12.5% tax. Google, one of Ireland’s biggest employers, pays less than 3%.

Google has in effect reduced its corporate tax bill to 2.4%, saving $3.1bn (£2bn) in the past three years. It would have paid 35% in the US. The process is entirely legal and Google is far from alone in exploiting it: more than 400 multinationals are now established in Ireland.

But to lose any of them now would be a hammer blow to the Irish economy. They are responsible for about one third of the country’s corporate tax take and responsible for employing around 100,000 locals.

And Ireland desperately needs these jobs.

Any hope that the economy had stopped deteriorating was dashed on Tuesday with new figures showing unemployment in Ireland at 14.7% – the highest rate in 17 years.

The Quarterly National Household Survey figures are a dreadful reminder of the challenging times Ireland lives in – nobody expected the unemployment figures to rise beyond the 13.5% at the end of last year. If anything, the figures were expected to fall, taking into account emigration of about 1,000 people a week.

Young people are being hit hardest. The number of teenagers between 15 and 19 in work has fallen by almost 60% year-on-year while the number of employed in the 20- to 24-year-old age bracket fell by almost half.
The picture is worst for the long-term unemployed. For the first time, the number of those unemployed for more than a year was higher than the number of people who were out of work for less than a year.

Separate figures released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed that unemployment rate in Ireland is now the second highest in Europe, after Spain and ahead of Slovakia, Estonia and Greece. The UK incidentally is 12th, between Sweden and Denmark.

On Tuesday night former head of the National Treasury Management Agency, Michael Somers, painted a bleak picture of Ireland’s future. “The awful thing is there are figures out there that show no growth for the next three years … the problem is what happens after that.” Given the tax rises and pay cuts in last year’s budget, “you wonder how are we going to get out of this mess … we are in a downward spiral,” he told RTE.

The next two weeks will be critical for Ireland as Europe edges closer to finalising its plan for an expanded bailout fund.

For Enda Kenny, the bleaker the picture Somers paints of Ireland the better, as it all chimes with Fine Gael’s new mantra that the bailout as currently configured is “unsustainable”.

In other words, the closer we get to default, the stronger the chance of a renegotiation.

The IMF’s Ajai Chopra, who has returned to Dublin, will certainly get a flavour of the challenges ahead today when he is briefed on the bank stress tests. These are expected to show a further black hole in AIB.

Back in Europe, Ireland got some much-needed support on Tuesday from Luxembourg’s prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, who said he did not think a link should be made between the corporate tax rate and more lenient bailout terms.

“As the prime minister of Luxembourg, I don’t like this link between the corporation tax issue and the so-called Irish package,” he told the Irish Independent after a meeting in Brussels.

In a swipe at France and Germany he added: “Some governments obviously find some pleasure in torturing Ireland inside and outside [EU] meetings.

Any premier of Luxembourg, which operates on the most tax-friendly regimes in Europe, would say that. But right now Ireland will take comfort from wherever it can.


“nobody expected the unemployment figures to rise beyond the 13.5% at the end of last year. If anything, the figures were expected to fall, taking into account emigration of about 1,000 people a week. “
Not me I am living with unemployement every day and I am surprised that the figure is not above 20%

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