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Posts tagged ‘Thestory.ie’

Nationwide issues €4bn in bonds to itself

Nationwide issues €4bn in bonds to itself
In this section »
Lenihan says key bodies backed guarantee move
By
SIMON CARSWELL
IrishTimes.com

IRISH NATIONWIDE: IRISH NATIONWIDE has issued €4 billion of Government-guaranteed bonds effectively to itself. It can use the bonds to draw €4 billion in funding from the European Central bank to help tide it over a key refinancing period later this month.

The building society has €4 billion of debt covered under the original blanket Government guarantee maturing at the end of this month. The bonds will allow the building society to draw fresh funding from the ECB if necessary to repay this debt against a backdrop of heightened funding pressures across the guaranteed institutions.

A spokesman for the building society insisted Irish Nationwide had sufficient cash to repay €4 billion of guaranteed debt which must be repaid later this month.

He said the listing of the bonds was to “improve the liquidity of Irish Nationwide” ahead of the building society shrinking radically as a consequence of the transfer of €9 billion in loans – more than 80 per cent of its loan book – to the National Asset Management Agency and the receipt of Nama bonds to improve liquidity.

It is understood that Irish Nationwide will start drawing ECB funding using the bonds as short-term collateral this week and will refinance the debt with Nama bonds as they are issued before all loans are transferred by February.

In what was described as an unusual move by markets sources, Irish Nationwide has listed the bonds but not sold them to investors and they remain on the balance sheet of the building society.

The bonds were listed under the building society’s so-called “global medium-term note programme” with a maturity of six months.

The timing allows the society to use ECB funding now to tide Irish Nationwide over the end of the year when the extended Government blanket guarantee expires.

Michael Cummins, a director of fixed-income specialists Glas Securities, said it was unclear how Irish Nationwide would issue the bonds to draw ECB funding in order to repay debts maturing this month. However, retaining them on the building society’s balance sheet “would not be standard practice”, he said.

One bond analyst said he had never seen a funding transaction structured in such a way, describing it as “a type of micro-quantitative easing” – a means of allowing a central bank to print money to support an institution.

“You could say it is innovative in some respects – it gets them through the September 2010 refinancing,” said the analyst.

A spokeswoman for the Central Bank said it did not comment on loan facilities given to institutions.

“Where an asset class is eligible for ECB borrowings, the Central Bank will provide funding on behalf of the Eurosystem, in accordance with the rules and procedures agreed by the Eurosystem,” she said.

Comment :

This is sheer madness now this corrupt institution is placing bonds debts like confetti at a wedding
With all these billions sloshing around it should come as no surprise to anyone if a few hundred million “Go missing”
There are enough gangsters involved with this process, and we the taxpayers are heading for a big fall mark my words when billions are floating around like this you can be sure the crooks are not to far behind
Irish Nationwide should be shut down and the directors responsible for this disaster should be brought up on charges of fraud and not heading off into the sunset waded down with enormous pensions and bonus

Here is what The story.ie has to say Link http://thestory.ie/2010/09/08/banks-qe-themselves/

Banks QE themselves
Posted: 08 Sep 2010 03:03 AM PDT
It seems we have something of an answer as to how Irish banks expect to get through the €30bn funding cliff this month. In the Irish Times today:
IRISH NATIONWIDE has issued €4 billion of Government-guaranteed bonds effectively to itself. It can use the bonds to draw €4 billion in funding from the European Central to help tide it over a key refinancing period later this month.
The building society has €4 billion of debt covered under the original blanket Government guarantee maturing at the end of this month. The bonds will allow the building society to draw fresh funding from the ECB if necessary to repay this debt against a backdrop of heightened funding pressures across the guaranteed institutions.
So what does that mean? Irish Nationwide is issuing bonds (these ones) and then using the bonds as collateral to borrow from the ECB marginal lending facility (MLF), also known as the discount window.
This is not dissimilar from the practice we learned of last week where nationalised bank, Anglo Irish, is using promissory notes issued by the Government as part of recapitalisation (ostensibly long term), as collateral with our own Central Bank in order to fund itself (they dare not go to the ECB?), at a rate of 1:1. This appears to have gone relatively unnoticed, and is buried in Anglo’s interim report, referred to as the Special Master Repurchase Agreement, which comes on top of the Master Loan Repurchase Agreement.
Expect to see other Irish bank create fictitious money in order to fund themselves via the discount window.
It also seems that this type of transaction is nothing new. Back before the September 2008 crisis, it seems that Lehman Brothers were doing something similar. Per the FT back in April 2008:
It was rather elliptically suggested by Bloomberg (from a Morgan Stanley analysis) that Freedom’s notes had been used as collateral by Lehman in the Fed’s primary dealer credit facility. And that that was – in the main – the reason the CLO had been created and successfully closed.
But there’s some confusion. In this article, Bloomberg say Lehman sold the $2.2bn of senior notes in Freedom “in a private placement”, which can’t be true if they’re being used in repos with the Fed by Lehman. As for the equity tranche, it’s unrated, so the NY Fed won’t accept it as collateral.
The WSJ reports that only some of the senior notes may actually have been pledged to the Fed. The small amount was supposed to “test” what the Fed would accept.
Since the test seems to have gone well, can other banks be expected to jump on the CLO bandwagon? JP Morgan is understood to be doing just that – with rumours of senior notes of a recently closed CLO being pledged in the PCDF.
But even if Freedom, and other CLOs, were created with the express intent of pledging notes to get liquid collateral through the PCDF, so what?
And it wasn’t only in the US this was happening. In the UK these are referred to as ‘phantom securities’:
In the depths of the financial crisis, the Old Lady began expanding the bank collateral eligible for use at its various liquidity operations, and starting new ones up. Unsurprisingly, given market conditions at the time, banks flocked to make use of the facilities. In fact, they began creating things specifically for use at the BoE, which the Bank gave the attention-grabbing title of ‘phantom securities.’
Some day, we will eventually we will have to confront reality, and stop this merry-go-round of fiction.

Afghanistan : This War is wrong!

source  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/25/afghanistan-war-logs-military-leaks

http://thestory.ie/author/markcough/

The war logs reveal civilian killings by coalition forces, secret efforts to eliminate Taliban and al-Qaida leaders, and discuss the involvement of Iran and Pakistan in supporting insurgents. Photograph: Max Whittaker/Corbis

A huge cache of secret US military files today provides a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan, revealing how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents, Taliban attacks have soared and Nato commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency.

The disclosures come from more than 90,000 records of incidents and intelligence reports about the conflict obtained by the whistleblowers’ website Wikileaks in one of the biggest leaks in US military history. The files, which were made available to the Guardian, the New York Times and the German weekly Der Spiegel, give a blow-by-blow account of the fighting over the last six years, which has so far cost the lives of more than 320 British and more than 1,000 US troops.

Their publication comes amid mounting concern that Barack Obama’s “surge” strategy is failing and as coalition troops hunt for two US naval personnel captured by the Taliban south of Kabul on Friday.

The war logs also detail:

• How a secret “black” unit of special forces hunts down Taliban leaders for “kill or capture” without trial.

• How the US covered up evidence that the Taliban have acquired deadly surface-to-air missiles.

• How the coalition is increasingly using deadly Reaper drones to hunt and kill Taliban targets by remote control from a base in Nevada.

• How the Taliban have caused growing carnage with a massive escalation of their roadside bombing campaign, which has killed more than 2,000 civilians to date.

In a statement, the White House said the chaotic picture painted by the logs was the result of “under-resourcing” under Obama’s predecessor, saying: “It is important to note that the time period reflected in the documents is January 2004 to December 2009.”

The White House also criticised the publication of the files by Wikileaks: “We strongly condemn the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organisations, which puts the lives of the US and partner service members at risk and threatens our national security. Wikileaks made no effort to contact the US government about these documents, which may contain information that endanger the lives of Americans, our partners, and local populations who co-operate with us.”

The logs detail, in sometimes harrowing vignettes, the toll on civilians exacted by coalition forces: events termed “blue on white” in military jargon. The logs reveal 144 such incidents.

Some of these casualties come from the controversial air strikes that have led to Afghan government protests, but a large number of previously unknown incidents also appear to be the result of troops shooting unarmed drivers or motorcyclists out of a determination to protect themselves from suicide bombers.

At least 195 civilians are admitted to have been killed and 174 wounded in total, but this is likely to be an underestimate as many disputed incidents are omitted from the daily snapshots reported by troops on the ground and then collated, sometimes erratically, by military intelligence analysts.

Bloody errors at civilians’ expense, as recorded in the logs, include the day French troops strafed a bus full of children in 2008, wounding eight. A US patrol similarly machine-gunned a bus, wounding or killing 15 of its passengers, and in 2007 Polish troops mortared a village, killing a wedding party including a pregnant woman, in an apparent revenge attack.

Questionable shootings of civilians by UK troops also figure. The US compilers detail an unusual cluster of four British shootings in Kabul in the space of barely a month, in October/November 2007, culminating in the death of the son of an Afghan general. Of one shooting, they wrote: “Investigation controlled by the British. We are not able to get [sic] complete story.”

A second cluster of similar shootings, all involving Royal Marine commandos in Helmand province, took place in a six-month period at the end of 2008, according to the log entries. Asked by the Guardian about these allegations, the Ministry of Defence said: “We have been unable to corroborate these claims in the short time available and it would be inappropriate to speculate on specific cases without further verification of the alleged actions.”

Rachel Reid, who investigates civilian casualty incidents in Afghanistan for Human Rights Watch, said: “These files bring to light what’s been a consistent trend by US and Nato forces: the concealment of civilian casualties. Despite numerous tactical directives ordering transparent investigations when civilians are killed, there have been incidents I’ve investigated in recent months where this is still not happening.

Accountability is not just something you do when you are caught. It should be part of the way the US and Nato do business in Afghanistan every time they kill or harm civilians.” The reports, many of which the Guardian is publishing in full online, present an unvarnished and often compelling account of the reality of modern war.

Most of the material, though classified “secret” at the time, is no longer militarily sensitive. A small amount of information has been withheld from publication because it might endanger local informants or give away genuine military secrets. Wikileaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, obtained the material in circumstances he will not discuss, said it would redact harmful material before posting the bulk of the data on its “uncensorable” servers.

Wikileaks published in April this year a previously suppressed classified video of US Apache helicopters killing two Reuters cameramen on the streets of Baghdad, which gained international attention. A 22-year-old intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, was arrested in Iraq and charged with leaking the video, but not with leaking the latest material. The Pentagon’s criminal investigations department continues to try to trace the leaks and recently unsuccessfully asked Assange, he says, to meet them outside the US to help them. Assange allowed the Guardian to examine the logs at our request. No fee was involved and Wikileaks was not involved in the preparation of the Guardian’s articles.

Comment

This War is wrong!

Is it time to consider a war crimes tribunal against the leaders of the coalition forces?

“When the U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world catches cold.” 

For us here in Ireland this news from America is extremely important everything from Jobs, negative equity, Bank failures, credit availability and strikes.
Not so long ago, there was a saying “When the U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world catches cold.” The bad news is that America has pneumonia, so where does that leave us???
For us here in Ireland this is a flavour of what we are about to get, don’t believe the spin from the vested interests and government cronies
The news media here in Ireland is controlled by the government and they have their lackeys well placed throughout the country
Keep yourselves informed by looking and searching for the real facts and figures.
Here are some useful blogs that have good information streams
http://inflation.us/videos.html
http://www.namawinelake.wordpress.com/author/namawinelake/
http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/
http://www.irishpeopleunion.com
http://www.publicinquiry.eu/
http://www.thestory.ie/
http://www.southofdub.blogspot.com/
http://www.irelandafternama.wordpress.com/
http://www.irisheconomy.ie/
http://www.trueeconomics.blogspot.com/

http://www.ted.com/

http://www.kildarestreet.com/ 

http://www.irishleftreview.org/ 

http://www.eirigi.org/

http://www.wsm.ie/

Local Councilors attending Conferences and their expenses

This blog post by a former county councillor, Donal Corcoran, has caused quite a kerfuffle over the last few days in Kildare.

source http://thestory.ie/2010/01/15/kildare-kerfuffle-reflected-nationally/
It details what conferences Kildare County Council was charged for by councillors for tickets to over the last year. Yes, that last sentence appears terribly structured but it’s that way for good reason; it appears county councillors didn’t attend all the conferences for which the claimed the cost of tickets.

To get this straight; councillors didn’t attend conferences for which they requested the council pay for tickets. It doesn’t seem to be them over-claiming on their own expenses, instead they seem to be wasting money by not turning up at conferences which the council paid for them to attend. Complicated sentence structures all ’round but I hope you get my drift.

The Leinster Leader and Kildare FM have followed up the story – Leinster Leader without attributing it to the original source unfortunately (“as seen by this paper” tut tut, what’s wrong with crediting blogs, lads?) – you can get their coverage here and here. (Kildare FM credited the story to Leinster Leader). Jim at Primal Sneeze gave me a heads-up on it earlier in the week, you can read his feelings on the matter at this link.

Strangely, some of Kildare’s reps claimed for attending days like “Maximising Your Vote” and “Get Elected: You the Media”. These seminars appear to be geared towards improving an individual’s personal political potential, not their abilities or understanding of the issues they’re elected by the people of Kildare to cover. They really should be paying for these events out of their own pockets, not yours and mine, right?

Maybe a few of the regional and local journalists and bloggers who read this website will consider contacting their own local authority and ask for similar information. It may available on request without submitting an FOI. We could do with a better picture of what type of seminars councillors are attending in the name of improving the standard of local governance. At the moment I suspect widespread junketeering.

I’d also be interested in hearing from conference organizers, surely councilors don’t turn up at conferences that might be on a Friday, sign-in, stay until lunch and disappear? They’d never do that, especially not conferences held far enough away from their area that they’d have to claim an overnight allowance, surely not?

I will be investigating our wicklow councilors in the next few days and hope to post my results next week lads!

Machholz

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