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Posts tagged ‘Trinity College Dublin’

Ivor Callely’s legal bill of more than €100,000

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By Dearbhail McDonald and Tim Healy

Tuesday February 01 2011

THE taxpayer is picking up Ivor Callely‘s legal bill of more than €100,000 — dwarfing the €81,000 travel expenses claim that led to his suspension from the Seanad.

Mr Callely, who mounted a successful High Court challenge to his 20-day suspension from the Seanad last year, has also been awarded almost €17,000 for loss of earnings.

The Seanad committee on members’ interests is preparing to appeal the High Court ruling to the Supreme Court.

But it agreed yesterday to compensate Mr Callely for his loss of earnings and to pay his legal costs, estimated at more than €100,000, for the five-day hearing. This figure does not include the State’s legal costs.

The High Court heard that snakes had been placed on the porch of the north Dublin politician’s home, such was the level of vitriol that descended on him in the wake of his expenses scandal.

His senior counsel Michael O’Higgins told the court that at his son’s graduation from Trinity College Dublin, Mr Callely had to leave early “such was the level of snide comments” to which he was subjected.

After securing the payout for docked wages, the senator claimed he had suffered an abuse of power.

“I don’t think we’ll ever see the likes of it happening again,” Mr Callely said. “I’m always supportive of people who have been unfairly treated by people in a position of power, who feel they can abuse that.

“I had to take extraordinary steps to deal with an extraordinary situation and I have been cleared 100pc and it’s brilliant.”

The High Court heard that Mr Callely suffered catastrophic consequences to his reputation as a result of a senate committee’s incorrect finding about his expenses claims.

The judge who found in his favour earlier this month also said yesterday there had been a “grievous and egregious” breach of his constitutional rights which did “untold damage” to him.

Mr O’Higgins told High Court judge Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill that Mr Callely’s reputation had further suffered at the hands of media outlets which felt “emboldened” by the finding of a Seanad committee that Mr Callely had misrepresented his place of residence as west Cork.

That finding was overturned on January 14 by Mr Justice O’Neill, who ruled Mr Callely was in compliance with the applicable definition of “normal place of residence” when he made his expenses claim. The committee and the Seanad had misdirected themselves, in law, on this definition, the judge said.

They had also breached fair procedures in failing to afford the senator a reasonable opportunity to defend himself on a charge of breach of political ethics, the judge found.

The case was back before Judge O’Neill yesterday to deal with costs and ancillary orders arising out of his judgment.

However, the court heard there was a dispute between lawyers for Mr Callely and the Seanad over whether he was entitled to damages.

Gobsmacked

Conleth Bradley, for the Seanad, said he was “gobsmacked” that such a claim was made now.

Mr O’Higgins said while his side was seeking payment for the 20 days Mr Callely had been suspended — totalling €16,948 — he was also asking the court to take into account the damage caused to his good name. Mr Justice O’Neill said the judicial review proceedings had not included a claim for damages and it was rare that they would.

Following talks, Mr Justice O’Neill was told an agreed order had been drawn up between the parties that the committee’s findings should be quashed and that he was entitled to be paid for the 20 days he had been suspended.

The judge agreed to put a stay on his order in relation to costs in the event of an appeal.

– Dearbhail McDonald and Tim Healy

Irish Independent

comment:

This is one of the reasons I am standing as an independent in the coming  General Election the current political system seems no to be able to cope with the obvious in built failures in the overly corrupt system. There seems to be one law for the political elite and one for the citizens.

This award is outrageous and the glee in this man’s face is a slap in the face to the ordinary citizens of Ireland. Unless we collective decide now that we want real change this kind of thing will only continue and we the taxpayers will only get squeezed still further.Its about time this house of elitists be shut down

The problem with Irish banks : is it solvency or liquidity or both?

 The problem with Irish banks : is it solvency or liquidity or both? Why does the Minister for Finance say “we would need some sort of external assistance to address the problems in the banking sector”

November 19, 2010 by namawinelake

Solvency or liquidity? It’s almost as if we’re back in September 2008 and that fateful meeting on Upper Merrion Street where the Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, was persuaded that the banks were confronting a liquidity crisis but that they were essentially solvent. Remember that liquidity refers to having cash on hand, so if you pop out for a sandwich at lunch today and forget your wallet, you could explain to the café that you have a liquidity problem but you’ll pay them at the end of the day. Liquidity means that you do have assets worth more than your liabilities – it’s just that you can’t lay your hands on the cash you need right away. Giving a loan to someone who has a liquidity problem is less risky than in the next scenario because if you need collect your loan the person has assets worth more than their liabilities.

As it turns out, the banks back in September 2008 had an insolvency problem (as well as a liquidity problem). Insolvency means your assets are worth less than your liabilities. Oddly enough you can be insolvent but still be liquid – so you go for your sandwich today and you pay for it without any problem but unfortunately you own a house that is in negative equity, so if you had to settle your mortgage today you would be bankrupt. But on the face of it the banks were solvent back in September 2008, their assets which included loans they had advanced to property developers were worth far more than their liabilities which included deposits from customers and money they owe to the bondholders. However that assessment was wrong – although the value of the deposits and bondholders was shown correctly in the banks’ accounts, tragically the value of the loans to developers were vastly overvalued and as we now know are worth less than 50c in the euro.

So the banks were insolvent back then and since September 2008, we (the citizenry of the State) have committed to pumping €46-52bn into the banks. We were told by our new-ish Financial Regulator and by our Minister for Finance, both as recently as 30th September, 2010 – 45 days ago –  that “today’s announcement brings full clarity to the costs and methods of recapitalising the banks”. As for the source of the funding of the €46bn – €11bn was to come from our pension reserve, €4bn in cash was borrowed in 2009 and pumped into Anglo and the remainder, €31bn, was to be pumped into the banks as promissory notes which would then be borrowed by the State over the next 15 years. That was the position on 30th September, 2010 – 45 days ago. It seemed sorted. What has changed?

(1) Have further losses been identified at the banks? If I understood Peter Mathews (independent Irish banking consultant that like a Cassandra has been shouting from the rooftops for the past two years that losses in Irish banks are far greater than officially recognized) correctly last night during his appearance on RTE’s Prime Time TV programme, he is now saying that losses in Irish banks (I guess he is talking about the six under the State guarantee – AIB, Anglo, BoI, EBS, Irish Life and Permanent and INBS) will be €91bn (€66bn for commercial losses and €25bn for losses on residential mortgages). I understand Trinity College Dublin professor, Constantin Gurdgiev to have been estimating losses at €70bn and last week economist Morgan Kelly seemed to be predicting losses of €70bn in Anglo, AIB and BoI alone (excluding INBS and EBS). The government/official forecast however appears to be around €50bn – I say “appears” because it is not always the case that like is being compared with like (some provisioning already exists for loans and some State funding might be recoupable and some profits might be made from discounting bondholder redemptions and from continuing operations). But the official line is in the €50bn zone and that is substantially different to these other three. Under normal conditions if you were to set the opinion of individuals outside the banks against the opinion of an army of bankers, accountants, auditors, financial regulation and central bank personnel you would expect the official line to be the better estimate except that during the past two years these individuals above have tended to be more accurate in their predictions which were substantially at odds with the official predictions. Are they right this time?

(2) If the problem is a liquidity problem, then why does the ECB not continue in its role of lender of last resort? It seems that, apart from the ECB, no-one wants to lend to Irish banks at reasonable rates at the moment and if I understood Pat Rabitte on the same Prime Time programme last night, he asserts that the Irish banks are paying (a bargain) 1.5% to the ECB for the present emergency assistance. And if rates demanded on the open market for lending to Irish banks is so elevated as to be impractical, then isn’t that a true “emergency” and shouldn’t the ECB be providing unlimited assistance? We signed up to the euro a decade ago and with that exchanged a large part of our autonomy with domestic monetary policy in return for (a) price stability and (b) a stonking great central bank in Frankfurt with €1tn reserves. As much as we would now like to abandon the euro and re-introduce our former currency, the Punt, that notion is dismissed for economic and political reasons. So we have this currency yoke around our necks and instead of inflating/devaluing or minting/printing our way to recovery we continue to struggle with a currency more befitting German and French needs. Fine, we accept that reality but why are we being deprived of one of the euro’s great advantages – the strength of the reserves in the ECB? If Irish banks need another €100bn of liquidity then why isn’t that forthcoming from the lender of last resort?

So what is the problem? Does the ECB believe that the losses in the banks have been understated and that more capital (solvency) is needed? Does the ECB believe that the statements given just 45 days ago are inaccurate? I must say that if this is the case, Ireland has the right to feel short-changed by the stress tests undertaken earlier this year and which were published at the end of July 2010 in respect of the two main “Irish” banks – Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland. In addition we have a new-ish €340,000 a year Financial Regulator that conducted what he terms a Prudential Capital Assessment Review and concluded just 45 days ago that given the €46-52bn of funding announced by the government, that our banks would meet (nay, exceed) international capital requirements. Our formidable Central Bank governor, Patrick Honohan also added his name to the estimates just 45 days ago. So unless the Financial Regulator, Central Bank Governor and EU Stress tests were all wrong then why is this not a liquidity problem which properly falls within the reserve of the ECB to resolve.

source http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/the-problem-with-irish-banks-is-it-solvency-or-liquidity-or-both-why-does-the-minister-for-finance-say-%e2%80%9cwe-would-need-some-sort-of-external-assistance-to-address-the-problems-in-the-banking/#comment-1728

Comment:

You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that the so called stress test was a con job, an attempt to con the markets into believing the Irish banks were solvent!

The fact are every figure Lenihan has utter since this crises begun were all wrong it seems that nobody in the Department of Finance can count at best or there was a deliberate attempt to defraud market participants trading in the shares of the banks and the taxpayers of this country

I believe the banks are insolvent and rightly the EU are concerned that Lenihan is not to be trusted .He has consistently lied to both the EU and the Irish public even up to two days ago telling us that there were no talks ongoing about an EU loan .There is no credibility with Him the Banks and even the EU

They all deserve each other but the unfortunate Irish Taxpayers are expected to pay up for the incompetence of the current government

What a shame!

The Firing of the New Central Bank Governor

The Firing of the New Central Bank Governor

The calling by the new central bank governor Mr. Paddy Honohan for a “nine eleven type commission investigation into the banking crisis” is totally unforgiveable and accordingly he should immediately stand down. His position is supposed to be politically neutral. This act by the governor is a sign as to how desperate the Central Bank’s position has become. As everyone knows the best form of defence is attack. If his ploy does not work he is finished.

Every astute financier knows that the responsibility for the disaster lies squarely in the court of the Central Bank. Their man ran the Financial Services Regulatory Authority. They allowed the Irish banks use the “originate to distribute” mortgage model (see article below: Note 1). They allowed Irish financial institutions to operate with no regard to realistic underlying property valuations. They allowed intra-banking loans, sometimes in the billions, to shift between golden directors without disclosure. This same “regulator” fines and closes down poor struggling insurance brokers, mortgage brokers and financial advisors for minor regulatory oversights. Mr. Honohan, a World Bank and Trinity College insider knows this and is thus no stranger to cynical hypocrisy.

However, not everybody knows that the Irish Central Bank, now part of the European Central Bank, is a privately owned franchise. The appointment of the Governor is “independent” of our Parliament. The process seems democratic but this PR stunt is a ruse. The Central Bank is beyond our National control under the present arrangement. This state of affairs should not be allowed continue. The World banking franchise, of which Ireland is a small branch, is also privately owned and is based in Switzerland. The Global brand of this private corporation is called the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). It was to BIS that Alan Greenspan was flying when the Twin Towers were hit on 11th. September 2001. Is this why, ironically, Honohan is calling for a 911 type enquiry?

A sovereign people have the natural right to issue sovereign currency and sovereign, interest free, credit. Argentina solved its “debt crisis” by walking away from its dollar debt obligations to Uncle Sam’s banks. This action destroyed private dollar institutional assets but saved a Nation and a people from ruin. It took great courage. Is it time the Irish government realised such courage and understood their true power options?

Paddy Honohan and his gang should be shown the door for a start. Control of the Central Bank and its regulatory responsibilities should be made sovereign again as it was in 1922 under the new Irish Republic. The people who caused the disaster cannot be trusted to steer the Nation towards a fair and equitable resolution. All should be changed, changed utterly.

Note 1.     (Published Article from the Internet, May 2009).

The “Sub-Prime” Crisis Understood:

The “Originate to Distribute” Basle

Banking Model Created the Banking Crisis

 

In an attempt to comprehend the current “credit crisis” I decided to try to investigate its underlying causes. To my dismay I discovered that the situation did not come about by accident but was actually conceived and planned by the International Banking Fraternity in Basel, Switzerland, in 1998.

The tsunami of credit that burst onto the scene after this “Basle Accord” helped save America from a 2001 recession, enabled it to fund a war, sleep walked Europeans, politically, into the Euro Zone and attempted to copper fasten the artificial state called the European Union. This crisis is no accident it was premeditated and internationally agreed.

If you don’t believe the pre-meditation involved please read the quote below from the Wall Street Journal, Nov. 27th. 2007:

“In 1998 the Basle Accord created the opportunity for regulatory arbitrage whereby banks could shift loans off their balance sheets. A new capital discipline that was designed to “improve” risk management led to a PARALLEL BANKING SYSTEM whose lack of transparency explains how the market started to seize up.

The “originate-to-distribute” model REDUCED THE INCENTIVE for banks to monitor the CREDIT QUALITY of the loans they pumped into collateralized-

loan-obligations and other structured vehicles, the rules failed to highlight contingent
credit risk……With Basle II, the question is just how the markets will evolve over the next 20 years…. as the new accord will require banks to hold LESS CAPITAL”.

American history has shown that many of its great leaders saw the danger in granting banking institutions too much power over the destiny of a nation. The Basle I Accord and now Basle II indicate just how fundamentally the International Banking Groups have lost their moral compass and altered old standard banking rules. Through sleight of hand i.e. “off balance sheet accounting” they allowed the financial structure of the world to become totally unstable and risk prone. If one was cynical one would actually come to believe that in 1998 future failure was built into the matrix; failure which only the strongest and the most astute could survive.

The end result will be systematic institutional deflation on a worldwide basis. Even though cash is being pumped into the major institutions the multiples of “off balance sheet” credit are now historic, thus the corporate inflation has already occurred. What we will now experience going forward is dept collapse and with it falling mortgage issuance and restrictive commercial funding. Here in Ireland business activity has almost come to a standstill and everybody is holding their breath wondering what the next crisis will be. The only saving grace is that things are not much better in Italy, Germany, France or Spain and is actually much worse in Scotland, (where the bank of Scotland failed) England and Greece. This crisis is truly global.

As institutional deflation (due to collapsing systematic credit) and social inflation (due to the panic demand and circulation of currency) spreads around the globe those who are left holding excess negotiable resources will be in a very powerful position to soak up value assets for pennies on the dollar. Regular folk will not be able to participate in this bonanza because for them the banking credit system will be closed with nothing to offer but foreclosure and frustration. The majority will in a defensive survival mode while the privileged few will be in full scale acquisitive attack. Such was the case in the last depression. How history is repeating itself. Those who instigated the “off balance sheet” travesty knew exactly what they were doing. My advice is if you cannot beat them join them. Friends go to cash and the physical money metals as soon as you can. Contract your business and life-style expenses. Network and co-operate within a real community for the exchange of goods and services that sustain authentic life. Communities should learn how to issue local based, bearer-negotiable, split-barter, exchangeinstruments of agreed value; otherwise known as money. (Most people do not fully understand that money, in essence, is a social contract based on human trust and mutual benefit). Educate yourself regarding Social Credit. This “crisis event” is going to get much worse before it gets better folks. There will be short periods of reprieve but the reality of the problem is so serious and fundamental that it will take years, maybe decades (as in Japan), to work through, even with a R.T.C. (B) type solution. But perhaps it is true that “every cloud has a silver lining” and that “every problem bears within it the seeds of a greater opportunity”. Maybe finally after ninety five years the good people of the United States will awake from their media induced trance and realise that too much power was usurped by an elite on the 22nd. December 1913 when the privately owner Federal Reserve Bank was illegally formed.

Peaceful, proactive and constructive community must reassert its primacy over immoral, selfish and destructive institutionalism.

I will end with a quote which I think is most relevant:

“Now I come to my last statement. I regret ending on what is, I suppose, such a pessimistic note– I’m not personally pessimistic. The final result will be that the American people will ultimately prefer communities. They will cop out or opt out of the system. Today everything is a bureaucratic structure, and brainwashed people who are not personalities are trained to fit into this bureaucratic structure and say it is a great life–although I would assume that many on their death beds must feel otherwise. The process of coping out will take a long time, but notice: we are already coping out of military service on a wholesale basis; we are already copping out of voting on a large scale basis. I heard an estimate tonight that the President will probably be chosen by forty percent of the people eligible to vote for the forth time in sixteen years. People are also copping out by refusing to pay any attention to newspapers or to what’s going on in the world, and by increasing emphasis on the growth of localism, what is happening in their own neighbourhoods.

Now I want to say good night. Do not be pessimistic. Life goes on; life is fun. And if a civilization crashes, it deserves to. When Rome fell, the Christian answer was, “Create our own communities.”

Prof Carroll Quigley

Third Oscar Iden Lecture

Georgetown University 1978


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