What is truth?

Posts tagged ‘wicklow towns community blog’

festive spirit we certenly have the weather!

What a change in 15 hours we are now totally snowed in here in Wicklow and in the outer estates all you can do is to walk everywhere, forget trying to drive out you will never get back in.

Might as well take down the Christmas decorations and start putting them up and get into the festive spirit !  

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Wicklow Town’s latest traffic management and road resurfacing works

Wicklow Town’s latest traffic management and road resurfacing works are ongoing and the question now is will they be finished before they run out of money?
see video link http://www.vimeo.com/17153765

Marlton Road

The completion of the pedestrian footpath along the Marlton road is a very welcome development and looks like it will be completed shortly
see video link http://vimeo.com/17154668

The crisis comes to pass

Posted: By Gavin Sheridan

of  www.thestory.ie 

We have warned time and time again that Ireland was facing a massive fiscal crisis, both on here and on Twitter. We took a look back through the archives to see what we might have called right over the last number of months:
September 11, 2009: ‘A floor in the market’
We questioned just how much nonsense Finance Minister Brian Lenihan spoke in September 2009, where he argued that Ireland had neared the floor in the housing market. Of course, NAMA set its floor in November 2009, and prices have fallen ever since – leading to yet more losses for the taxpayer. We quoted him:
“If a flood of property is dumped on the market, it will be utterly unsustainable. That is one of the reasons we must establish NAMA and try to establish a floor in the market. We are very near it on the basis of the figures and data we have about the yield from property. The yield is at an all time high relative to the assets, which is a clear objective economic indicator that we are approaching the trough. We must banish our devils, the suggestion that we have further to go. That is part of the problem and the reason for the illiquidity in the housing market.”
There is no doubt that everything said there was a fiction, and it was patently obvious at the time.
December 24, 2009: Morgan Kelly on how we got here
Morgan Kelly published a paper at Christmas 2009, in which he outlined the looming bank crisis and the coming massive mortgage crisis. It was universally ignored. We highlighted it at the time:
I can’t really add much to Mr Kelly’s excellent analysis. What it says to me is that the next 12 to 18 months are going to be among the most difficult, if not the most difficult, time this country has faced. I encourage everyone to read the entire document.
I will emphasise his conclusion:
Despite having pushed the Irish state close to, and quite possibly beyond, the limits ofits fiscal capacity with the NAMA scheme, the Irish banks remain as zombies whose only priority is to reduce their debt, and who face complete destruction from mortgage losses. The issue therefore is not whether the Irish bank bailout will restore the Irish banks sothat they can function as independent commercial entities: it cannot. Rather it is whether the Irish government’s commitments to bank bond holders when added to its existing spend-ing commitments, will overwhelm the fiscal capacity of the Irish state, forcing outside entities such as the IMF and EU to intervene and impose a resolution on the Irish banking system.
February 4, 2010: The Coming Crisis?
It might be news to some people, but the purchasing of Irish bonds by Irish banks was highlighted a long time ago. We highlighted along with many others that Irish banks were buying Irish sovereign bonds and using them as collateral at the ECB. We also emphasised that Ireland was in as worse, if not a worse state than Greece – just that the markets had yet to pay attention to Ireland:
If you thought all of the problems had been sorted, then think again. There are really big problems coming down the road, and very few people seem to be talking about them. So let’s look a little closer at the potential fiscal problems Ireland, and our banks, face.
Everyone is talking about Greece right now, but to me Ireland is no different. It is probably worse. So with these deadlines looming, what is happening? Over the past number of weeks you might have noticed various headlines to do with NAMA delays. Why is this important? Could it be that unless the banks can transfer these junk ‘assets’ from their books, they could face funding difficulties on non-ECB markets?
I could well be wrong, or even cynical, but my feeling is that banks are desperate to get this stuff off their books, in order to be better able to fund themselves after the ECB shuts the discount window. If they don’t get them off their books, and onto the backs of the taxpayer, the banks could simply end up going to the wall, or simply being nationalised.
If you’ve read Morgan Kelly’s excellent analysis of the Irish credit bubble you will be aware of the Irish banking system’s over reliance on international money markets for funding. When the financial crisis hit in September 2008, these money markets froze and Irish banks struggled to get day to day funding. This is what ultimately led to the bank guarantee, and to the opening of what’s called the ECB discount window.
Banks all over Europe were struggling with funding, so the ECB essentially enacted emergency measures to help fund the banks. Irish banks were one of the biggest beneficiaries of the discount (the interest rate charged by the ECB is sometimes called the discount or repo rate). Ireland’s banks have effectively been kept on life support by the ECB since 2008, as McWilliams also noted last year. Essentially Irish banks were buying NTMA-issued sovereign bonds with short-term lending, presenting that as collateral to the ECB and then borrowing cheaply from the ECB. Summed up here – 25% of our deficit in most of 2009 was indirectly funded by the ECB.
When you combine the shutting of the discount window, with the delays in NAMA transfers and ultimately our own State borrowing (indeed we have already borrowed €6.5bn so far this year – 33% of our bond issuance for this year was done in January) and with the likely writedowns of not 30% but 50% on the loanbooks, we are facing a serious crisis. And of course the other factor is the ECB raising interest rates at a time we need them to stay low.
My questions is this: how are we going to pay for all of this?
February 22, 2010: Delay and Pray
This actually sums up how the Irish banks, especially Anglo, have been dealing with our property developers. Rolling over interest, not writing down the loans, not crystalising the losses, doing repayment deals with developers – to drag it out – extending and pretending.
Here it is in a nutshell: NAMA is one massive “Delay and Pray”.
Given that our banks are insolvent, that they are facing massive liquidity issues with the imminent closure of the ECB discount window, they cannot keep the pretence of extending and pretending up forever – and NAMA is, or was supposed to be, the answer to their prayers. You could also argue that Bank of Ireland recently changing its fiscal year was part of this tactic.
The Government would take the crappy loans from the banks (rather a lot), and through some financial voodoo, the losses would still not be crystalised, and rather ingeniously – the debt would not appear as sovereign debt for Ireland, or as debt for the banks, but would instead be dumped into this NAMA bad bank.
And NAMA has one sole purpose – keep the pretence going that someday, somehow, the value of the underlying assets will return to peak prices. Delay and pray. Do not write down the loans. Do not accept the reality of the losses. Do not pass go.
Not only is it unlikely that this will happen, it is almost impossible. Morgan Kelly wrote in December that it could take 50 years for the underlying assets to return to 2006 prices. Last week, in the High Court, we saw development lands being written down by 60% to 98% (in terms of valuation, not borrowing). These figures are the reality of the lands that NAMA is taking charge of. And we are overpaying already. How long do you think it will take rezoned agricultural land bought for €13m at peak, revalued at €600,000 in 2010, to return to €13m? The answer is: it won’t. So much land was rezoned that there is no necessity for rezoning for a further 70 years in many counties. Add to that the 300,000 vacant properties. Add to that little demand. Add to that zombie banks unable or unwilling to lend.
This is the reality of NAMA. Delay and pray.
It logically follows that where the banks lent money with no obvious collateral to back the loan, and where the supposed value of derivative is now zero, the bank sustains a massive capital loss.
However the banks are simply delaying and praying until NAMA takes over the loans, and then NAMA continues the praying.
We are in for one hell of a fiscal mess.
If you hear spin that no one saw this coming, don’t listen. There were plenty of commentators and plenty of warning signs. Unfortunately many people chose not to listen.

Comment:

I too have been warning about this now for the last 20 months and it is  with great sadness that I now see come to pass, my worst fears although I believed we would have been past the worst by now the establishment of the greatest fraud in Irish history (NAMA) has in fact help postpone the worst effects of the now oncoming second phase of this financial disaster yet to be faced by Irish people.

The Current economic terrorists in the Department of Finance have successfully placed private debts of a Golden Circle on to the hard pressed shoulders of the Irish people and they have helped these same gangsters whisk away their ill-gotten gains all across the world .They have also compensated some of them by promising to pay them a salary of up to 200,000:00 Euros a year .This is sheer madness!

Why is nobody doing anything about this crazy stuff? Anywhere else in the world these gangsters would be in jail!

We the Irish people have seen out rights enshrined in the Constitution trampled all over because of political expediency, we have been lied to and robbed by people whose job was to protect the and uphold the constitutional rights of all the citizens of Ireland. Instead they have blatantly placed the financial welfare of a select few above the welfare of the nation and are in the truest sense traitors

They have betrayed the trust of people of Ireland and must be removed from office

A general election is desperately needed now and only candidates that promise to bring these traitors to justice should be voted into office.

Sadly the established political parties are remaining quite on this particular point and there are no calls coming from them to prosecute their colleagues in the Dail

Last night on Front line Pat Rabbet hinted that he would consider going into power with the Green Party

These are the same gutless gangsters that have sold out on every one of their own core values just to stay in power with the current government. Let this be a reminder why we need to have a complete change in the political system unfortunately none of the established political parties want to bring about this change, as it would be akin to asking Turkeys to vote for Christmas they are part of the dysfunctional political system we are saddled with and cant wait to get their hands on the lucrative perks and pensions heading there way by default  .

He could be talking about Ireland

I agree we need to be concentrating of  industrious business ,why can’t I but Irish made shirts, shoes, Irish made bicycles, for god sake Irish made anything?

75% of our business here in Ireland is services, and we are now been forced to become debt servicing junkies by Cowen and his cronies.  

Unless we get up off our collective backsides we will be forced to vote in twiddle dummer when we get rid of twiddle Dee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kja5aCYuocU&feature=player_embedded

Is it time to let AIB go?

Allied Irish Banks' crest

Image via Wikipedia

Is it time to let AIB go?

namawinelake | November 2, 2010 at 11:51 am | Categories: Irish economy, NAMA | URL: http://wp.me/pNlCf-Kw

It sounds like the kind of decision a family around the death bed of a loved one faces. Though perhaps the comparison isn’t in the best taste, the reality is that the venerable 185-year old bank is facing insolvency and it is only the dogmatic government strategy of maintaining a duopoly of “Irish” banks not to mention over €10bn of public funds and significant ECB funds that is keeping the bank afloat. This entry examines the status of AIB and the cost of keeping it alive.

Firstly for our international friends, AIB is Allied Irish Banks PLC – note the plural “Banks”. It has nothing to do with the biggest failure in Irish corporate history, Anglo Irish Bank which is referred to domestically simply as “Anglo”. AIB was conceived in 1825 with the opening of a bank called Provincial Bank and over the next century and a half merged with other domestic banks to give us the Allied Irish Banks that we know today. Alongside Bank of Ireland it is seen as the rock of Irish banking.

During the property boom in the 2000s the bank was a late participant in the mania but there is evidence that once it arrived at the party it wasted no time in trying to catch up with the existing party-goers. The Minister for Finance estimates that the bank’s remaining NAMA loans are worth 40c in the euro (including long term economic value).

Its most recent set of accounts for the first six months of 2010 show that the bank had assets of €169bn, liabilities of €160bn and capital of €9bn. So it is a huge business in an Irish context but clearly solvent by reference to these results. Unfortunately the results don’t reflect the true condition of the loan assets. The cumulative provision for losses on NAMA loans in the interim results was 26% – that is, the loans were worth 74c in the euro. The most recent ministerial estimate is 40c in the euro. This should result in a further loss to AIB of €5.5bn. But NAMA loans form a small part of AIB’s total loanbook and the company will have some €81bn of non-NAMA loans (plus €4.5bn of €5-20m formerly NAMA loans) once NAMA has absorbed the poison. The cumulative provision on these loans in June 2010 was just €3bn (note 22 on page 83). Given that these loans include commercial property and business lending in a state which has suffered the greatest contraction in GDP amongst developed countries in modern times, I would suggest that provision is utter fantasy.

Like some shady cash-in-hand sole trader, AIB maintain a second set of books under the auspices of the Financial Regulator who in March this year set out the capital requirements for AIB and other banks (the Prudential Capital Assessment Review). In September using this second set of books, the Regulator announced that AIB needed raise €10.4bn by the end of this year. AIB’s strategy was to dispose of some assets and then to raise additional equity underwritten by the State. There is a detailed entry on these capital raising efforts here but in summary the bank disposed of its Polish operation (still subject to approvals) which yielded €2.5bn capital from the €3.1bn sale price and yesterday AIB held an EGM in which shareholders approved the sale of the bank’s stake in US bank M&T which should add €0.9bn to the capital coffers. The bank announced yesterday that it was placing the sale of the UK operation on hold (though there appears to be some back-pedalling on these comments this morning). Unless there is some dynamic between the UK sale and capital that means that the bank still needs €7bn in new capital in the next 60 days. And there is only sucker with that level of available funding that is willing to invest in what is likely to be an insolvent bank, and that’s the government who seem intent on placing just under one half of our National Pension Reserve Fund (that’s the €3.5bn invested in preference shares last year and the €7bn now needed as a proportion of the €24bn funds in the NPRF) in one basket (case) – AIB.

The government strategy seems chauvinistic (“we need a duopoly of Irish banks”), knee-jerked, immoral (not a word you’ll often see on here but taking money from the pension fund to prop up an insolvent bank is flagitious when there are other options to protect a functioning banking system), recklessly risky (one half of the pension fund is “invested” in one company in one sector). AIB should be taken into 100% state ownership immediately, the State should assess the value of any shareholdings in AIB (I expect they are worth nothing), negotiate with the €4bn+ of junior bondholders the company had at June 2010 and assess if senior bondholders might make a contribution to the insolvent bank. Only then should the State assess the systemic importance of AIB and should probably seek a buyer for the rump of that company. Even if the state is left with only one Irish bank so what? We have a Financial Regulator with 520 staff that should be able to regulate a restricted market to combat uncompetitive practices and when the Irish economy recovers other banks may see prospects here.

If on the other hand, we maintain the pretence that AIB is a viable bank then €7bn will need be found in the next 60 days. At the very best we are set to lose €1.8bn if we continue with the madness of the NPRF underwriting a share issue at €0.50 per share when the shares are presently trading at €0.35. With the healthiest Irish bank, Bank of Ireland, having to borrow 3-year funds at 5.875% last week (excluding costs) in a market where mortgages and commercial lending is still available at 3%, the prospects for profitability at AIB are slim in the context of the NPRF’s investment strategy which allows it invest in any market across the globe.

It is time to say our goodbyes and pull the plug.

source http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/is-it-time-to-let-aib-go/

Comment:

Unfortunately this government is hell bent on holding on to this once trophy bank along with the top notch gangsters and X Politicians at the helm who will not vote themselves out of this sought after gig

Since the Minister of Finance himself says that the still remaindering loans are only worth 40c in the euro this alone tells me that the bank is gone beyond repair, as every one of his pronouncements on figures have been totally out.  I expect that you wouldn’t even get 10 cent on the euro The cost is irrelevant as the down trodden taxpayers are going to pay up.This Bank is dead and powering billions into it is tantamount to treason.

Shut this toxic toilet down now and save us the poor taxpayers a little bit of pain!

Thomas

Residents movement for political change

Is NAMA facing another cash-flow crisis?

 Is NAMA facing another cash-flow crisis? And where is that second quarter NAMA report that was due nearly a month ago?
namawinelake | October 25, 2010 at 10:56 am | Categories: NAMA | URL: http://wp.me/pNlCf-IJ

It came as a surprise to many that in May 2010, NAMA needed a €250m “working capital advance” repayable in October 2010. A surprise because NAMA already had €100m of capital (€51m from the “independent” private sector and €49m from the State) and also NAMA had taken over €16bn of loans and at least a third were supposed to be performing. Anyway, a €250m advance was provided by the Minister for Finance and was revealed in the Dail a day before it was disclosed in the May 2010 Exchequer statement. Today NAMA has less than a week to repay the €250m. This entry examines the likelihood of that happening, the probability of another bail-out (or “working capital buffer advance” in the language of Upper Merrion Street). The entry again asks about NAMA’s quarterly report and accounts which was due by the end of September 2010 (relating to the second quarter to 30th June 2010) – why is there a delay and is the delay due to the consideration of any excision from the report?
I believe NAMA is facing a liquidity crisis – remember that term from the banking crisis? It’s supposed to refer to a situation where NAMA is due cash (either in interest or capital or from its euro paper programme) but can’t actually lay its hands on the readies, and meanwhile there are developers pleading for working capital and indeed salaries around the €200k per annum mark if you believe some of yesterday’s newspaper reporting. The reasons I believe NAMA is facing a liquidity crisis are as follows:
(1) Although the NAMA Act allows NAMA to raise up to €5bn in lending to assist with working capital needs and in particular to help with finishing out projects, NAMA only initiated the programme to raise some of this money at the start of September 2010. At the time NAMA confirmed that it intended issuing €2.5bn of short-term debt and that the debt would be State-guaranteed.  Four weeks later the government announced its withdrawal from the bond markets until 2011 citing ridiculously high interest rates. Where does that leave NAMA with its State-guaranteed paper? There has not been any update to the programme by NAMA since the start of September 2010. Has it been abandoned?
(2) NAMA unexpectedly received €250m as a “working capital buffer advance” in May 2010. This advance was to be recoupable in October 2010. The advance was not signposted at all in the Dail and was only revealed at the start of June 2010 when Deputy Richard Bruton asked a question about NAMA’s funding (as it happened the next day the May 2010 Exchequer statement revealed the existence of the advance).
(3) Although we don’t yet have the second quarter NAMA report and accounts we do know that the proportion of performing loans has reduced from 40% in the draft Business Plan to 33% in April 2010 to 25% in June 2010. Has the situation since improved? What exactly is a performing loan and does it denote loans which might have roll-up interest provisions? If we had the Q2 accounts we might be able to surmise the cash flow from “performing loans”. Alas we don’t. It was supposed to have been delivered by NAMA to the Department of Finance by 30th September, 2010. Remember it relates to the second quarter ending 30th June, 2010 so it’s not as if NAMA had to rush to produce the information – it had 90 days. Has NAMA produced the report and accounts and if so, why is the Department of Finance sitting on it? We have learned to be very cautious when we get broadbrush statements from the DoF in recent times – “turning the corner”, “broadly in line with expectations”, the god of all gods “international confidence”. I wouldn’t be surprised if the DoF were to say they were too busy with dealing with the budget deficit, the consequences of the banking bailout announcements in September or indeed contingency planning for IMF/EU intervention. But still, are they unable to release a report and accounts which after all should have been produced by professionals in NAMA.
(4) The Independent reports that some six of the first ten developer business plans have been approved by NAMA and that each makes a call on NAMA for additional funding. The Independent also reported some weeks ago that NAMA had spent €40m in the second quarter on “working capital advances”. The Top 10 developers reportedly asked for €1.5bn in advance funding.
(5) NAMA needed to pay the first tranche of interest on NAMA bonds in September 2010. Back of the envelope calculations on here suggest the payment will have been close to €30m.
(6) Three weeks ago in the Dail, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan said that NAMA would spend €215m on professional fees in 2011. He didn’t give numbers for 2010. But it would not be improbable that NAMA has spent €100m+ in quarters two and three.
(7) Although Brendan McDonagh said that NAMA was at an advanced stage with disposing of €500m of property in September, 2010 there has not been any official announcement of any sale. There was confusion in September 2010 about whether NAMA intended the €500m to relate to the sale of loans or of real property (if the latter then the sale would have been by developers under the auspices of NAMA as NAMA has not yet foreclosed on any property, with a potential exception of Paddy Shovlin and the Fitzpatrick brothers’ property securing loans from Bank of Ireland). There has been speculation that NAMA is close to overseeing the sale of property in London and Ireland. On Friday last the FT reported that a sale of a GBP 11m property in the UK might have been agreed by NAMA. And one of the NAMA putative Top 30 Tom McFeely and Larry O’Mahony are said to be the owners of the 30 flats in Mulhuddart (with Martin Ferris acting as receiver) which have been on the market for some time and which HT Meagher O’Reilly said last week had been sold for €1.9m. NAMA hasn’t made any announcements and the sale of the Mulhuddart flats may take some time to complete.
Add these together and it seems probable that NAMA will be unable not only to make the €250m repayment to the Exchequer in October 2010 but may require an additional advance. If we had the overdue report and accounts, we might be able to estimate the probability. No Opposition politician has raised the issue of overdue accounts in the Dail. There are other more pressing economic issues of course but the quarterly report and accounts will be one of the few ways in which NAMA makes itself modestly transparent. If NAMA does require another advance and fails to make the repayment of the €250m May 2010 advance, then some might ask whether in addition to a liquidity crisis, NAMA is suffering from a solvency crisis (that is where its debts represented by its NAMA bonds exceed the value of the assets it has taken over). source http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/is-nama-facing-another-cash-flow-crisis-and-where-is-that-second-quarter-nama-report-that-was-due-nearly-a-month-ago/

Comment:

This is one big black hole and the vested interests have themselves well placed with huge salaries and pension entitlements thanks to Brian Lenihan and his cronies.

We the taxpayers will have to keep pouring  billions into this toxic dump until sanity prevails and we in the middle ground at long last make the politicians live according to the same criteria we have to live ourselves  we need people with responsibility and accountability. This madness must be brought to an end for the sake of our own financial well being!

If we want to hold on to our homes we must bring sanity back to the countries fiscal objectives  .

The Poor can’t pay

These two Videos were sent to me to -day and are a powerful reminder of the real tragedy that so many of our people are going through as a result of the current economic crises

We must make sure that the venerable are not made the scapegoats for the mishandling of the economy by the political elite of this country  .

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