A bird's eye view of the vineyard
Z for Zorro Tue Aug 09, 2022 17:01 | The Saker
By Batiushka for the Saker blog Introduction: European Z The collapse of the EU has never been a question of ?if?, only of ?when?. The decomposition of the Brussels Yoke
The Global Debt Scam ? Day of Reckoning? Tue Aug 09, 2022 16:52 | The Saker
By Marwan Salamah for the Saker Blog As the advanced economies appear to be stumbling inadvertently into stagflation and possibly worse, diversionary media tactics are rapidly being deployed. Voices are
Open letter to Amnesty International Secretary General Callamard Mon Aug 08, 2022 20:02 | The Saker
by Faina Savenkova for the Saker blog Good afternoon, Ms Callamard! My name is Faina Savenkova. I am 13 years old and I live in Donbass. I have been a
Chinese History of Science and technology: The rediscovery of the Chinese history of science Mon Aug 08, 2022 19:45 | The Saker
by Jean-Pierre Voiret for the Saker Blog The history of Chinese science and technology is particularly interesting because it is so different from the history of Western science and technology.
Austrian Barbarians Go Home! Mon Aug 08, 2022 18:34 | The Saker
By Batiushka for The Saker blog (With apologies to the peoples of Austria and France) As we write, the wicked Austrian terrorist State under its manic leader Putzin continues its
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Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005
Formal complaint against Robert Watt Anthony
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Irish Examiner and fake news Anthony
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Public Inquiry >>
A Blog About Human Rights
UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights
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Human Rights in Ireland >>
Judges Are Having Their Wings Clipped and Progressive Activists Only Have Themselves to Blame Tue Aug 09, 2022 15:16 | Dr David McGrogan
The result of deploying judicial review as a weapon of political struggle, as has happened in recent decades, was always going to be that the courts would end up having their wings clipped.
The post Judges Are Having Their Wings Clipped and Progressive Activists Only Have Themselves to Blame appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
Met Office Must Answer Growing Doubts About Rising U.K. and Global Temperature Claims Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:49 | Chris Morrison
Further doubts are being raised about the scale of global warming claimed by the U.K. Met Office, following publication of a damning report into U.S. weather stations which found 96% were corrupted by urban heat.
The post Met Office Must Answer Growing Doubts About Rising U.K. and Global Temperature Claims appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
Are There Any Conservatives Left at Harvard? Tue Aug 09, 2022 09:15 | Noah Carl
A recent survey found that 82% of Harvard faculty identify as liberal, and only 1.5% identify as conservative. The survey is consistent with similar surveys from previous years and vast amounts of other data.
The post Are There Any Conservatives Left at Harvard? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
NHS Sending Police Officers to Heart Attack Callouts Due to High Demand and Paramedic Shortages Tue Aug 09, 2022 07:00 | Will Jones
Police officers in England and Wales are spending up to a third of their time on non-policing matters, including assisting heart attack patients due to high demand and an overstretched ambulance service.
The post NHS Sending Police Officers to Heart Attack Callouts Due to High Demand and Paramedic Shortages appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
News Round-Up Tue Aug 09, 2022 00:04 | Will Jones
A summary of all the most interesting stories that have appeared about politicians? efforts to control the virus ? and other acts of hubris and folly ? not just in Britain, but around the world.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
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NAMA Has Been a Dream Come True for Many US Vulture Funds...
Monday July 20, 2015 21:27 by postman
Mick Wallace Dail Diary for 10th July
The controversy over NAMA's sale of the Nothern Ireland loan portfolio, Project Eagle, has not gone away. It suited the Government just fine when the PAC said they would bring NAMA before the committee. - It also suited NAMA, whose polished performance was always going to give them some breathing space, given that the PAC, - no disrespect to any of it's members - just doesn't have the wherewithal to hold them to account. Here is a part of my piece on the workings of NAMA from last Tuesday, when we were debating a Housing Bill . -
"Aside from what seem to be a lot of spurious deals where it appears the taxpayer could have fared a great deal better, NAMA is actually boasting that it will make approximately €1 billion in profit over the six to eight year period. That still leaves the taxpayer about €40 billion short. Given that the market has been rising for a while, it is outrageous that more was not realised.
The point the Deputy made about the social dividend and NAMA's failure to provide it is a frightening one. What is really uncomfortable is the fact that we have a serious level of inconsistency in how NAMA has done its business. Sometimes it applies its rules rigidly and sometimes it does not. A simple example is that of the Dublin GAA trying to get hold of the Spawell but failing to do so. It beggars belief that a sporting organisation in Ireland would not have been facilitated and given a little bit of an extra chance. It is not like the GAA was going to make money on it. It intended to provide a social outlet for young people and should have been helped by NAMA. NAMA will argue that it is under an obligation to maximise the potential of the asset for the taxpayer. When it makes that argument, I would like NAMA to explain its approach when a bidder went to buy not the loans but the debt of the Chicago Spire, which was at $78 million plus costs which brought it to approximately $93 million. An investor sought to buy the debt, and this was every penny that was owed to the bank. This was not the reduced value, but the par value.
In other words, this investor was prepared to pay the debt in full but NAMA gave it to Jones Lang LaSalle in New York to sell. This was a site in Chicago. Even if NAMA thought it could get more for it, it was not in New York that it would have got it. It would have been interesting if it had marketed it in Chicago. Why could NAMA not accept the debt being bought out? It is estimated that it was sold for $35 million. NAMA refused $78 million, plus the cost, and it accepted a figure in the region of €35 million. That was claimed to be in the interests of the taxpayer in the same way as NAMA not accepting the bid from Dublin GAA for the Spawell because it claimed it was maximising the potential of the asset.
It is horrendous that NAMA could not deliver housing units for Dublin, in particular where there is such a serious housing crisis. It beggars belief. The argument was spun that certain property was not really suitable. The funny thing about that is that NAMA did not want to give much of the property that was suitable to the State because it was attractive to investors. What has happened is that vulture funds, mostly from the US, were allowed to cherry pick the best of it because NAMA sought to sell the best of it to them. It then considered some of the other property, which was not quite as attractive to the vulture funds, for social or affordable housing.
NAMA is a State body over which governments - this one and the previous one - do not seem to have much control. Issues are raised about it. The idea that the Comptroller and Auditor General has it all in hand beggars belief. I have seen too many things which I do not believe the Comptroller and Auditor General has seen, and I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he is honest. It would be an incredible challenge for the Comptroller and Auditor General and the few people working with him to keep tabs on everything that is happening within NAMA. It would be a massive challenge, and it is not only about auditing. Does the Comptroller and Auditor General have expertise in the area of markets, construction and the future potential of assets? Does he have all those people working for him in order to be able to test the waters and ensure NAMA is doing what is best for the taxpayer at every turn? It is asking way to much of the Comptroller and Auditor General to think that he could come up with all those answers. He would be an amazing man, irrespective of how many people he had working with him.
Sadly, there is now the idea that the Committee of Public Accounts can examine this, behind which the Government can hide, as if it is an Oireachtas investigation and the committee will see if everything is all right. That is not what will happen. If those in government want to know the truth and if they really want to know if the taxpayer was best served in these deals, they will eventually have to initiate an independent inquiry into the workings of NAMA. It is extremely important because not only are we dealing with things that have happened - people must be held responsible for what they have done - but there are so many assets still to be sold. Will that be done right? At present, we do not know and given that NAMA remains a secret society, we do not have a real opportunity to see how it operates. An independent investigation might bring us that. There is a great deal of money at stake. The figures are astronomical so it is extremely important the State addresses this.
The Government should not put this off and kick the can down the road. We need an independent inquiry established right now. How it would be structured is an argument for another day. The Government will probably have to bring in some people from outside the country. I refer to many of the more senior players in the services the Government might use. There is such an incestuous nature to much of what goes on this country that the Government will probably have to bring in some external expertise."