Debt statistic of the Week
€7m, the average bank loan hanging over every single Irish hotel
The former Minister for Finance, the late Brian Lenihan’s stuffee to the board of the “independent” Central Bank of Ireland, Alan Ahearne was behind a report for the Irish Hotels Federation during the week which highlighted the debt problems facing Irish hotels. The report concluded that, in total, Irish hotels owe €6.7bn to the banks, including NAMA, which works out at an average of €7.4m for each of the 900-odd hotels operating in the State.
Table of the Week
The Department of Finance published a useful compendium of economic facts during the week. It included the average price of an average home from 1971, a series of data compiled by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. It is the longest such series in existence in Ireland and the Department has recently signalled it intends keeping it, even if it is only based on mortgages, is issued six months in arrears and best of all is a simple average or mean of property transactions – in other words, no account is taken of type of property sold or the mix of properties sold in any period. The Central Bank of Ireland published a report on property prices earlier this week which adopted the same average approach, which concluded that actual prices for non-Dublin property is presently 46% less than the asking price!
P45 of the Week
The stultifyingly bore, Senator David Norris has just had a book published which predictably includes the personal pronoun “I” in practically every sentence – yes, it’s an autobiography, but still. The dapper senator covers his entire career including that part for which he will probably always be best remembered, his valiant and tenancious16-year fight for gay equality culminating in victory at the European Court of Human Rights. There’s the odd vignette to liven up proceedings, including the senator’s spell as a restaurant critic at the Sunday Tribune, a spell put to an end by then-editor of the Sunday Tribune, Vincent Browne who terminated the senator’s column with a note which read
When I gave you the job of restaurant critic six months ago you protested that you knew nothing about food and wine, and I didn’t believe you then; I do now.
Graphic of the Week
It just goes from bad to worse for former NAMA employee Enda Farrell whose case with NAMA was back in the Commercial Court this week. It seems that since October 2011, Enda had been sending emails, attaching what NAMA says was confidential information, to his wife at Ernst and Young, with his wife, Alice Kramer, forwarding the emails to a personal Yahoo account, a circuitous scheme which NAMA claims was to avoid the detection software used by the NTMA which would flag an email send to a free email account like Yahoo. According to the Sunday Times, Enda’s employment with Forum Partners has been terminated and wife, Alice Kramer has resigned from Ernst and Young. What does the future hold for Enda and Alice? Difficult to say, but the immediate future looks bleak. Japlandic interpreted their plight in their own inimitable way above.
(Graphic above produced by Japlandic.com, contact here)
Parade of the Week
Prepare for the national rending of garments at the moral dilemmas generated by the second Quinn rally tomorrow afternoon from 4pm. About 4,000 attended the rally during the summer and you can expect a similar number tomorrow. For those of you who can see beyond the pantomime, you might be interested in a balanced view of the Quinn impact on the national psyche here.
A parade which won’t get as much attention was the Priory Hall rally earlier today when 1,000 people including many of the 250 residents of the troubled development in north Dublin marched to highlight the fact that a year after being forcibly evacuated from their homes in the Tom McFeely-developed complex, they still don’t have a fixed return date. Dublin City Council has reportedly spent €2m trying to make the development safe and the evacuated residents are still in Limbo as regards the significant costs in the matter.