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Archive for February 15th, 2010

The man who sometimes seems like the only man in Ireland warning us about NAMA and seeking greater transparency, Senator Eugene Regan, has made another submission to the European Commission, according to a report in today’s Irish Examiner which reports that Senator Regan to seeking to reduce taxpayer expsoure to NAMA and reduce the risk to competition by NAMA by restricting assets to those determined toxic only. Read the latest submission here.

We await a response to the latest submission but we are reminded that the European Commission hasn’t yet formally approved the NAMA scheme which was only presented to it by the Irish government on 23rd December, 2009 – 4 days after Senator Regan raised the question of approval in the Seanad.

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NAMA vs the Invasion of Iraq

Whilst there is a debate about the rights and wrongs of invading Iraq in 2003, there is a general consensus that the invasion itself was a brilliant operation from a military viewpoint (stress military viewpoint). However the general consensus is that the planning of the aftermath of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was abysmal and led to years of strife and needless loss of life.

We are reminded today by the Irish Times that Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, did not sleepwalk into adopting NAMA and that he consulted far and wide beforehand. He considered the FG option and engaged economist Peter Bacon to report to him on options for a good bank as well as exploring the characteristics of NAMA, in particular, “the potential exposure of the exchequer, the timing of any call for State financing and the impact on our national debt”.

The quality of the advice may become apparent but like Iraq, the question lingers whether enough planning has gone into the implementation of NAMA, in particular when it is up and running. Of particular concern to this author is the absence of metrics by which NAMA can be judged a success or failure by reference to short, medium and long-term specific and measureable objectives.

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