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Archive for December 25th, 2010

Happy Christmas from NAMAwinelake

The run-up to Christmas 2009 saw a frenzy of activity with NAMA and the banks (NAMA incorporated 19th December, NAMA board appointed 22nd December, first NAMA board meeting on 23rd December, unreported unlawful written financial undertakings by Minister for Finance Lenihan in respect of INBS and Anglo on 22nd December – unlawful because the undertakings constituted unauthorised state-aid though both undertakings were subsequently approved by Commissioner Almunia with diplomatic slaps on the wrist)

This year has been no different with a cluster of NAMA developer plans awaiting approval (that is, by both the developer and NAMA in writing – NAMA might have a different definition of “approval”) and the conclusion of Paddy McKillen’s appeal hearing at the Supreme Court on Wednesday but it has been the banks that have taken the headlines – AIB’s transfer of €9.3bn of loans last Monday to NAMA which will have created a massive capital hole, Sr Almunia’s approval of further injections into INBS, Anglo and AIB on Tuesday, the Council of State meeting and President McAleese’s decision that the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill was constitutional (and for those that think Mary was playing the cute hoor by refraining from referring the Bill to the Supreme Court thereby allowing certain passages of the Act to be challenged  in future, that is not our president’s remit) and then on Wednesday we had a low point in Irish jurisprudence as a judge, Ms Justice Maureen Clark, acquiesced to a demand from the government to exclude witnesses – journalists and a solicitor for an interested party – from a key hearing on the recapitalisation of AIB, €3.7bn taken from our pension reserve and pumped into a bank with little prospect of a practical return, all agreed to, away from the public gaze. That didn’t stop speculation about bank runs, undeclared loan losses and derivatives landmines.

So despite the holidays and Christmas, St Stephen’s Day and New Year there will be some activity to keep things alive on here but it will be quieter for the next week, though there might be a review or two of the year.

During the past week, there were quite a few visitors on here from a German finance forum, wert-papier.de and on their forum someone had posted a Swiss-produced seasonal image of a Christmas tree. Sadly for copyright reasons I am unable to reproduce it directly here – pity because I wanted to add the caption

Greek bird to Irish bird “Is it true your Minister for Finance says this is snow?”

You can view the cartoon here (you need scroll down the page)

I wish you all a safe, peaceful and happy Christmas.

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