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Archive for May 12th, 2012

Table of the Week

This is the list of the 15 court cases initiated by NAMA at Dublin’s High Court so far in 2012. This table excludes four 2012 applications where NAMA is the defendant. And of course it excludes legal action beyond the Republic of Ireland. Yesterday NAMA successfully extended its €270m judgment against Ray Grehan to Canada. And in London, the Paddy McKillen case against the Barclay brothers which tangentially affects NAMA continues. NAMA has a budget of €25m for legal costs in 2012.

Graph of the Week

Our Finnish friend, Olli Rehn the Economic and Monetary Affairs commissioner at the European Commission produced his Spring Forecast yesterday which provides economic analyses and outlooks for all countries in the EU. In Ireland’s case, the headline is that the EU sees our growth rates below those projected by our own Department of Finance a fortnight ago. The EU projects our GDP to grow by 0.5% in 2012 and 1.9% in 2013, that’s below the 0.7% and 2.2% projected by the Department of Finance in the Stability Programme Update. The graph above is extracted from the EU’s forecast and shows that our gross debt will exceed 120% of GDP in 2013. The graph also shows the composition of our debt with “one-off measures” which are the bank bailout costs comprising some 40% of the 120% of total debt, the other 80% arising from the initial debt in 2007 of a measly 25% and deficits – the gap between what we generate in tax and what we spend on the public sector and welfare – making up the rest.

Quote of the Week

“Since 2008, pay and non-pay costs have fallen significantly reflecting a fall in staffing and associated supports. This fall in investment in the Department makes it impossible for us to achieve our overriding strategic goals set by ourselves and by the Government.” The Department of Finance in its Finance Statement of Strategy 2011-2014 which together with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has a staff of over 600 just doesn’t have enough resources. The Strategy report might be best remembered for being another civil service target-free – hardly a numbers or deadline date in sight – document.

“Not all of them have yet abandoned the extravagant mindset of the 2003-2007 era” NAMA chairman Frank Daly. Yes this quotation is more than a year old, but it seems as apt a response as any to the empire-building Department of Finance

“Das geht einfach nicht” Chancellor Angela Merkel responding to Francois Hollande’s election victory and his position to renegotiate the Fiscal Compact. English translation – “It ain’t gonna happen”

Most Innovative Use of New Media of this Week

So Fianna Fail’s Eamon O’Cuiv has retired from the battle to promote a “no” vote in the forthcoming referendum. His statement on Tuesday – available here – came after his receipt of a letter from the party whip – available here – which Deputy O’Cuiv interpreted as an ultimatum. On Tuesday he was expected to resign from his beloved party but instead announced he would toe the party line by not promoting a “no” vote in the media. Fair enough, but it seems that Eamon’s own blog – available here – remains online and on it, he has set out his position in great detail in two worthwhile blogposts -“The “safe cross code” for referendums” and “My Fiscal Compact woes”. A generation ago, Deputy O’Cuiv’s stand-down would have put an end to his campaign. Thanks to the internet and blogging, we can refer to Deputy O’Cuiv’s position and link to the transcript of that position.

Runner up goes to Karl Brophy, the director of corporate affairs and content development at Independent News and Media, Ireland’s biggest media company in which Denis O’Brien has a 29.9% stake. IN&M has apparently decided to terminate Karl’s role. According to RTE, Karl is claiming “that Denis O’Brien was behind an allegedly unlawful attempt to oust him” from the company and yesterday in Dublin’s High Court, although he, Karl, reportedly failed to get a High Court order to prevent his dismissal, he did get an injunction preventing “INM from acting further on its decision of May 8 to terminate his employment” until the court hears the matter again on Tuesday next. Karl however has access to his own platform, Twitter and he notes that he has picked up a lot of new followers lately. Seems like we’re all media outlets these days.

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