Friday 9 December 2016

Nama is just a big pass the parcel game

None of us can really understand it but we know there's a big con there somewhere, says Brendan O'Connor

Published 31/07/2011 | 05:00

Correct me if I'm wrong but did the announcement during the week that Nama only lost a billion last year seem like quite a jolly affair. Did you see that snippet of young Brendan McDonagh on the news where he seemed to be telling the assembled throng in a wry, smirky kind of way about all the hotels Nama owns. It all seemed like a good laugh. It is open to offers apparently.

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Indeed, we were told this week that Nama is open to offers on everything, and it's offering huge discounts. Except not exactly. Subject to agreement from some banks and the Government, Frank Daly has decided to resurrect the property market by selling off Nama houses with built-in insurance against a drop of 20 per cent in property over the next five years. In other words, if property goes down 20 per cent in the next few years, Nama won't come after you for the negative equity. Like a good negative equity fairy.

Frank reckons it will lift all the boats, that people will be queueing up to buy other people's houses as well, even though other people trying to sell houses will not be offering the negative equity insurance. It doesn't seem to have dawned on Frank that maybe people will all just buy Nama property with the safeguards against negative equity, and maybe this will put them off buying other properties. And maybe it didn't strike him that no one is going to buy a thing in this country until they see what transpires about the Nama sell-off in the autumn.

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