Friday 20 January 2017

No, minister: Nama can be dismantled!

Two simple steps are essentially all it would take to stop the flawed creation that is Nama, writes Peter Mathews

Published 01/08/2010 | 05:00

NAMA isn't fit for purpose. It's an albatross. It should be stopped. And it can be dismantled. There's no mystery. It's straightforward. It's not a question of trying to put the eggs in the omelette back into their shells!

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Let's look at the facts. Early in 2009, Brian Lenihan commissioned a preferred economist, Peter Bacon, to examine the banking sector's bad loans, solvency and liquidity situations. The upshot of his three-month assignment, for a reputed €350,000 fee, was his Nama proposal. Mr Lenihan, the Department of Finance and Mr Bacon insisted there were no alternatives.

Nama was the worst choice the Government could have made. Incorrect €23bn estimated loan losses, as well as an €18bn error in a main assumption in Nama's business plan, were seriously misleading and therefore constituted a fraudulent basis for advancing the proposal.

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