Nod and wink culture
Published 02/01/2011 | 05:00
Sir -- Allow me address two issues in your paper last week. Brian Hayes proclaimed that NAMA must hire an insider to turn state's evidence and bring back the era of the informer. NAMA already have enough evidence that in any other country would see people behind bars. He then stated: "It's a joke that the State is now paying top dollar for renting properties that effectively have been transferred to Nama. The State needs to use its muscle."
The reason the State is paying rent on these properties is not just because of Fianna Fail but because of the failures of all parties who were 'yes men' to not just the developers but to the planning executives in local authorities. Everything was agreed with a nod and a wink. Planning regulations were abused and illegal acts were carried out on all sides. Along with what happened in the boardrooms of banks, a lot more happened in planning offices. I foresee another book launch soon, "Breakfast, Dinner & Holidays with My Favourite Developer" by some county councillor or planning officer.
In your editorial, in relation to the additional cash injection to AIB you stated that: "Belatedly we have a Regulator and a Central Bank Governor who are serious about making our banks live up to their obligations". It is true that Mr Honohan got to Morning Ireland before Brian Lenihan to announce that we were going to seek a bailout but while he was on the radio why did he not tell us that, in October, the Central Bank introduced a new "Code of Practice". Why, if this new code of practice was passed in October 2010 was its introduction postponed until January 2011? Why did it contain a clause that all loans at preferential rates obtained by banking executives were to be notified to the Central Bank for approval but only if they exceeded €1m? A bank executive can still borrow the equivalent of three or four homes at preferential rates? That must sound like the noise of a chainsaw to the ears of businesses who needed smaller amounts to keep their livelihoods and a roof over their head.