Sunday 21 January 2018

Look at elite puts 'Nama for little people' into perspective


THE calls for a 'Nama for the little people' may have fallen on deaf ears so far. With the news, however, that anyone looking for a deal on their mortgage debt will be forced to drop their health insurance, foreign holidays, Sky Sports, sell their second car and pull their children out of private school, the calls for some form of Nama II for Joe and Josephine Public may yet be reignited.

Especially when one considers just how well the so-called toxic loan agency, headed up by former Revenue Commissioners chairman Frank Daly and his CEO sidekick Brendan McDonagh, are inclined to treat the developers on their books.

Indeed, only last summer, Mr Daly revealed in an interview just how understanding Nama can be when it comes to facilitating those big builders who co-operate with them.

Never mind the money Nama borrowers are allowed to retain to buy themselves a modest family home when they downsize from their boom-era mansions – when it comes to acceptable lifestyles, Mr Daly would appear to be far more relaxed than the banks who are gearing up to squeeze the life out of ordinary people in mortgage arrears.

Asked for his views on developers' lifestyles last summer, Mr Daly said: "We go through people on the basis of their business plans, their level of co-operation, not what clothes they wear, not what clubs they go to, and not where they dine or anything like that. It's a purely business relationship. It's never personal. Nama has made it very clear – there are views on lifestyles all right, but we're not policemen in the sense of checking up on what they're at.

"There are people who would say, why should so-and-so's children be going to a private school, why should so-and-so be driving this car rather than a Mondeo or a Cortina or whatever.

"You know, if we go down into that level of sort of policing in detail, then it becomes personal and then you will lose the focus on the business, and then you lose the focus on the absolute objective here, which is to get the best commercial return for the Irish people."

Irish Independent

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