Friday, April 30, 2010

Economics 30/04/2010: Minister Lenihan's statements in the Dail

Some interesting points on Nama, coming out of Minister Lenihan's answers to Dail questions this Wednesday, April 28 (emphasis is mine):

"The NAMA SPV structure has a subscribed capital of €100m. As explained to the Dail at the time of the legislation, and subsequently agreed with the EU, 49% of this capital was advanced by NAMA and 51% by private investors.

Three private investors, namely, Irish Life Investment Managers, New Ireland Assurance and a group of clients of Allied Irish Banks Investment Managers, have each invested €17m in the vehicle. It is important to note that in each case the beneficial owners of the investment are pension funds or other clients of these investment companies and not the parent credit institution.
[It is equally important to note that in each case the full owner of each one of these entities is an institution directly involved either in Nama or in Banks Guarantee scheme, which, of course, under normal rules of engagement would imply potential conflict of interest]

The SPV has been established in accordance with Eurostat rules. The Board of the SPV is chaired by the CEO of NAMA and has three NAMA nominated directors with the private investors retaining the right to nominate a further three directors. Thus the SPV is structured in such a manner that NAMA representatives will maintain an effective veto over decisions of the SPV Board. [Thus the so-called 'veto' is a de facto, not de jure. Should one of the Nama representatives on the board fall ill, be delayed in travel or be absent on some state-sponsored junket, in absence of the said member, it is quite possible - even if only in theory - that the veto power can pass over to the 'private' owners of SPV.]


In line with my statement to the House on 30 March on the banking situation, I subsequently issued Promissory Notes on 31 March to Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society. These Notes will ensure that both institutions continue to meet their regulatory capital requirements. The initial principal amount of the Note that issued to Anglo Irish Bank is €8.3bn and to INBS it is €2.6bn. As I indicated in my recent statement, it is likely that Anglo will need further capital in due course but the extent and timing of such further support remains to be determined.

The terms of the Promissory Notes that issued to both institutions on 31 March are substantively the same and, inter alia, provide that 10% of the principal amount will, if demanded by the institution, be paid each year and that the first such payment will fall due for payment from the Central Fund on 31 March 2011. An annual interest coupon, related to Government bond yields, is also payable on the Promissory Notes which the Minister has absolute discretion to pay on the due date or to add to the principal amount. [So, in contradiction to the deeply-informed Dara O'Brien TD, it is the state who will be paying interest to the banks. Not the other way around]

This ensures that the Note meets accounting requirements to be “fair valued” at the principal amount in the annual accounts of each institution, consistent with the regulatory capital requirements. [This sentence is an example of Minister's habitual abuse of financial terminology, in so far as it makes absolutely no rational sense to anyone even vaguely familiar with finance. 'Fair valued' must refer to a benchmark, being a comparative/relative term. 'Fair valued at the principal amount' is gobbledygook as principal amount - the face value of the bond/note can only be valued in relation to the price of the bond or yield on the bond, none of which are referenced in Minister's statement. Furthermore, fair value concept does not refer to the regulator capital requirements. It refers only - I repeat, only - to the market value of the bond/note.]

In the event of a winding-up of either institution, the aggregate of the outstanding principal amount and any unpaid interest that has accrued on the institution’s Note falls due for immediate payment. [So, at least in theory, the Exchequer might face an immediate call for billions of euros in cash... what provisions have been made to ensure we will have this covered? How will Minister Lenihan be able to raise such funding even if the economy is not in crisis? What will be the additional cost of having to raise such funding in a fire-issue of a new state bond? Has the Minister established adequate pricing scheme to charge the banks for the taxpayers assuming such a risk or has he 'gifted' this risk premium away, thereby potentially exposing taxpayers to added hundreds of millions in new costs of such emergency issuance?]

The Deputy may also wish to note that, as indicated in my banking statement of 30 March, the use of Promissory Notes means that the institution’s capital requirements are met in a way which spreads the cash payments over a number of years and thereby reduces the funding burden on the Exchequer that would otherwise arise in the current year. [This statement clearly shows that Minister Lenihan does not understand the basics of interest rate/yield curve relationships. He implicitly assumes that in the future, the state borrowing costs will be lower than they are today. There is absolutely no reason for such an assumption.]

1 comment:

patrick1978 said...

Great post Constantin,

Did you find out the reason why Irish credit unions are being allowed to have lower capital provisions

The heat is on AIB,
only 12 days to go before the government reluctantly takes a 20% stake in AIB (280/1359).

Having read the business newspapers and stockbroker reports, there is no mention or analysis on the second wave of bad debts facing AIB and BOI.

Everybody seems to have ignored Morgan Kelly's prediction of a second wave in his essay
"The Irish Credit Bubble"