Sunday, July 26, 2015

26/7/15: It Rains, It Pours... And Next There Can Be a Deluge ...over Nama

When it rains, it darn well pours… in the case of Nama and Irish Banking Inquiry, the rule is iron clad.

First, Nama:

Just yesterday I posted two links on most recent allegations concerning Nama in Northern Ireland. And today, we have a couple from the Republic.

Per first link, apparently, "A furious row has erupted between developer Michael O'Flynn and Nama following his appearance before the Banking Inquiry." The row is about Mr O'Flynn's claim that he was pressured to sell assets to 'preferred bidders' over the top bidders.

Nama says this is not true.

We have no idea as to who to believe, although Mr O'Flynn has nothing to gain from making up anything about Nama, given he has now existed the wretched institution and is free to return to normal life. And Mr O'Flynn appears to have more to say about Nama that seems to be pretty much in accord with what other Namaed developers are saying and what Nama seems to be denying as well. "Mr O'Flynn said while the O'Flynn Group had formulated a business plan for Nama aimed at repaying all the money it owed, this had been rejected without any discussion in relation to its content".

Which, of course, brings us back to that notion of value destruction that Nama should address before any inquiry into Nama attempts to address it.

Recall that Nama required all developers to submit Business Plans. Following their reviews by Nama, Nama issued simple 'decline' letters, requiring new plans to be re-submitted. Nama subsequently rejected a vast majority of these as well. So far - pretty bad, but it gets worse. Nama rejections came with zero specific details given as to the exact reasons for the agency decision. These plans were prepared by professional teams (not by developers personally) and contained very detailed pricings, costings, analysis etc of assets covered by the plans, based on external evaluations, existent permissions and ventures, and so on. Nama appears to have offered no substantive reasons for the rejections of substantive plans. In the case of O'Flynn the allegation is now on the record. In at least five other cases that I am familiar with  the same has been also alleged and in some formed part of submission to the courts.

The rejections of at least some plans led to Nama pursuing strategies for managing underlying assets that can be questioned in terms of their ability to deliver maximum value return to both the taxpayers and the original borrowers (Nama owes the latter the duty of care in relation to their assets). The shortfalls arising from Nama failure to execute reasonable plans was loaded, through personal guarantees, on the original borrowers. Which, effectively, means that for some reasons, undisclosed to anyone, Nama has opted to potentially dump vast amounts of risk and costs onto original borrowers. It would be damaging enough were this was done with at least a token of propriety in the form of explaining the rejection of the Business Plans. But it is doubly bad given that Nama seemed to have simply dismissed the Plans without any explanation.

The second link is more distant to Nama operations than the first, so I won't cover it in any detail here. Still do enjoy Indo's "Daly's charity role is 'private'". Hint: keep an eye out for familiar names...

No wonder the whole place at the higher reaches of the Grand Canal St is now resembling the flock of seagulls abandoned at sea by a fishing trawler: noise, feathers, chaos…

Stay tuned for the Banking Inquiry shambles post next.

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