When Brian Lenihan ushered Nama (National Assets Management Agency) into our lives in 2009, he – and others in authority – denied it was a bailout mechanism for failed builders and developers.
Nama, for those of you who might have been on an Antarctic expedition over the past year or two, is an official scam whereby the “bad” bank loans of Irish builders and developers where bought (with taxpayers’ money) for a sum that they might possibly be worth some time in the future. But won't be.
It means that stupid, greedy developers and speculators – with the collusion of dodgy bankers – who gambled and failed, will be rewarded by the public purse, rather than find themselves begging with no arse in their trousers beside every city centre ATM, as they might in the US for instance.
That is not the Irish way, oh no. The Irish way is to pay them a “salary” of €200,000 a year. Here is a list, cogged from Daniel McConnell in the most recent Sindo, illustrating how we do things in Ireland.
HOW NAMA HAS BECOME A BUILDERS’ BAILOUT
Nama is paying at least two developers €200,000 and up to 120 others between €70,000 and €100,000 a year in salaries.
Nama admits it is now realistically only chasing the amount it paid for loans – €31 billion – and not the original €78 billion amount.
Nama is now willing to pay bonuses, potentially worth millions, to developers on all “profit” made above what it paid for loans.
Nama has allowed €2bn to cover legal and other advisory fees during its 10-year lifespan.
Nama is currently paying about €100,000 a day on financial and legal experts according to its latest report.
Nama remains a secret society, and is not accountable under the Freedom of Information Act.
122 senior people at NTMA/Nama are being paid more than €100,000. Nama CEO Brendan McDonagh’s salary is €430,000.
The difference is we’re Irish, as the slogan goes.
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