National Asset Management Agency

Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby wearnicehats » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:33 am

gunter wrote:Who gets the deeds?

Explain this, . . . . but as if you're talking to someone who doesn't understand any of this.

. . . . in two paragraphs, maximum.


From the Bill:

NAMA not required to register certain instruments, etc.
84.—(1) Where a bank asset has been acquired by NAMA or a NAMA group entity—
(a) notwithstanding anything in the Bills of Sale (Ireland) Acts 1879 and 1883, the
Industrial and Commercial Property (Protection) Act 1927, the Agricultural
Credit Act 1978, the Companies Act 1963, the Registration of Deeds and Title
Acts 1964 and 2006, the Patents Act 1992, the Trade Marks Act 1996, the Taxes
Consolidation Act 1997 or any other Act, that provides for the registration of
assets, security or details of them, NAMA is not required to become registered
as owner of any security that is part of the bank asset,
(b) notwithstanding sections 62 and 64 of the Registration of Title Act 1964,
NAMA has, in relation to any such charge, the powers of a mortgagee under a
mortgage by deed, even though NAMA or the NAMA group entity concerned is
not registered as owner of any such charge,
(c) NAMA has the powers and rights conferred on the registered owner of a charge
by the Registration of Title Act 1964.


My reading of this is that NAMA are taking over the loans as banks normally would ie they are taking over and managing the risk. In that case the deeds remain held by whoever holds them under the terms of the original loan. If the loan is defaulted then NAMA will act as if it is the original lender to secure the loan based upon its terms. Presumably then the deeds pass to NAMA? maybe it's just a way of reducing the paperwork

or I could be talking bollocks
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby missarchi » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:23 am

I want to see the form they fill in for so called assets...

value in 1980
value in 1990
value in 2000
bought for x
list of previous owners to 1970
area of land x
tax paid on previous 30 years
interest of y pa
expenses of p
sold for j profit of s
on sold for b profit of i

ect
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby PVC King » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:52 am

wearnicehats wrote:From the Bill:

NAMA not required to register certain instruments, etc.
84.—(1) Where a bank asset has been acquired by NAMA or a NAMA group entity—
(a) notwithstanding anything in the Bills of Sale (Ireland) Acts 1879 and 1883, the
Industrial and Commercial Property (Protection) Act 1927, the Agricultural
Credit Act 1978, the Companies Act 1963, the Registration of Deeds and Title
Acts 1964 and 2006, the Patents Act 1992, the Trade Marks Act 1996, the Taxes
Consolidation Act 1997 or any other Act, that provides for the registration of
assets, security or details of them, NAMA is not required to become registered
as owner of any security that is part of the bank asset,
(b) notwithstanding sections 62 and 64 of the Registration of Title Act 1964,
NAMA has, in relation to any such charge, the powers of a mortgagee under a
mortgage by deed, even though NAMA or the NAMA group entity concerned is
not registered as owner of any such charge,
(c) NAMA has the powers and rights conferred on the registered owner of a charge
by the Registration of Title Act 1964.


My reading of this is that NAMA are taking over the loans as banks normally would ie they are taking over and managing the risk. In that case the deeds remain held by whoever holds them under the terms of the original loan. If the loan is defaulted then NAMA will act as if it is the original lender to secure the loan based upon its terms. Presumably then the deeds pass to NAMA? maybe it's just a way of reducing the paperwork

or I could be talking bollocks


You would think it is to give Nama a waiver on having to register a charge on the deeds of each loan that they are taking over which is secured on property be it real estate, chattels or intellectual. I am sure the Incorporated Law Society are not best pleased to not grant the exemption would have created a lot of work for solicitors.

My understanding of Nama (I could be very wrong) is that the banks in return for taking a haircut in line with the perceived risk will walk away from the loans and have no further exposure. To create a superior interest you would ordinarily need to register same on deeds.
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby wearnicehats » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:57 pm

missarchi wrote:I want to see the form they fill in for so called assets...

value in 1980
value in 1990
value in 2000
bought for x
list of previous owners to 1970
area of land x
tax paid on previous 30 years
interest of y pa
expenses of p
sold for j profit of s
on sold for b profit of i

ect


speaking of talking bollocks
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby garethace » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:02 pm

This whole discussion about the deeds reminds me of something. I fully recognize the fact that Archiseek readers do not wish to listen to me pontificate down from the high altar of: This is how we would do it at Zoe developments. I promise I will not do that to you guys any longer.

But here is the thing, it is what I call the 'systems engineering' idea that directors at Zoe tried to implement. It wasn't Liam Carroll who was the brains behind it. Rather Liam did everything in his powers to smash up whatever system or organisation we as employees tried to create to deal with complexity and introduce logic. But often, because of the kind of company that Zoe was, we would be looking at problems very similar to the one described on deeds for NAMA property loans.

For sure there is a huge raft of administration work and difficulties that can be created for NAMA around this one part of the production line. Getting it incorrect could prove to be very, very costly and jamb up the production line entirely. At Zoe developments we did the following. We used the ordinance survey maps to do our planning applications. Those ordinance survey maps are inaccurate remember. But they are used by the land registry for legal purposes.

So we would get a digital survey of the site done after receiving planning. Then, we would do the construction drawings on the digital survey and everything would be set out using GPS on site. But somewhere along the line, someone would have to do a 'best fit' between the ordinance survey map (onto which the planning application drawings had been drafted) and the 'correct in real life' digital survey drawing. Zoe's planning drawings were never actually continued into real life construction stage. What would happen is that an architect would print a hard copy set of the planning drawings and re-draw the entire development into CAD on the 'best fit' digital survey. While 'looking' at the printed hard copy set of planning drawings on his or her desk. In other words, the entire project was drawn twice on the computer by separate individuals.

(That is an added cost the average consultant architect could not bear when doing a project, but it was worth Zoe's while to do it because it avoided a problem further down the line, when they as a client wanted to register the built properties)

The advantage was when it came to legal drawings further down the track, the planning drawings would serve as the basis for the legal drawings for land registry purposes later on. In the mean time a building had been constructed on the site, to the accuracy of the digital survey based on what we had received planning permission for. I know this sounds complex and obscure, but it demonstrates what Zoe were thinking about in terms of their 'systems engineering' point of view. They were motivated to do things like this and think in this fashion because they were client, builder and designer.

Now I want to make fully clear to all readers, that Liam Carroll had nothing to do with the above. He was bending himself over backways to build as many projects as he could, as fast as he could and didn't give a constitutional f*** how we did it. But because we were playing the role of designer, client and building contractor, we were motivated to find efficiencies in the pipeline. We had no choice but to handle a huge burden of ongoing administration anyhow. But we tried to handle it in a way that didn't create more work for ourselves than was absolutely necessary.

That didn't mean that we cut any corners. But it did mean that we tried to work intelligently, seeing the whole process instead of only the small segments such as in a consultant and client arrangement. That is why I wrote about the 'engine of Zoe development' etc in the Designcomment blog entry about the Ford Cobra. I suggest, we can re-build a logic and an efficiency into the NAMA engine if we use our noodle fully. There are a number of the Zoe architects and engineers out of work currently who would be useful people to talk to. I was only there for two years myself, but their way of handling the administration work load was clever in many ways.

Brian O' Hanlon
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby Cliff Barnes » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:33 pm

Mr. Strategic planning himself, Frank McDonald wrote this recently.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...251671431.html


Quote:
The objective is to “position the Dublin city region, the engine of Ireland’s economy, as a significant hub in the European knowledge economy through a network of thriving sectoral and spatial clusters providing a magnet for creative talent and investment”.

Is the above actually part of the problem with an low density urban sprawl turning our capital into a less toxic version of Houston Texas with a bloated public service and government putting diesel into the petrol engine of this state and financial services actually producing nothing of any real value as the great manufacturing nations of Europe grind slowly out of recession and we get choked by vested interest groups like vintners,farmers,unions,legal profession and pharmacists etc.At a guess I'd say the huge pharmaceutical cluster of industries and support services in Cork are contributing a lot more than Franks aspirational waffle.

The engine has seized up Frank.
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby Cliff Barnes » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:36 pm

garethace wrote:This whole discussion about the deeds reminds me of something. I fully recognize the fact that Archiseek readers do not wish to listen to me pontificate down from the high altar of: This is how we would do it at Zoe developments. I promise I will not do that to you guys any longer.

But here is the thing, it is what I call the 'systems engineering' idea that directors at Zoe tried to implement. It wasn't Liam Carroll who was the brains behind it. Rather Liam did everything in his powers to smash up whatever system or organisation we as employees tried to create to deal with complexity and introduce logic. But often, because of the kind of company that Zoe was, we would be looking at problems very similar to the one described on deeds for NAMA property loans.

For sure there is a huge raft of administration work and difficulties that can be created for NAMA around this one part of the production line. Getting it incorrect could prove to be very, very costly and jamb up the production line entirely. At Zoe developments we did the following. We used the ordinance survey maps to do our planning applications. Those ordinance survey maps are inaccurate remember. But they are used by the land registry for legal purposes.

So we would get a digital survey of the site done after receiving planning. Then, we would do the construction drawings on the digital survey and everything would be set out using GPS on site. But somewhere along the line, someone would have to do a 'best fit' between the ordinance survey map (onto which the planning application drawings had been drafted) and the 'correct in real life' digital survey drawing. Zoe's planning drawings were never actually continued into real life construction stage. What would happen is that an architect would print a hard copy set of the planning drawings and re-draw the entire development into CAD on the 'best fit' digital survey. While 'looking' at the printed hard copy set of planning drawings on his or her desk. In other words, the entire project was drawn twice on the computer by separate individuals.

(That is an added cost the average consultant architect could not bear when doing a project, but it was worth Zoe's while to do it because it avoided a problem further down the line, when they as a client wanted to register the built properties)

The advantage was when it came to legal drawings further down the track, the planning drawings would serve as the basis for the legal drawings for land registry purposes later on. In the mean time a building had been constructed on the site, to the accuracy of the digital survey based on what we had received planning permission for. I know this sounds complex and obscure, but it demonstrates what Zoe were thinking about in terms of their 'systems engineering' point of view. They were motivated to do things like this and think in this fashion because they were client, builder and designer.

Now I want to make fully clear to all readers, that Liam Carroll had nothing to do with the above. He was bending himself over backways to build as many projects as he could, as fast as he could and didn't give a constitutional f*** how we did it. But because we were playing the role of designer, client and building contractor, we were motivated to find efficiencies in the pipeline. We had no choice but to handle a huge burden of ongoing administration anyhow. But we tried to handle it in a way that didn't create more work for ourselves than was absolutely necessary.

That didn't mean that we cut any corners. But it did mean that we tried to work intelligently, seeing the whole process instead of only the small segments such as in a consultant and client arrangement. That is why I wrote about the 'engine of Zoe development' etc in the Designcomment blog entry about the Ford Cobra. I suggest, we can re-build a logic and an efficiency into the NAMA engine if we use our noodle fully. There are a number of the Zoe architects and engineers out of work currently who would be useful people to talk to. I was only there for two years myself, but their way of handling the administration work load was clever in many ways.

Brian O' Hanlon


We get the digital survey done before design - its "frozen" and use same for all subsequent stages planning,tender,construction,legals,lade registry etc.

How mad is that ?
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby garethace » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:40 pm

Those of you looking to read my concerns about NAMA might choose to look at the 'Striking Out' blog entry I made at Design Comment last night. That Ireland is putting an awful lot of its eggs, indeed all of its eggs into one basket. That is worrying to me.

I was going to paste the text in here, but decided not to, given that the anecdote about Zoe and land registry maps was pertinent to the discussion in some way. I didn't want to lob another 400 lines into the thread!

Brian O' Hanlon
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby garethace » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:45 pm

Cliff Barnes wrote:We get the digital survey done before design - its "frozen" and use same for all subsequent stages planning,tender,construction,legals,lade registry etc.

How mad is that ?


Yeah, I was used to that system myself Cliff.

I couldn't understand myself what Zoe were doing messing around with ordinance survey maps for the planning applications.

It seemed entirely illogical to me.

But if you accept the fact that the architect is trying to optimise their race over one mile, and the property developer is running a much longer race, I do believe that Zoe managed to claw back the apparent in-efficiency of doing the drawings twice on different surveys . . . . . later on, when they had to do three or four hundred individual legal maps to produce for the land registry.

We are going to be dealing with similar problems in relation to NAMA lands. That is really, why I posted the above example from my days at Zoe developments. To illustrate that sometimes what one thinks is efficient, in the long, long, long run . . . as in the case of NAMA for instance, may not be the case.

You are still entitled to your opinion Cliff, and either way, I probably would not argue.

But do bear in mind, the legal side of the process is not based on digital surveys.

(Don't ask me why that is, I haven't a clue)

Now that I think of it . . .

I think it was to do with the fact that Liam Carroll's sites were made up of a maze of small plots all joined up together in a weird and Byzantine maze of legal agreements and clauses.

You see, sometimes Liam would buy the 'airspace' overhead existing shops and so on, and after construction was completed, give back the ground floor of the development to the original shop owners, with other add ons such as car spaces, a couple of apartments and so on. The deal was never, never straightforward.

That is why it made sense to stick to the ordinance survey for planning and legal stages of the pipeline. Even if it meant a lot of extra work, the waters did not get as muddy. You could say we were trying to avoid unnecessary overheads of time and money in court with solicitors being paid by everyone.

Even at that, we still did spend enough of time in the courts, with everything running smoothly.

I don't know if that will apply to NAMA or not, but in certain cases it might. Especially where NAMA is attempting to make good on toxic assets by acquiring the right neighbouring properties and so forth to make the scheme viable.

I know that NAMA are promised some extra powers in that regard, which Liam Carroll would not have had access to.

But nevertheless, in common with Liam Carroll, NAMA still needs to get the best possible value back from investment in construction on behalf of the client, who is the taxpayer.

Not only in terms of overall project viability, but also in terms of project administration overhead.

That is the point I am trying to emphasize.

Brian O' Hanlon
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby PVC King » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:51 pm

garethace wrote: There are a number of the Zoe architects and engineers out of work currently who would be useful people to talk to. I was only there for two years myself, but their way of handling the administration work load was clever in many ways.


In 1933 FDR declared a 'Bank Holiday' and closed all the banks for an audit by federal regulators and a number were closed down and the assets transferred to banks that were deemed strong enough to withstand the headwinds of the time.

Economists whilst acknowledging that this was the only course of action made one negative observation of this process; namely the 'Knoweldge deficit' which was created by breaking the direct linkage between the portfolio and the people managing the portfolio who better than anyone knew its strengths and weaknesses.

In the 1930's case it was knowledge of the borrowers and who could be trusted and who couldn't; whilst not saying there is more than a general principle there may be an angle in recruiting some of the more senior project and development managers from some of the larger firms so that their site specific knowledge can be retained. Coming fresh to any portfolio it takes time to develop a feel for the location specific challenges and opportunities.

I do think we have heard enough about Zoe developments; it was a phase that was a significant catalyst in the mid 1990's. What is required is to get a strategic vision in place from the top down and maximise densities in areas proximate to the rail network; post interconnector there will be enhanced capacity on c50 linear miles of rail. In Cork there is the Mallow - Midleton Line; Limerick has the Ennis line and Galway Oranamore.

There is currently a glut of development land on and off market but there is also a strong industrial and services base; the key objective must be to use this downturn to plan sustainbly for the upturn which will come. The stuff that will inevitably end up in NAMA that scares me are the loans secured on land on the edge of small towns where no-one would ever buy except in the most over-heated of markets.

Taking the Irish Glass Bottle Site, yes the consortium paid over the odds for it but would the majority of Dubliner's in a better market not pay over the odds to live at this location?

The priority must surely be to identify what schemes in appropriate locations are closest to completion and invest money in getting the product to market. If half built apartments are bought at a discount and then completed, funished and rented out surely the income yield from rent would more than exceed the finance cost which must be paid by the government whatever happens once the debt enters NAMA.

The idea of a €90bn property company with an almost soveriegn credit rating is exactly quite exciting in a lot of ways!
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby garethace » Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:20 pm

Economists whilst acknowledging that this was the only course of action made one negative observation of this process; namely the 'Knoweldge deficit' which was created by breaking the direct linkage between the portfolio and the people managing the portfolio who better than anyone knew its strengths and weaknesses.


This was the thing with Liam Carroll. He knew his portfolio backways. Even with the example of Dalymount park, a site that will potentially end up in NAMA. In that instance, Liam used no more than the change in his pocket to 'test the waters' and see how the local authority would react to his name alone being attached to the site in the form of some land deal. All he bought though was an option to buy. Like I said in the post above, developments where Liam was concerned were never straightforward.

I would strongly argue that in the case of Dalymount park, the local councillors made it un-economical for anyone to develop the site, with the Local Area Plan they introduced into law. That of course, was based on a false assumption that Carroll was the outright buyer. We will meet a lot of situations with NAMA, where we will have to go back to the drawing board again to come up with better schemes. In order to recognise the fact that now, we ourselves are effectively, the outright buyer. It is a kind of socialism in anything but the name.

I know NAMA will have powers to acquire land beside their sites etc. But in the past in Ireland we witnessed a time in which developers could be seen to have added some value to the process, by being the ones who made all of the deals, to acquire a site necessary to build on. It also meant of course, that the Irish government did not have to be seen, to be dealing with that sordid kind of stuff. We avoided any stigma of socialist type government intervention. We wanted to portray an image to the world of a country that was 'free' from socialism. That is probably why NAMA is not going to handle any of the deeds either. That would be a clear statement that private property was being socialised.

In the case of a lot of Dublin sites, I don't think NAMA is getting the site nice, fresh and clean. If my experience working for Liam Carroll is anything to go by at all, what NAMA is getting is something that is a very complex set of relationships between interested parties. Take Cherrywood Science and Technology Park as a perfect example. With the local authority even 'claiming' a third of the land. How do we even begin to define what third is their third? That is the kind of legacy that Irish developers have left NAMA to deal with. That is why I don't understand how 50 lads in the National Treasury Building are going to deal with it. They won't be able to.

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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby garethace » Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:02 pm

You see, this is the same point I was making to Kerry Bog late yesterday evening in the 'Liam Carroll' thread, about Economist professors and commentators (Constantin Gurdgiev, Pat Honohon, Morgan Kelly etc intelligent as they may be) who write articles and blogs about NAMA.

I expect, due to their lack of indepth knowledge of urban planning and development itself, they are all collectively as economic commentators going to make mistaken observations and suggestions. They are dealing with a subject that is not 100% native to their understanding of the world . . .

. . . . There has to be some trade off where the urban design view finishes and the economics view begins, or visa versa. If I was to get involved with NAMA, I hope it would be in some human resources or team building capacity to help to achieve a healthy balance. That will be crucial to how NAMA will work, or not.


While the economists may have a very good grasp on economic theory, much better than myself, they are a little bit out of their depth when it comes to land, development and urbanism. That is why I believe NAMA should be a mixture of people who know the urban development side of it and people such as Gurdgiev who know about economics.

Constantin Gurdgiev probably believes that the 'deeds' in question are straightforward. In my explanation writing above, I have gone to lengths to describe that the deeds are notoriously complex and Byzantine. To even attempt to transfer them over to some state organisation from where they now reside in development companies would be an exercise in sheer lunacy.

Transferring deed arrangements that Irish developers made (often verbally) with various interested parties is about a million times more difficult than what Roosevelt did in the 1930s with the banks assets. The bank assets though hard to fathom for the new owners of those assets are nothing like as hard to understand as deals made by Irish property developers.

This is the point that Irish economists such as Gurdgiev do not yet understand, and probably never will. I have a feeling though, that Peter Bacon who has been exposed to property development for decades has a fairly good idea of what I am talking about.

Brian O' Hanlon

Gurdgiev in Irish Independent:

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/reasons-to-fear-trust-me-sales-pitch-on-836490bn-bet-1847596.html
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby PVC King » Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:08 pm

garethace wrote: This was the thing with Liam Carroll. He knew his portfolio backways.


The large developers all do know their assets backwards.

To be highly sucessful you don't need a large number of assets; take Paddy Kelly buying the Saratosa scheme in Florida for €47m in 2004

http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2004/02/22/story580533292.asp

He could spot a bargain and if he had spent more time developing that scheme quickly and getting it to market a couple of years earlier he could have made mega bucks from that one project alone.

Other really good investments include Gareth Kelleher taking over the Chicago Spire which will reap the benefits of the rebound in US sentiment or Derek Quinlan buying into Paddington Basin in London which is securing a really impressive tenant line up against a lot of competition or Dermott Desmond buying and selling London City Airport not that DD would ever end up anywhere near NAMA.

Even the aptly names Chinese Real Estate Oportunities Fund spawned by Treasury Holdings to become one of the largest European funds active in China.

A lot of Irish people are very talented when it comes to Real Estate.

The problem came for some when they left their core business and played the stock market or were unlucky with their timing like Paddy Kelly with the Florida development where the local market collapsed around the time he needed serious unit sales; which would have been very easy to attain in say 16 of the past 20 years and probably 15 of the next 20 years.

garethace wrote: In the case of a lot of Dublin sites, I don't think NAMA is getting the site nice fresh and clean. What NAMA is getting is something that is a very complex set of relationships between interested parties. Take Cherrywood Science and Technology Park as a perfect example. With the local authority even 'claiming' a third of the land. How do we even begin to define what third is their third? That is the kind of legacy that Irish developers have left NAMA with.


It is well known that Cherrywood was set up in the mid 1990's as a joint venture beween Dunloe House, British Land and the local authority. The local authority have always been difficult on that site even with the previous owners where it is well known that the council objected to the Dell letting on technical grounds. Not being funny but how anyone can object to a deal with Dell; particularly as they were the hotest thing in computing at the time 10 years ago; I will never know.

But to move away from the past we need to look at the future and how the €90bn is going to be made back. It is certainly not going to be made unless an active asset management strategy is put into place.

1. Hiring staff from the key groups to fill the knoweldge deficit

2. Strategic planning based on key exisitng employment locations and existing transport corridors

3. Completing part complete developments at almost all locations and inject / guarantee construction finance to commence developments at locations identified in the strategic plan e.g. North Docklands, James' St area proximate to Heuston

4. Maximising income from completed developments to offset NAMA interest costs; As rental values have held up remarkably well so the presumption must be that there is if product goes to market the potential to secure income and build credit histories for the tenancies in new properties under management to reduce the perceived risk profile.

5. Spinning off portfolio's of performing assets to the investment markets either as REIT's or individual assets; preferably the former in a phased fashion where a series of percentage based Initial Public Offerings would be made followed by a planned disposal of stakes over a period of time. There would be a strong appetite for above government debt returns from private investors chasing yield.

The principles driving NAMA should be more Temasek than Northern Rock; they should move with the economic cycle and ramp up production and disposals when the cycle permits and cut head count when demand falls. I doubt anyone predicts any further falls in demand; regardless of country of residence it will be a vry long time before any of us see a 24 months resembling July 2007 - July 2009
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby garethace » Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:22 pm

He could spot a bargain and if he had spent more time developing that scheme quickly and getting it to market a couple of years earlier he could have made mega bucks from that one project alone.


Well this is the thing isn't it.

During the Celtic Tiger times, they didn't only out stretch themselves in terms of credit obtained from the Irish banks. They also out stretched themselves too much, in terms of the attention they could give to every project they were stuck in.

Even the aptly names Chinese Real Estate Oportunities Fund spawned by Treasury Holdings to become one of the largest European funds active in China.


Agreed.

But China is on its way towards the same burn out as the Celtic Tiger. When China tanks it some time in the future, that is when the chill winds will really start blowing. Or maybe it will be an opportunity for countries who cannot compete with Chinese exports on the world market at the moment. I don't know.

The problem came for some when they left their core business and played the stock market or were unlucky with their timing like Paddy Kelly with the Florida development where the local market collapsed around the time he needed serious unit sales; which would have been very easy to attain in say 16 of the past 20 years and probably 15 of the next 20 years.


Point taken.

Not being funny but how anyone can object to a deal with Dell; particularly as they were the hotest thing in computing at the time 10 years ago; I will never know.


Thanks for contributing that, I am glad that some else did. I am going to be always open to criticism of having a pro Liam Carroll bias in my attitude.

2. Strategic planning based on key exisitng employment locations and existing transport corridors


I will not claim any expertise there . . . simply not my area.

4. Maximising income from completed developments to offset NAMA interest costs; As rental values have held up remarkably well so the presumption must be that there is if product goes to market the potential to secure income and build credit histories for the tenancies in new properties under management to reduce the perceived risk profile.


Delighted you mention that one. I am all for innovation there.

5. Spinning off portfolio's of performing assets to the investment markets either as REIT's or individual assets; preferably the former in a phased fashion where a series of percentage based Initial Public Offerings would be made followed by a planned disposal of stakes over a period of time. There would be a strong appetite for above government debt returns from private investors chasing yield.


I am vaguely familiar with REIT's. The Irish market definitely needs something like this going forward.

In some ways the NAMA process will be like floating Russia's national oil industry assets into a new private economy. We all know how that turned out. In other ways the NAMA project, will be the opposite. It will be about placing assets into some national hold all.

In either direction we will need the best process to achieve the best returns.

The principles driving NAMA should be more Temasek than Northern Rock; they should move with the economic cycle and ramp up production and disposals when the cycle permits and cut head count when demand falls. I doubt anyone predicts any further falls in demand; regardless of country of residence it will be a vry long time before any of us see a 24 months resembling July 2007 - July 2009


A point well made and I hope so.

I heard some lady on Newstalk radio this morning telling Irish people they would all have to move to Africa to find work.

I turned the radio off.

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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby PVC King » Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:53 pm

garethace wrote:In some ways the NAMA process will be like floating Russia's national oil industry assets into a new private economy. We all know how that turned out. In other ways the NAMA project, will be the opposite. It will be about placing assets into some national hold all.


Other than Liam Lawlor I doubt any of us would ever be able to adopt the Russian model culturally and in terms of governmental infrastructure we are simply too different.

Thankfully unlike Russia there is also the existance of a large, (over an economic cycle) solvent and educated middle class which comprises the majority of the population.

The key will be identifying what demand the demographic position can produce over a series of cycles and maximising value from what already exists to facilitate that process.

It is not rocket science to

1.Identify demand,

2.Complete half built units for the two years and rentalise where sales are not acheivable

3.Best placed units from the extensive landbank over the next three thereafter.

4. Have developments adjoining key infrastructure projects such as interconnector, Northern Line, Adamstown ready for delivery to coincide with the project.

The only way to realise the full value of NAMA will be to trade out of the postion over a 15 - 20 year timeframe. The sooner International markets see a detailed action plan the sooner the spread between NTMA bonds and Bund will shrink to the 50bps target and thereafter below; clearly that is something all want to see - throwing assets into a hold all to rot will not solve anything; conversely NAMA should

1. Hire senior investment and construction managers to repair the knowledge deficit as a lot of developers will be doing other things in the future

2. Immediately investing in completion of projects that have a viability taken on a land value of zero and renting those units out into the medium term until values recover or rental values rise year on year to produce an investment yield that creates value exceeding the total of all input prices and the return produced over the period by the risk free investment i.e. government bonds.

3. Extending finance to developers in Joint Ventures to develop schemes where demand clearly exists and where the land value's NAMA paid the bank can be exceeded allowing a fair margin for both parties to receive a return to cover profit for the JV partner and a profit to be set against losses for NAMA on less viable projects.
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby wearnicehats » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:55 pm

PVC King wrote:

I do think we have heard enough about Zoe developments;



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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby garethace » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:03 pm

I appreciate the case you presented above. I know that someone has to put forward the case for NAMA. To articulate and show how it could work.

2. Immediately investing in completion of projects that have a viability taken on a land value of zero and renting those units out into the medium term until values recover or rental values rise year on year to produce an investment yield that creates value exceeding the total of all input prices and the return produced over the period by the risk free investment i.e. government bonds.


I can see that NAMA would be crucial to getting us around the present land valuation problems. Basically, at the moment there isn't any sensible way to value land. No one could tell you what it is worth. Lets remember, that with Irish developers it was access to that one key commodity, land, which appeared to give them such tremendous bargaining or 'strategic' influence in business. That was the common perception of developers during the Celtic Tiger. That perception is what drove most of it. But it ensured that Irish developers relied too heavily on the factor of land being worth so much. They didn't manage to extend their talents in other dimensions. I suppose that is a legacy of the corrupt political land game in Ireland. We only developed skills there, no where else.

I call it the 'Bertie Factor'. It sort of bent economics out of shape. Now that key advantage has been taken away from developers, they are rendered powerless, or so it seems. It shouldn't be that way. Developers should be able to add value in other dimensions other than having 'the inside track' in terms of access to the land commodity. Those dimensions were not exploited at all by Irish developers. They never learned how. One could argue that the current depression in the Irish property cycle, is a result of a false counter-perception. That developers who have lost the value of their land are now powerless. Yes, losing value to one's land is a massive hit, but it should not render them entirely impotent either. Irish developers seem to be shell shocked at the moment. They seem unable to fight their way out of this, because the one dimension they understood, that of land value is not working for them anymore.

I always made the argument, that one has to add value to land by the way in which you do something on it. That is where I do get into such conflict with the architectural profession whose ideas of what you do on the land, and how you do it are different from mine. But then again, I have gone through different schools. I wrote something about my time developing industrial zoned land at Designcomment blog, entitled 'Far Away Hills', which I am quite proud of. I know it is written in somewhat colloquial terms, but I think it conveys the key points and my ideas about different ways to develop land. Personally, I didn't see much point in someone who understood stone quarries becoming a house builder. But I might be wrong on that score too.

3. Extending finance to developers in Joint Ventures to develop schemes where demand clearly exists and where the land value's NAMA paid the bank can be exceeded allowing a fair margin for both parties to receive a return to cover profit for the JV partner and a profit to be set against losses for NAMA on less viable projects.


I take your point about NAMA profits being set against less viable projects. For sure, Gerry McCaughey could see that potential even on the scale of a single scheme. Whereby the British government would allow you £60k stirling per S&A dwelling unit. Basically, the profit from the project was off setting the loss on the S&A units. Some builders were good enough at what they did, that they could still make it work.


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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby garethace » Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:13 am

-

Reality Bites

For my money the really important piece written in yesterday's newspapers was by Dearbhail McDonald, Legal Editor of the Irish Independent newspaper.

A high-level working group yesterday called for a referendum on a new intermediate court that would act as a final court of appeal for all civil cases, unless they involve cases of major public or constitutional importance.


http://www.independent.ie/national-news/our-supreme-court-is-one-of-busiest-in-world-survey-finds-1854890.html

But attention was drawn by a radio interview this morning to Stephen Collins 'Inside Politics' in yesterdays Irish Times.

Sadly, the history of independent Ireland has proved that his confidence was misplaced. The dominating feature of Irish politics has been a short-sighted scramble to placate vested interests with public spending programmes that have regularly undermined national policy on almost every front, from health to industrial development.


http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0808/1224252236325.html

Certainly, there is a debate starting to emerge on the notion of 'getting back to reality'. That is what ACC bank have been tremendously helpful in doing in Ireland.

But the only point I would like to make, is that we cannot get back to reality in Ireland, because there was never a great deal of reality to begin with. In my Designcomment blog entry about 'Adding Value' I refer to the price the Irish nation paid for its corrupt history in relation to land. It has had the impact, that now that the land dimension to 'adding value' has been extinguished, we are flat footed. We were a one trick pony.

Then in the Designcomment blog entry about 'Paper Airplanes' and 'Far Away Hills' I argue that the market was distorted by the Irish Taoiseach of ten years, Bertie Ahern. Ahern created an environment in which expertise and skill wasn't valued so much as small time, opportunism - with a hint of Ponzi scheme-ing into the bargain. That is what made Ahern so popular for so long. The 'little man' could see he was harvesting the benefits of Ahern being in power.

In fact, in the end as I argued in 'Far Away Hills', even the big boys tried to be the little man in the end. With disasterous consequences, because the big boys really 'organised' production on a vast scale. When the little boys were making hay it wasn't too toxic because they were only chipping away at a reduced scale. But when the big boys became the little men, it really became toxic for real.

Ireland is such a small island with such a small population density per acre, there is never going to be 'reality' in the sense that everyone craves for. We are going to have 2 no. major banking players and no more. We are going to always have 'un-reality' in the property market. But in reference to the Sunday Tribune article by Conor McMorrow:

'There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know. And then there is the future of Nama."


http://www.tribune.ie/business/article/2009/aug/02/nama-the-known-unknowns-and-the-unknown-unknowns/

This aspect of Ireland and the market, the strange way in which it behaves should be a known known today. Ireland is the land of magic and make believe. We should understand what exactly did happen. Shane Ross was very descriptive in his explanation of it here:

Yet the men on the magic mushrooms are still pretending that a bankrupt bank should be lending millions to an insolvent builder for a headquarters they will never occupy.


http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/high-as-kites-on-nama-trip-1849287.html

We should not attempt to speculate. Now that this fantasy in relation to Anglo Irish bank has entered the domain of the 'known knowns' (something that was unsure when the government offered its guarantee to the banks last Autumn) we can use this knowledge to make a properly informed decision that Anglo Irish bank indeed has no future in this country. It's only future potential way to source funding is through the Irish taxpayer.

That is why we do need a supreme court that is able to do it's job. Rather than having to handle a case load of 200+ cases a year. We do need a referendum on the issue of an intermediary court in the land. In order to go forward and to progress.

The Liam Carroll case up coming is important to the social, political and economic well being of Ireland for the future. The fact it is being shoe horned in with 200+ other cases to me is the real problem. Companies such as Zoe developments know the legal system is broken. They know they can throw as many shapes, and blow as much smoke in everybodies face as they wish.

Because the fact is, the Irish people is about to accept €2.3 billion worth of Liam Carroll's debts. But we will never get a faithful and correct transcript of what did happen between the banks and Carroll, in order for us to make a better decision in regards to NAMA going forward. We are working with an incomplete picture of the past, at best. Companies such as Zoe will do everything in their power to ensure it stays that way.

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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby KerryBog2 » Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:50 pm

garethace wrote:You see, this is the same point I was making to Kerry Bog late yesterday evening in the 'Liam Carroll' thread, about Economist professors and commentators (Constantin Gurdgiev, Pat Honohon, Morgan Kelly etc intelligent as they may be) who write articles and blogs about NAMA.


Garethace,,
I'm putting this here as it is more appropriate. It is nonsense for O’Dalaigh to now , after the creation of NAMA, talk about what could/should have been done ; it wasn’t, we are stuck with what we have and we must make it work. What we need to do is to ensure it gets full support and both positive and negative criticism.

What O’Dalaigh has to say is on his site is interesting, with McWilliam-esque quotes, albeit to promote his book. From what I could read, (here in the vastness of my Kerry estate, my dongle is limited to dial-up speeds) I agree with O’D on many aspects, such as fiduciary duty (which I earlier wrote about as financial probity) and on the need to fire all senior lending bankers, which I also mentioned earlier in a comparison to the firing/retiring that happened when Insurance Corp. of Ireland failed.

Gurdgiev is an academic, free to say what he wants without toeing any party line, unlike economists from the IAVI or the financial institutions( a class of financial prostitutes). The merit of Gurdgiev’s freedom is counterbalanced by a lack of inside knowledge on what is taking place at a senior level in those institutions which forces (allows?) him to speculate on gossip, such as the rumoured acquisition of ACC by BoI/AIB. There are lots of bored underworked bankers out there with nothing to do but gossip, so speculation is rampant. Most is plain BS.

The notion that Ireland has just one bullet in its NAMA gun is both correct and very scary – the old shooting maxim of “Never hunt a bear with one bullet in your gun” comes to mind and Ireland is deep in the bush with lots of bears. For me, Scary Item No. 1 is that nobody yet knows anything of worth about NAMA. To date, never has so much been written by so many who knew so little. NAMA has to work, or Ireland Inc. is screwed for many generations. NAMA has to work, because it is the only hope we have, as we already are financially committed. The big question is how long it will take? The longer there is inactivity the closer the time to intervention by the IMF. It must be got right (not just launched) soon, and already it is months behind schedule. It cannot work in isolation; many other inputs are necessary to create an economic microclimate surrounding it.

What needs to be done 1 - Communication
The first item on the agenda is communication. Neither the Govt, Opposition nor NAMA (now gagged) has said anything of merit on the “What/Where/When/How” of the NAMA solution. Part of that communication is to gain public support. Without communication there cannot be public support and NAMA will be mired.

What needs to be done 2 - Rolling Heads
Heads need to roll. I’m not suggesting a bloodbath or a witch-hunt, but the level of incompetence shown by politicians, bankers and regulatory bodies is enormous. Even today, right now, imagine any CEO & top management of a business deep in the organic fertilizer going off on several weeks holidays ? If the Opposition and minority party were any good they would be in Kildare St NOW and shouting ‘Where is everyone?’ Bertie can say goodbye to the Park (which is why Mammy O’Rourke is sniping away and yapping at every opportunity), Cowan should go; he, (like Noonan was) is a nonentity, no vision, out of his depth and there only because of popularity within his party. Bankers – where rules/probity/fiduciary duty have been broken they should be fired. A board approves lending guidelines, a credit committee signs off on them and an audit committee monitors them. What in God’s name was happening at Anglo? BoI? AIB? Nationwide? ILP? Regulator – I do not buy the story that Neary knew nothing. Banks of necessity have recordings of key telephone conversations. There are minutes of meetings. Where are they? Have they been demanded? Are they under lock and key? Have they been wiped/shredded? How complicit were/are the Regulators & government in a cover-up? ("Ssssh, it's in the National Interest.")

What needs to be done 3 - Triage
NAMA needs to assess the developer and construction sector like a battlefield medic, sorting the victims into leave to die, leave aside for non-urgent treatment and those needing immediate attention to survive their wounds. Somewhere you wrote suggesting bulldozing some developments was overkill. I disagree; here in Kerry many villages have large numbers of new houses either part-built or finished and unoccupied. There is no local village industry other than declining tourism, so no employment. Often badly sited, too frequently badly built, no one wants to buy those properties or can get the money to do so; an option of a co.co. buying them exists, but who can rent them, with no local employment or transport to a bigger town? (Q. ‘What time is the next bus to Killarney?’ A. ‘Next June. Sir.’) Leave them and they will become a blight, spray painted ghettos, playgrounds for unemployed teenagers. Leave those that are roofed, bulldoze the rest.

What needs to be done 4 – Foreign Banks
The most foolish mistakes are made by new market arrivals. British banks and insurers are the worst – (‘We’ll show Paddy how it is done by professionals’) – and they bugger about and create havoc with the market. Back in the late 80’s when Barclays entered it did exactly that, before retiring bloodied and bruised to wholesale banking in the IFSC. Foreign banks led the way on crazy lending, joined by bonus-hungry unethical lenders in Irish institutions. We have too many banks. The govt. should state that the govt. guarantee to foreign banks will expire now, existing deposits at today's date being covered..

What needs to be done 4 - Debt management.
NAMA must actively manage its portfolio and while it needs input from experts many of those are strongly tainted and probably to sharp for public servants. Outside help should be hired on contract with non-compete clauses. Banks must not be allowed roll-up interest without permission from the Regulator and must actively pursue delinquent developers (which is what ACC is doing.)

Loans with breaches of covenants should be called and guarantees enforced. The difficulty – and it should not be underestimated from a timescale perspective – is the corporate structure of the developer groups. Most have entities with ‘unlimited’ status but invariably the ultimate holding company is limited. A softer approach on personal guarantees should be taken with those who cooperate, make full disclosure, etc.

What needs to be done 5 – Public Service
Public servants have taken to describing themselves as ‘managers’ and now delegate everything to consultants who often provide the politically required result, not necessarily the correct one, nor the one the consultants believe to be the most effective. Public servants should do what they are paid to do – work. No more consultancy reports without a definite and publicised reason as to why public servants cannot produce them. We cannot afford the existing number of local authorities. Merge them, three would be enough Connaught/Ulster; Leinster; Munster. Cut the staff as part of the process. The average number of ‘Sick days’ per employee in every Govt Department should be displayed on all that Dept’s correspondence.

What needs to be done 6 – Redundancy payments
Redundancy payment should be capped at 6 weeks per year to a maximum of one and a half year’s salary, for everone, public servants, bankers, etc. How Neary was treated after the total mess he made of supervision makes me want to puke.

What needs to be done – construction professionals
We have enough office space and residential units to keep us going for a few years. We need to export jobs or import services – i.e. lose some professionals to work overseas and those who remain will have to develop an export business to survive. Tough, but that’s life, lots of us had to do it in the 80’s.


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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby KerryBog2 » Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:56 pm

PVC King wrote:
The principles driving NAMA should be more Temasek than Northern Rock;


I agree fully, I've long admired the Singaporean model. However, with personal experience of Temasek and public servants in both Ireland and Singapore our guys would just not measure up to what Temasek does. Not a hope.
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby missarchi » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:36 am

Of course, it is not really in China's interest to stop the scheme, even if it wanted to, because its own economy would likewise blow up. Satyajit Das, a credit derivatives expert in Australia, likens this to stepping on one of those land mines that are activated by the weight of a victim's body. As soon as the weight is lifted, the mine explodes, and the person's leg is blown off.

China is thus frozen in place, damned if it does and damned if it doesn't. It's a classic Catch-22. China's cache of U.S. bonds isn't worth anything unless the bonds are sold. But selling them on any kind of scale will gut their value.

how does this relate to nama? should the value be 0 until they are sold?
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby garethace » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:18 am

The big question is how long it will take? The longer there is inactivity the closer the time to intervention by the IMF.


Nice way of putting it. The dogs are at the door quite literally. I think it is a real pity the intermediary court of appeal isn't up and running. It would offer a very useful service to the Irish recovery strategy. It would enable us to sort out the companies who really created terrible example for business as a whole in Ireland. That element will not be a part of this recovery in Ireland, more is the pity.

So it means that many companies will go into the next upturn, not being fully equipped in terms of corporate morals. It is a younger bunch we will be sending out the next time too, who would have benefitted enormously from the added back bone in their boot camp training. I hope that the universities and business colleges at least can take up some of the slack here.

I sometimes wonder what were we doing during the Celtic Tiger, when we had all of the money in the system to tackle a number of key things such as that. Things that would help us out enormously today. It seems like Ireland Inc. is scrambling to dry land, on a number of fronts, while still battling against a raging torrent of bad chance. (A perfect storm in the case of many Irish builders)

A quite elderly friend of mine raised a point not so long ago. That Ireland should have been taxing itself more when it had the money. In order to be able to tax ourselves less, to give ourselves some breathing space now that we are drifting at sea again.

It must be got right (not just launched) soon, and already it is months behind schedule. It cannot work in isolation; many other inputs are necessary to create an economic microclimate surrounding it.


I think myself - and I would love to spend my time poking holes in NAMA, and analsing its obvious weaknesses - this is the kind of program management view we need to take today. We need to stay somewhat on program.

Even today, right now, imagine any CEO & top management of a business deep in the organic fertilizer going off on several weeks holidays ?


You are right, I can't imagine it.

What in God’s name was happening at Anglo? BoI? AIB? Nationwide? ILP? Regulator – I do not buy the story that Neary knew nothing.


I can tell you when I knew there was something strange afoot. I hadn't been watching too much news, or reading too many papers at that stage. Last September 2008, I were sitting on the top floor at Debenhams in Henry Street eating some lunch, while gazing out at the crowds streaming up from the Ha'penny bridge. There were a lot of people on the street that day all going about their business. It is a funny thing, I managed to pick out one of the financial directors from Zoe in the crowd from a mile away. I knew he had the inside view of what was going on. He begged for all the cheques that he received from Liam Carroll.

But on that day, he was easy to pick out of the crowd, because the sheer stress had become part of his stride, part of his own body. He seemed to have aged twenty years all of a sudden. It was frightening to be honest. There I was sitting up in the top floor of a building, and I could pick out easily the one guy down there who could see it all collapsing. He was probably thinking about his own reputation and his future career. He was far too young to be caught in this mess. I don't know. I said it to him later on that day, to relax, he looked very tense. He was doing the best he could to cope, but I knew he had reached the end of his patience with everyone he was dealing with.

NAMA must actively manage its portfolio and while it needs input from experts many of those are strongly tainted and probably too sharp for public servants.


I wouldn't want them to be my public servants at all. But then again, there is no point in our public service wasting another 2 years trying to figure out the ropes, while the time is against us. A difficult balance will have to be struck between existing knowledge of how the building system work(ed) and introducing a fresh layer of over-see-er's who are competent enough and confident. Hopefully we will see fresh new talents emerge from all of this, who will be able to lead the way into the future. Bearing in mind though, whoever deals with the 'toxic material' is going to be exposed to an unknown degree of sleeze and rubbish, not meant for human consumption.

Peter Bacon should have made a 'Y' for that factor in his NAMA report, to go with the 'X' factor in relation to the haircut needed for NAMA to take possession of loans.

Chances are, out of the rescue-ers at NAMA we will probably see the next Charles J. Haughey arise, who knows every trick in the book. That is part of my motivation for wanting some of the older, existing players to be supervised and paid to go in and sort out the toxic waste. I would like to get involved in some capacity there. We simply cannot afford to expose some of our brightest and best (a club which I never claim membership of) to some of what will be uncovered. It is too risky. The toxicity levels are simply too high. We have to do more than Russia did with Chernobyl: they gave guys a shovel and an ID badge.

Public servants have taken to describing themselves as ‘managers’ and now delegate everything to consultants who often provide the politically required result, not necessarily the correct one, nor the one the consultants believe to be the most effective. Public servants should do what they are paid to do – work. No more consultancy reports without a definite and publicised reason as to why public servants cannot produce them.


I agree.

The OPW being a prime example. The OPW needs to work. I used to meet my friend who works in St. Stephen's Green OPW at Stillorgan for lunch on a regular basis. Driving to Stillorgan for lunch time. Now if that isn't 'fifty years ago' I don't know what is.

Or else what is the OPW doing there? I know it pays out wads of fees to consultant architects and engineers who proceed to squander the money in the state's coffers. I wouldn't mind, but the OPW have some of the best trained staff in the entire country. Doing nothing except creating Bebo sites. We have backed our public service into a complete corner as regards to their being able to contribute to society and to the economy. It is all bullshit.

We cannot afford the existing number of local authorities. Merge them, three would be enough Connaught/Ulster; Leinster; Munster. Cut the staff as part of the process. The average number of ‘Sick days’ per employee in every Govt Department should be displayed on all that Dept’s correspondence.


It is the building professions in my experience are the most to blame. They have wrapped up this cosy little deal between themselves and the Irish state very nicely. Yes it makes the professions viable, but it doesn't make any economic sense for the Irish state. It doesn't make economic sense for the professions anymore either. Because the State will not have any money left to pay them after NAMA gets started up.

So all bets are off. Until the private sector of the economy which has shrunk down to a third of what it was (Irish Stock Exchange fell from 66 billion in value down to 20 something billion, losing 44 billion in the process) is able to recover, the public service cannot expect to return to it's business as usual. I hope it will never again return to it's business as usual either.

How Neary was treated after the total mess he made of supervision makes me want to puke.


I'm sorry I didn't follow that story at the time, but I will take your word for it.

We have enough office space and residential units to keep us going for a few years. We need to export jobs or import services – i.e. lose some professionals to work overseas and those who remain will have to develop an export business to survive. Tough, but that’s life, lots of us had to do it in the 80’s.


I think the existing model for construction professionals was un-sustainable long before the crash had finally occured. I still believe we need some projects to go ahead. They only get more expensive as we delay building them. That is a fact. Think about all of the underground line that the Irish pony boys built over in London of the sixties. Yeah, it was before a lot of mechanisation and technology. It happened slow and on/off. But it did happen.

We can wait another 20 years in Ireland to do certain projects, that are going to be needed by then anyway. It is going to cost us an arm and a leg to bring back everyone and grow the industry necessary to support certain project undertakings. We have that industry in Ireland now, that is one of the few benefits of the Celtic Tiger. I agree with you, develop an export model and send our industry on foreign contracts, where speed, ability and quality is required. We can compete anywhere in the world. But in the meantime, lets do a couple of the most needed projects in Ireland and finish them out.

By the time 20 years passes and we are on stronger economic footing, we will need to be paying down what is left of the NAMA project. Clearing that debt for good. So it would be a pity in 20 years time, if we had to pump massive amounts in one short period into necessary projects for the good of the country. When I believe, we could be planning and going ahead with them now, at a much cheaper albeit much slower rate. You are right, the export orientation is the way to go. But a balance will need to be struck with national needs too.

The problem in the Celtic Tiger was the 'big things' didn't happen. Because for 10 years that clown Bertie Ahern made the environment such that it was more profitable for all the big men to behave like little men. I worked with some of the best project managers we have in this country (not at Zoe, Zoe didn't have any of those kinds of men) and they were reduced to flogging off two storey houses to make a few bob. It was way beneath what there capabilities are.

There was nothing happening for them on a larger scale that they could manage and use the skills they were born with. Then the little men, (such as Zoe developments) got all sorts of notions above their station and went off building shopping centres etc without a bull's clue.

Now that does make me want to puke.

There is nothing wrong with being a small man, like Zoe developments were very good at doing, if you stick to that. That is why I made my blog entry about the Ford Cobra. But to try and go after the big stuff, and believe you can do it, because of some s**** about your being the 'Ryan Air' of the construction industry, is completely off the rocker.

You are absolutely right in your analysis. Liam Carroll drove a second hand Japanese car. So what? He ran the best [little] company ever created in this country into the ground, and didn't give a damn for the men and women who had served him in what capacity they could for 20+ years.

Enough said. It feels good to be awake now, finally.


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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby garethace » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:44 am

Something in today's Independent newspaper about the department of Finance.

The creation of NAMA is another, even more spectacular example, which saw Peter Bacon tasked with the job of saving the country.


http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/department-of-finance-has-to-stop-outsourcing-its-thinking-1855531.html

Dearbhail McDonald, Legal Editor in today's Independent newspaper:

"The NAMA bill introduces sweeping changes to legal practice in the areas of litigation, corporate recovery, banking/security and property law," said Mark Woodcock, head of corporate restructuring and insolvency at law firm McDowell Purcell. "It appears to attempt to greatly facilitate the daunting task facing the agency.


http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/nama-to-be-protected-from-raft-of-lawsuits-1855532.html

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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby keating » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:31 pm

Step back and see the wood for the trees. Would anyone agree that all this talk of Nama is irrelevant in any medium term outlook. Our era of cheap credit, where 'Growth' was predicated on increasing oil production is over, Oil production has peaked and now we are on the down side. In a contracting economy, asset prices will further devalue. Are we not best to abandon the illusion of growth? We need to resist the impulse to continue this charade untill the foretold impending recovery, which in actuality is likely to be a mere 'dead cat bounce'. The 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse; Peak oil, climate change, groundwater polution and limits to growth will define the next half century. The collapse of our speculative land market and its associated equity's is only the harbinger of the challenges ahead. We need to adress new problems with new solutions, not the mindset that created this problem. To say that we will never see a period as bleak as 2007-2009 is laughable. Before the decade is out we will wish that things were merely this bad. Our economic and political experts know only 2 approaches, 2 forward gears, Keynes and Smith, they fast need to learn Descent economics (de-growth).

Faq's Some department of finance propaganda.

http://nama.ie/Publications/2009/NAMAFAQs.pdf

Nama and planning.

http://www.irisheconomy.ie/wp-content/uploads/NAMA%20and%20Better%20Planning.pdf
keating
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Re: National Asset Management Agency

Postby garethace » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:11 pm

Keating,

Yes, we do need to stand back. I agree with you. The whole NAMA project, as large and all as we imagine it to be, is contained within a much, much larger picture which you properly point out.

I hope your kinds of brains are on board with NAMA. I really do indeed. It is not really my department. I am most comfortable down at the other ends, where the plumbers, brick layers and electricians do their stuff. I have their interests in the back of my mind most often. Like I have said elsewhere, to maintain and manage a tidy and efficient production line. But from time to time, I do raise my head above all of that.


Reinventing Collapse


Feasta had invited Dmitry Orlov, author of Reinventing Collapse to speak at their conference this year.

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2009/06/definancialisation-deglobalisation.html

I read some of the transcript of his lecture to Feasta. I had to say, I found his points very useful indeed in my only [small] life where I converse on a regular basis with other simple folk such as plumbers and electricians. I found Orlov's arguments excellent in conveying to other partners in the construction industry, what our collective future may indeed look like.

Particularly in relation to the points about peak oil and peak credit. I think that Orlov wraps them together quite interestingly in his writing.

Thanks for raising this point and making the contribution. I don't know if Archiseek already has a National Spatial Strategy thread, but in any case, I began one for general comment or contributions here:

http://www.archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=7765


My real 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse are:


- Better education for architects about Energy Conservation and Energy generation. Architects need to get informed when it comes to energy. To achieve the most efficient expenditure of scarce available capital, a deal will need to be struck between services engineers and architects. In many cases, a more efficient boiler, though it might not last as long as a less efficient boiler, will be a lot cheaper than energy conservation measures that are purely about walls and architectural stuff. I am all for passive design, but lets be realistic in terms of investment.

- Better education for architects about the Smarter Economy, much like a generator in its own right. I look forward to the day when Sean O'Laoire writes his blog about the workshop he attended with Frank Duffy of DEGW consultants in the UK.

- Much better education for architects in relation to urban land economics, and therefore of smarter and more intelligent planning coming from them.

- Better education for architects in efficient use of the scarse capital we do have available, such as the skill displayed by Turner and Townsend program management consultants to Dublin Airport Authority.


Education for Architects


In short, education (of architects in particular) is a big part of the solution I describe. There will be work for a lot of architects. We need to change the way we go about our business though. Architects in the future will be able to communicate better which a much wider spectrum of other educated individuals and groups. That will enable architects to move deeper in business itself, and probably into government or politics also. I think that was the basic program that Sean O'Laoire tried to bring to light twenty years ago or more. It would be nice to see some of that come to bear fruit.


Brian O' Hanlon
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