Having purchased the Sunday Independent (17th May), largely for a 10 Euro off Lidl voucher, I came across an article on N.A.M.A that was both alarming and eye opening.
I have long held the view that this outfit would end up as a national scandal at some stage. On reading this article I discovered that we have taken stupidity and incompetence to a whole new level. But first a brief recap:
The NTMA is the body which handles the state debt. It incorporates NAMA (the National Asset Management Agency), the body established by the Government to handle toxic bank loans.
Recent figures reveal staff at the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), which incorporates NAMA, to be among the best-paid in the public sector. The figures show:
– 202 NTMA staff earn up to €100,000.
– 65 earn between €100,001 and €150,000.
– 22 earn between €150,001 and €200,000.
– 16 earn more than €200,000.
The figures mean that, of the total of 305 staff in the NTMA, a third earn more than €100,000 a year.
They also mean that several NTMA staff are paid more than ministers, who receive €181,000 a year.
For example, NTMA chief executive John Corrigan recently revealed he is paid €490,000 a year after a FOI request concerning the salary of his predecessor. Mr Corrigan could also earn annual bonuses of up to €392,000 in line with his contract.
It is believed the chief executive of NAMA Brendan McDonagh also earns about €500,000.
So, what are all these splendid people doing?
The article in the Sunday Independent, page 12 of the news section, gives some examples of deals they have been making on our behalf.
Project Holly, the loan portfolio of developer Sean Reilly, with a par value of €373 million was sold by NAMA in 2014 to US equity company Lone Star for €220 million. In 2015 Lone Star sold in on to US fund Starwood Properties for €350 million. Net loss to the Irish taxpayer of €130 million! Or just under €3 million a week profit for the vulture funds.
One Warrington Place, Dublin2. Sold to to US fund Northwood Investors for €27 million. Last year that property was sold on for €42 million. Cost us € 15 million that one did.
The Forum Building, IFSC, Dublin 1. sold for €28 million and sold on for €37.8 million.
1-6 John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. Sold for €7.5 million sold on for €17.75 million
Dock Mills, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2. Developer Chris Jones paid NAMA €1.3 million. Spent €1.4 million converting to offices and then sold on for €13 million.
Booterstown Marsh Site sold for €400.000 sold on less than two years later for a million.
Makes you weep. In just the six examples in this article a staggering difference of some €170 million between NAMA sales and the actual market values they reached, in many cases in less than two years.
I take the view that, where it is possible to get the values of properties wrong, but it takes a level of incompetence that is staggering to get them wrong this often and by this much.
Remember how secretive this outfit is. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Nobody is watching. Welcome to the brave new World of petty, nasty new taxes, cuts to services and topically, a heath services that is bad for you health.
All this, while are we paying these people a fortune to cost us a fortune with government convinced of how well it is doing!
Peter Farrahy May 2015