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  1. Robert Browne
    October 22, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Peter, thanks for your exposition of NAMA at the RDS last night where unbelievably over 200 people turned up, at short notice in atrocious weather to listen to you. Not only did you bring a keen mind and rock solid expertise to the NAMA debate you brought that rare quality, honesty. We could all see that you were not one of the “read my lips” or the we will “take that on board” light weights.

    The most shocking thing for me and others who attended was the realization, about half way into your talk, that democracy in Ireland is all but dead. Buried side by side with the economy.

    We have become a rag tag army of narrow sectoral interests. So many people are prepared to do what is wrong for the country but profitable, in the short-term, for themselves. Unless, they manage to stash some survival money off-shore they will soon regret their actions. The international banking community is watching. They can see we have not got a clue how to run our financial affairs. When the NAMA folly unravels, as it must, premised as it is on a lethal cocktail of false assumptions, they will pull the plug.

    NAMA 2009 spells the end of democracy in Ireland. As you said, we are not yet over the cliff but unless there is some constitutional challenge to NAMA we and it, will be delivered on a plate, for those who have demanded it!

  2. Paul McDonald
    January 14, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Peter, I appreciate the valuable contribution you are making to the debate on NAMA. My limited experience of financial services was very many years ago and in a French-speaking environment. For what it is worth I will outline my view on a possible “solution”, however naive it may seem.

    We are in an EMERGENCY. We need legislation to protect the ordinary citizen from gross exploitation. Higher earners are more likely to have benefited from the boom years. Normally, they will be the people with the most to lose if the banking system were to collapse. However, the Government assures them that NAMA will be their salvation. They have even produced forecasts which predict a profit over the 10-year horizon which is proposed. Let the Government ask high earners to shoulder the burden of financing the rescue, and let Ministers lead by example themselves. All earnings in excess of 100,000 euros will be paid NET in the form of new NAMA bonds to be issued in 25,000 euro units (or fractions thereof where necessary) without a State guarantee.

    The changeover will happen IMMEDIATELY for senior civil servants and members of the Oireachtas. The expenses of TDs and senators will be paid ONLY in units or fractions of NAMA bonds.

    SOCIETY NEED TO SEE THAT THE GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SERVICE MANDARINS BELIEVE IN THE RESCUE THEY HAVE DEVISED AND WILL PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTHS ARE.

    Such courageous action by our Government and leading civil servants would mean a ratings upgrade for Ireland and a corresponding reduction in the cost of servicing existing debt and the burden of tax on us all. Failure on their part will have corresponding long-term negative consequences. GO, BRIAN, GO . . . SHOW US YOUR LEADERSHIP!!!

    The Bonds will be used also to pay and INCENTIVISE our bankers. Banking executives, active or retired, would be remunerated in Bonds for amounts over 100,000 euros and would also receive bonus amounts in these bonds or fractions thereof. Legislation will be brought forward to ensure that executive bonus payments made in the past 6 years will be converted to Bonds and that pension “Honeypots” acquired by retired banking executives will be converted. Whether or not a market can be successfully established in the Bonds is a question which must be subordinated to the needs of the EMERGENCY.

    People will need to reflect also on the fact that, to date, every household in Ireland has contributed circa 11,000 euros for the bank bailout. There is a case for issuing bonds to all households for such magnanimous generosity. Another category of bonds would be issued to compensate householders and enable them to make certain restricted payments or part-payments with these category B bonds, eg, 50% settlement of fees for professional services, 50% of College fees, etc.

    A FREEZE ON UPWARD PRICE MOVEMENTS WILL OPERATE THROUGHOUT THE EMERGENCY

    High earners will hold on to their bonds till maturity in 10 years’ time with the coupons “rolling up” in the same way as the interest on property loans.

    Any flaws in the system will be resolved to the advantage of society at large and not for the benefit of a sectional interest.

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