I smell another one of those fishy rats in Irish politics and business this week.
We have seen Sean Fitzpatrick (ex-Anglo) arrested last week, various shocking NAMA and bailout announcements, Anglo saved by a pack of lies and reporting biggest ever losses (and Bank of Ireland also reporting dreadful losses) and key cashflow parts of Quinn put into administration this week.
It all looks a bit too choreographed to me. I wonder if the ‘establishment’ (or ‘elites’, whatever you wish to call them) have decided that they are offering Mr Fitzpatrick and Mr Quinn up as ’sacrificial lambs’ to keep the public and the tabloids quiet? As they like to say… "draw a line under that".
It’s also very convenient that government has now gone off on 19 days holiday after everything happening in the past few days. These things are never done by ‘accident’.
And truly awful the NAMA announcements and figures have been. What are the key questions though?
Who are the un-named bondholders in Anglo (and other banks) - is there a dark secret in there?
If the first tranche of loans coming from the top builders are this bad (toxic) then what state are the remaining billions in? They could be almost worthless but we the taxpayer will be coughing up €billions for them.
And if the remaining loans to come over to NAMA are in a right state, how well has the financial regulator ’stress-tested’ this using worst case scenarios and should the worst case happen, does that mean we are going to be pumping even more in the way of bailouts into the banks?
And on top of that stress-testing, have they also included a worst case scenario for problems with other loans that are not going to NAMA e.g. mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, etc. and the further impact that might have on the banks? Regardless of the fact that the European Central Bank is keeping interest rates on hold, interest rates on all of these other loans are undoubtedly going up here in Ireland as the government, by its silence about recent interest rate rises, is implicitly giving the nod to banks to put them up to help shore up their balance sheets…. once again, at the expense of the average Joe and Joan in the street.
You can nearly always guarantee with governments (of any shade) that if they are diverting your attention by asking you to look at something then you really ought to be looking elsewhere - where they don’t want you to look.
There is something we are not being told here. What is it? What is the ‘it’ of it?
I will return to add more to this article over the next few days when I have done some digging around.
This item was written after posting the following on irisheconomy.ie on Good Friday 2010:
OK - so…. now the dust is settling and our beloved government have conveniently gone off on holiday for 19 days (they do time these things so well), what are all the outstanding (big) questions?
Can we have a go at putting them all in one place (here)?
Obviously, “who are the bondholders?” seems to be on a number of lips.
What are the real losses at the banks and how long is it going to take to disclose them?
What’s the real cost of shutting down Anglo and where’s the proof of that?
I’m wondering (like BL) what the state of the rest of the loans going over to NAMA are like if this first tranche is supposed to be the best of the bunch… and I’m wondering if the financial regulator has really done a stress test on ‘worst case scenario’ should those remaining loans waiting to go over turn out to be a right basket case…. and do they need a further worst case scenario stress test on the non-NAMA loans e.g. how higher than expected mortgage/personal loan/cards/etc. default rates might impact things.
Why did Lenihan ignore Seelig’s (IMF) advice last April - NAMA wouldn’t get credit flowing into the economy - and how did he come to end up on the board at NAMA after that advice?
What are the other big questions we want to see answered?
And am I the only one who thinks all that’s been happening this week plus arrest of Fitzpatrick last week and administrators going into Quinn this week….. is all looking a bit….. orchestrated?