Available in various shops around Ireland.
Saturday, 18 May 2013
Thursday, 16 May 2013
An interesting article from Namawinelake
May 15, 2013 by namawinelake
“It’s hard to make a man understand something when his livelihood depends on him not understanding it” Upton Sinclair
How do ratings agencies make money? It may come as a surprise to some of you that ratings agencies get paid by companies to rate their debt and prospects. Which inevitably places ratings agencies in conflict between their desire to be retained to provide an assessment on one hand, and on the other the need to provide independent credible assessments to the market. But that’s how the business works, and the world’s biggest ratings agencies show no sign of withering away, despite the opprobrium heaped on them after failing to identify looming crises in American sub-prime mortgage lending and European bank debt.
The three main ratings agencies will be familiar to most of you – Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch. A fourth ratings agency, Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) might not be a household name but it seems to get disproportionate reference by the NTMA when pointing to how healthy our prospects are. DBRS recently produced an assessment of NAMA, covered here. Whilst it undoubtedly contained useful and factual information, for example the three year accounts analysis, its opinions on NAMA were eyebrow raising in their positivity.
DBRS said of NAMA that it has assembled a “talented team” with “deep experience” and with “the necessary skills to extract the best possible return from the loans and underlying property assets”. DBRS went on to say “NAMA has developed a robust and efficient infrastructure that allows NAMA the flexibility to develop individual responses to each debtor that bests maximizes the returns “
We find out today that although NAMA picks up some of the costs of the ratings agencies generally who rate NAMA’s bonds, that NAMA itself directly pays only one of the ratings agencies and guess which one? Yes, it’s DBRS! How much does NAMA pay them for their handsome compliments? Alas, that is confidential.
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Again Jerry Buttimer and Fine Gael would have you believe they are listening to both sides. Fine Gael and Labour are intent on legislating for the direct and intentional murder of innocent human life.
Sunday, 12 May 2013
An article in relation to PTSB.
May 11, 2013 by namawinelake
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan refuses to tell us the book value of IBRC’s loans at the end of 2012 and he also refuses to tell us if any borrowers have yet refinanced their loans out of IBRC since that “bank” was placed in special liquidation on 6th February 2013. We DO know that the independent valuation of IBRC’s loanbook by PwC and UBS should be completed shortly and that loans with par values of over €10m will be offered to the market, and if the highest bid is in excess of the independent valuation, then the loan is sold and if not, it will go to NAMA. The transfer to NAMA was to have taken place in August 2013, but that date is likely to slip and may even be the start of 2014. In June 2012, IBRC had loans with a written-down book value of €16bn, so NAMA will be taking over up to €16bn of loans; that may have a significant impact on NAMA which itself had €22bn of book value loans at the end of 2012.
But NAMA might shortly be receiving a wodge of loans from another source: Permanent TSB.
Permanent TSB has created an internal business unit called the “Asset Management Unit” into which €14bn* of nominal value loans have been shoveled. “Nominal value” means par value, for example if PTSB loaned John €100,000 for his house and he currently owes €90,000 then the nominal value or par value is €90,000. John might have fallen into arrears and his house might be worth only €60,000 so PTSB might have made a provision of, say €20,000 as an estimate of the value which it won’t recover on the loan. So the written-down or book value of the loan might only be €70,000 – the par value of €90,000 less the provision for a loss of €20,000. We don’t know the written-down or book values of the €14bn of nominal value loans in PTSB’s AMU.
At the end of 2012, PTSB had an overall total of €35bn of nominal value loans – see extract from the notes to the accounts above – so the AMU represents just under half of the PTSB loanbook. It is understood to mostly comprise commercial property loans (€2.2bn in total in PTSB, most of that is probably in the AMU) and loss-making tracker mortgages. We don’t know the impairment provision attaching to the AMU loans but the overall total provision in PTSB at the end of 2012 was only €3bn so the book value of the AMU will be €11bn-plus.
PTSB wants rid of its AMU because the uncertainty of what lies within, is dragging down the rest of the operation and preventing the bank from getting back on its own two feet. However, if the AMU is transferred to NAMA, then NAMA will only pay the current market value of the loans, and PTSB is likely to see a colossal additional loss, probably in the billions. NAMA will also end up managing problem mortgages, which is not what was originally envisaged for the agency.
We are likely to soon hear what is to happen to PTSB’s AMU.
*The €14bn was confirmed in a PQ this week here.
Fine Gael Galway West Senator, Fidelma Healy Eames, has today (Wednesday) welcomed confirmation that more than 30 teachers from primary and secondary schools in Galway have signed up to an introductory teacher-in-service course on Chinese language and culture.
The course, which has been facilitated by the Galway based China Ireland Relations Group, takes place in NUIG on Thursday May 9th. Educators from the Confucius Institute in UCC will conduct the course. “The interest in this course is a very positive endorsement of the potential that exists in Ireland-China relations. Educators and students alike in Galway are embracing the fact that there are huge benefits to learning about Chinese culture and language. As we move towards economic recovery, China should remain firmly in our sights. “This course for teachers will be useful in a whole range of ways, not least in preparation for the introduction of Chinese as a short course at Junior Cert level next year.
Having campaigned for the inclusion of Mandarin/Chinese on the Junior Cert syllabus, I am now actively involved in the roll-out of Chinese language and culture across eight Galway primary and second-level schools. The demand for greater provision is the challenge for all of us working in this area. “I hope the decision to include Chinese Language and Culture on the Junior Cert syllabus will have a considerable long-term impact. Parents and pupils in Galway are recognising that there is a public interest in promoting increased cultural, educational and trading links with China. “I hope the decision to include Chinese Language and Culture on the Junior Cert syllabus will have a considerable long-term impact. Parents and pupils in Galway are recognising that there is a public interest in promoting increased trading links with China.