NAMA is like general confession for the banks. There is no individual confession, no individual acknowledgement of sin, no remorse and certainly no ‘penance’! Even the ‘Three Hail Mary’s and don’t do it again’ mantra is not being used. Is NAMA a Butlins Camp for morality? Can you do what you want when you want to whom you want as often as you want and you will be ‘forgiven’ by a Golden Circle Government that has benefited from such immoral earnings? There is no concept of repentance and restitution. While the Government-loving bankers created the immoral mess, now the Government is adding to it by the recklessness that is masquerading as the NAMA saviour. The fresh, potable, holy water approved for use by the Green Party with a dash of healthy sea salt is sprinkled liberally over the sinful blur of masquerading bankers.
NAMA will cost us €77billion. The Anglo Irish Bank and the Irish Nationwide Building Society will swallow €36billion of this. Neither bank is a ‘high street’ bank and does not provide general banking services to small and medium size businesses. The cry of the NAMA brigade has been that it will save such companies and get money flowing back into business. Serious Government watchers like journalist Fintan O’Toole have raised major questions about NAMA. He has asked why these two banks should be bailed out. He wrote recently: “This is the absurdity at the heart of the whole enterprise: we are putting up staggering amounts of money to encourage banks to get “back” to where they never were.”
Allowing for the ‘discount’ and the €4billion that we, as taxpayers have already put into Anglo Irish (now that we own it!), and the €6billion we shall have to put in as part of the NAMA process, it will still cost us around €30billion.
He goes on to state that, based on information released by the Department of Finance as part of the NAMA proposal, only 11% of the Anglo Irish loan book is categorised as ‘business banking.’ Most of the rest relates to the property and construction sector. Irish Nationwide, a ‘supposed’ residential mortgage lender, has only 22% of its loan book signed up to residential property.
In essence, this means that the national debt will be doubled to support the likes of Anglo and Nationwide. Who will this benefit? Certainly not the taxpayer of this generation who is now being told that pension levies, health levies and every other kind of levy is ‘permissible.’ Neither will it help future generations of taxpayers. They tell us that we are up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle. There is no mention of the ‘tour company’ that brought us there or the ‘conductors’ who are charging for the tickets!
Green Party members will have to ask themselves how they can support ‘spending’ €30billion in such circumstances. The fur farming fearing Greens must have some ideas as to what this money could be better spent on. There are grandiose Green plans that could easily be funded by a fraction of this amount. The irony is that if the regular person had a choice s/he would support even the seeming daftest Green proposal over the NAMA debacle. So why are the Greens so complicit? Has power silenced the voice of principles? Why is there no referendum on NAMA that will condemn us to the sovereignty of banks for generations?
Members of Government appear intent on ploughing through any notion that the world they inhabit is anything but real. When will they realise that, as time goes on, they live more and more in a bubble of their own making? The recent debacle with John O’Donoghue’s resignation is one example. He had to take the stand and deliver the spiff of the self-righteous. Some of these boys have no idea how over the top they actually are! It would be hilarious if it was not so serious! Put Brendan Drumm’s €70,000 bonus in the same category – almost double the average industrial wage, at the same time as the HSE is seeking cutbacks of about €1.2billion and frontline staff are fighting for basic services. And then An Taoiseach comes centre-stage to support paying out this bonus! Couple this with schools where pupils have to bring in their own toilet paper, towels and hand gel to cut costs and fight the swine flu! Sure you could not script it – no one would believe you!
Will there be a bail-out for the faithful tax payer who has lost his/her job and is now unable to pay the mortgage? The answer to that famous Tribunal question beckons - Will we get a receipt for this? One wag stated - If NAMA is the answer it must have been an awful stupid question.