The Nama Fib


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You may recall a post from last week in relation to Cork developer Michael O’Flynn and how his loans are being sold by Nama to global private equity firm Blackstone.

It has been reported that Mr O’Flynn owed his banks €1.8 billion when he entered Nama in 2009, and has now left Nama owing Blackstone €1.1 billion.

Mr O’Flynn also remains in control of his property business.

Further to this, Business Editor of the Irish Times, John McManus recalls how Nama was pitched to the Irish electorate back in 2009 – suggesting that the late former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and former Taoiseach Brian Cowen either didn’t understand how Nama would work or deliberately misled the Irish public.

He writes:

It’s pretty clear that the two men [Cowen and Lenihan] either did not understand what Nama was and how it was going to work or instead played fast and loose with the truth in order to get the Nama legislation over the over the line. One suspects it was the latter. 

…what did turn out to be at best a fib was the claim that Nama would operate in a way that would make it impossible for the developers who took out the loans to benefit from the writedowns. The Nama legislation did include a clause that the developers could not buy their loans back from Nama but, as we have seen, it was not possible to prevent them having a continued interest in the underlying business and assets once the debt had been written down and sold off by Nama.

Nama pragmatism before action to benefit developers (Irish Times)

Previously: ‘Sucked Up By The Taxpayer’

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