Disgust is the overwhelming emotion I feel whenever I hear the chairman of NAMA, Frank Daly, speak.
His arrogant, condescending voice raises my hackles not just because he’s the ultimate example of insincerity but also because, for me, he represents all that is rotten about the powers that have destroyed this country.
Here’s Daly justifying, before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) NAMA’s decision to pay some developers €200,000 per annum plus a 10% commission if they reach financial milestones (Six One News; 5:25).
If you take the average in the industry and you’re asking an assets manager to come in and manage a portfolio of 2 billion they will charge you about one percent, that is, twenty million.
What we have to do is compare that with the possibility of paying somebody, reluctantly, €200,000.
This argument is, of course, complete bullshit.
It’s the old, dishonest argument of pulling a gigantic figure out of the air and then expecting taxpayers’ to be grateful that such a great deal was negotiated on their behalf.
NAMA is holding every single card with regard to the bankrupt developers, it has the power to force developers to accept any deal demanded.
NAMA could, for example, say, we’ll pay you €100,000 per annum but if you don’t reach set targets we’ll cut your salary by 50%.
Let’s remind ourselves of what Daly had to say at a previous PAC hearing when, as Revenue Commissioner, he was making excuses for the massive fraud engaged in by the banks by way of bogus non-resident accounts.
The banks would have brought the shutters down if Revenue had pursued officials aggressively. We had to go about this in a pragmatic way.
Pragmatic meant the banks got off and the taxpayer was screwed.
Daly’s pragmatism is, I suspect, still at work in NAMA.