Has Nama’s actions enslaved Ireland?

David McWilliams, the Irish economist, writer, broadcaster and journalist is arguably most famous for his predictions of the Irish property bubble - the building frenzy which occurred between 2000 and 2007 before crashing. He also coined the phrase ‘Ghost Estates’, now a legacy of that time.

He is a renowned, insightful thinker and his writings always merit reflection. He has recently written two very powerful pieces about Nama and the transfer of Irish Assets, and they are well worth reading in full. Both pieces have appeared in the Sunday Business Post during March 2016 and both can also be read on his blog (see links below).

The essence of what he is staying is that during the past eight years, huge tracts of Ireland have been sold by Nama at deep discounts to vulture funds and in a way that went on under the radar, effectively transferring enormous wealth out of Ireland. He makes the point that it is hard to think of another country whose own government sanctioned such a fire sale of national assets.

Here is some of what he had to say:

“Remember Nama – an agent of the state – was supposed to get credit going? Well, it is getting credit going all right – but it is foreign credit. We are middlemen in the global credit cycle. The vulture capitalists know this, but are too clever to admit it and the Irish political class are too stupid to realise it”.

“Most vulture funds have a rule called the three-thirty rule. This means they buy and hold for a maximum of three years and once they make 30 per cent, they are out. This is their twist. Now they are moving to get the most out of the assets before they sell”.

In the two excellent, considered and lengthy articles, he describes the likely impact on Ireland, including small Irish businesses, and goes on to say:

“In the next few months, the courts will decide how many of Ireland’s small businesses will be handed over to these funds. This transfer of assets is taking place right under our nose. It is a disaster for the country, for the society and for the capital base of the economy, and yet it is legal. But then again, so too was slavery – once”.

We should all read his articles and be concerned. Here are the links to the stories on his blog:

March 14, 2016: http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2016/03/14/namas-actions-have-enslaved-us

March 21, 2016: http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2016/03/21/nama-sells-to-outsiders-who-have-become-insiders


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