Thursday, December 31, 2009

Taoiseach on Financial Crisis Inquiry and NAMA

From an interview in the Independent:
"There's three investigations going on. We have in this country an independent system of investigation and prosecution. Now I understand the frustration people have on this but the Director of Corporate Enforcement is doing a job, the Garda Fraud Office are doing a job, the Financial Regulator is doing a job.

"I have to get on with my job. So I want them to complete those investigations as soon as possible so that we can draw whatever conclusions have to be drawn from them, and the DPP can do whatever he has to do . . . it can't happen quickly enough in terms of trying to persuade public opinion. My job, at the moment, is to get on with the business of Government and ask that those people who are doing their job try and conclude it as quickly as they can. I can't determine that."

JC: "A lot of people are still confused about Nama. The bottom line, from the beginning, was that it would get credit flowing again. When will credit start to flow, that's what people want to know?"

BC: "Credit flows again when we take the distressed assets off the books of the banks so that they concentrate on the loan book that is viable and is productive. That will bring more international confidence, the banks being able to do the job, and that'll bring more capital into the system.
"So we also have in our various acts and legislation passed to ensure that viable business propositions are supported. That's a case-by-case basis. But the important point is this: if we didn't legislate for Nama, and we don't implement what has to be done, the availability of credit to the system will continue to decrease because the banks wouldn't have the capacity to lend. So you're asking for the black-and-white answer to that question: until you put in the new structures, and you take the problem out of the system, you're not in a position to resolve the problem."
JC: "When will it be? Will it be March, April, February?"
BC: "Well the answer is that Nama will be operationalised in the new year. The transfer of assets begins then. During the course of the six months you're going to see the main part of that process implemented and arising out of that then you have the prospect of increased credit available . . . so during the course of 2010 we expect to see an improvement in the situation."
JC: "So it'll be the latter half of 2010 that credit begins to flow?"
BC: "Well, during the course of 2010, and in the meantime we have a system in place that seeks to ensure that banks are supporting viable business propositions."