March 29, 2009

DDDA Governance - Another Fine Mess?

Governance is a job for the Polizei, not for insiders.

As the son of a bricklayer Michael Schumacher may be a candidate for DDDA Chairmanship. Michael is an expert on the governance of German Autobahns but this does not necessarily stop him exceeding the few existing speed limits around Nürnberg. And a po-faced resignation from Formula One has not prevented further speeding.

RTE, the government broadcaster reported that Mr John Gormley appointed a new chairman for the DDDA, for the second time this month (March 2009). RTE headlined the newest chairman as a "Governance expert". RTE headlined the prior newest chairman as a "Green Entrepreneur" during a TV slot on the very night of his closed-door appointment.

RTE did not provide any background detail on the governance expert - RTE had just been censured by the Taoiseach (technically by his PR man; his wife - technically - censured The Tribune) following a police raid on a radio station to search a satirist's private email.

"Aithníonn ciaróg ciaróg eile"
All members of the galway tent blog believe the latest DDDA chairman has a very fine reputation, so it is very surprising to see the professor directly involving herself inside an organisation with a very curious association with Anglo-Irish Bank - especially one she commented on in a promisingly worded article. A more appropriate role would be for the Professor to act as the critically needed corporate governance enforcer for the FF-Green Party and to Mr John Gormley whilst maintaining a firewall between herself and governance-disgraced banks, and their curious relationships to the Developer's Autocracy (DDDA).

Is it not better for the police and the poachers to live in different villages?

Resigning from a directorship does not remove the business and personal relationships built up over time. A five year 'cooling-off period' is more credible and more in line with appropriate corporate governance principles. Professors of management know the classic example here is Dick Cheney - Dick resigned from Halliburton on being appointed to the governmental bureau of Exxon - The White House. John Gormley's party condemned an EPA-Ireland appointee for similar reasons - incinerator industry insiders appointed to EPA - but has done nothing about the conflict. It is not known if John Gormley has acquired another house well away from Ringsend and the Gormley Incinerator.

Professional professors of true corporate governance robustly ensure there are no grounds whatsoever for issues or concerns about conflicts of interest - business, finance, political, personal, environmental, planning - however innocent. Academic Professors of true corporate governance know this too. Especially in view of the Anglo Irish Bank debacle it is even more important that no perception of conflicts of interest can exist, otherwise The Reputation of Ireland Inc comes again under the spotlight.

In a notable contrast to international best governance practice John Gormley did not conduct an open competition for the DDDA chairman's job, so presumably he at least did minimum due diligence. John Gormley has not revealed the following, but is has been reported by The Sunday Tribune and The Irish Independent:

Allegedly the DDDA's new chairman:
  • Is a director of the Ulster Bank which finances private risk-taking property developers within DDDA's autocratic-planning-permission territory. Ulster Bank's parent just declared the largest loss in British history, in excess of £20 Billion. Ulster Bank has provided funding for Fabrizia Developments -- the company behind the Gasworks apartments in Ringsend and a site near the foreshore of Sandymount Strand at Poolbeg under control of the DDDA. A potential resignation does not remove the conflicts of interest.
  • Owns a holding company which in turn owns a share in a risk-taking property company hoping to profit from the U2 tower inside the DDDA no-appeal planning territory in Ringsend. Anglo Irish Bank is one of the bankers for the property company (according to Anglo's credible stock market disclosures?). The Professor did not return calls to the newspaper.
  • Is the wife of the former leader of the PD party, promotors of Poolbeg property development. The PD party strongly supports the PD's steamy dream of a Manhattan in Poolbeg - within DDDA's autocratic planning empire. This leader failed to gain enough votes in Ringsend-Irishtown-Sandymount and lost his Dail seat. The latest fired/resigned former DDDA chairman was apparently also a failed PD politician. The boyo before that had a day job at Anglo and a night job at DDDA, and vice versa for his buddy.
Last month, a Dail committee raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest in the DDDA. In Dáil Éireann on Friday (March 27) the FF-Green government stated words to the effect that the DDDA governs itself and is doing a mighty fine job. Another Fine Mess?

Please email any corrections or concerns to using an anonymiser.

DDDA Autocracy is in Compliance with DDDA Autocracy

Pyramid Scheme LogoPyramid Scheme Logo
Dail Eireann (March 26, 2009) Statement by Green-FF TD:

"The DDDA advised the committee that the process was conducted in full compliance with the authority’s code of conduct."

Anglo-Irish also advised the 'Financial Regulator' that Anglo-Irish was in full compliance with Anglo-Irish.
This has cost Irish taxpayers €10,000,000,000.
Dublin Docklands Authority, Dublin Developers Autocracy, Anglo Irish Bank,

March 26, 2009

DDDA’s Poolbeg Plan Could Rob The Taxpayer

DDDA’s Poolbeg plan could rob the taxpayer

This article by Galway Tent is plagiarised from Jeffrey Sachs, the director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Thanks Jeffrey.

The Gormley-Lenehan plan originated by Seanie Fitzer, officially called the Poolbeg Planning Scheme is a thinly veiled attempt to transfer many billions of Euro of Irish taxpayer funds to the commercial banks and developers, by buying toxic assets from the banks and developers at far above their market value. It is dressed up as a Planning Scheme but that is a fig-leaf, since the government will put in 95 per cent or more of the funds and the “statutory public consultation” process is not genuine.

It will be no surprise in early 2010 when the stock market capitalisation of the banks rises about 50 per cent from the recent lows. Taxpayers will be the losers, even as they stand on the sidelines cheering the rise of the stock market. It will be their money fuelling the rally, yet the banks will be the beneficiaries.

The Poolbeg Planning Scheme’s essence is to use government off-budget money to overpay for banks’ toxic assets, perhaps by a factor of five or more. This is done by creating a one-way bet for private-sector bidders for the toxic assets, then cynically calling it “private sector price discovery”.

First consider the €400,000,000,000 guarantee and the €450,000,000 valuation for the toxic IGB site in Ringsend. Then consider a simple example: a toxic asset with face value of €1m pays off fully with probability of 20 per cent and pays off €200,000 with probability of 80 per cent. A risk-neutral investor would pay €360,000 for this asset. Along comes the government and says it will finance 90 per cent of the investor’s purchase and, moreover, do so as a non-recourse loan.

Non-recourse means the government’s loan is backed only by the collateral value of the toxic asset itself. If the pay-out is low, the loan is defaulted and the government ends up with the low pay-out rather than full repayment of the loan.

Now the investor is prepared to bid €714,000 (with rounding) for the same asset. The investor uses €71,000 of his/her own money and €643,000 of the government loan. If the asset pays off in full, the investor repays the loan, with a profit of €357,000. This happens 20 per cent of the time, so brings an expected profit of €71,000. The other 80 per cent of the time the investor defaults on the loan, and the government ends up with €200,000. The investor just breaks even by bidding €714,000, as we would expect in a competitive auction. Of course, the investor has systematically overpaid by €354,000 (the bid price of €714,000 minus the market value of €360,000), reflecting the investor’s right to default on the loan in the event of a poor pay-out of the toxic asset.

The overpayment equals the expected loss of the government loan.

After all, 80 per cent of the time (in this example) the government loses €443,000 (the €643,000 loan minus the €200,000 repayment). The expected loss is 80 per cent of €443,000, equal to €354,000.

The idea of “private sector price discovery” is therefore flim-flam. There would be price discovery if the government’s loan had to be repaid whether or not the asset paid off in full. In that case, the investor would bid €360,000.

But under the Gormley-Lenehan Poolbeg plan the loan is precisely designed to be a one-way bet, for the purpose of overpricing the toxic asset in order to bail out the bank’s shareholders at hidden cost to the taxpayers. The banks could be saved without saving their shareholders – a better deal for taxpayers and without the moral hazard of rescuing shareholders from the banks’ bad bets. Most simply, the government could provide loans to buy the toxic assets on a recourse basis, therefore without the hidden subsidy.

Alternatively, the plan could give the taxpayers an equity stake in the banks in return for cleaning their balance sheets. In cases of insolvency, the government could take over the bank, the much dreaded nationalisation, albeit temporary. At the end of the Bush administration, The Dail voted for the €400bn ($517bn) bank bailout programme with no assurance whatsoever the taxpayer would get fair value for money (for example, by taking equity stakes in the rescued banks).

John & Brian suspect that they cannot go back to the Dail to fund their Poolbeg plan and so are raiding the National Pension Reserve, Medical Cards, Garda Overtime and the remaining EU funds, hoping that there will be little public understanding and little or no Oireachtas scrutiny.

This is an inappropriate institutional use of the Pension Reserve, Medical Cards, the Gardaí and the EU. Mr Gormley and Mr Lenehan should at the very least explain the true risks of large losses by the government under their Poolbeg plan. Then, a properly informed Oireachtas and public could decide whether to adopt this Poolbeg Planning Scheme or some better alternative.

Jeffrey Sachs is director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. The Galway Tent directs the Irish Government.

March 11, 2009

Greenwash: Becbay Relative & DDDA Appointment

"He's not the worst.
He's not the slap-'em-up type of builder"

Relatively speaking, DDDA is above board. Relative to Anglo-Irish Bank that is. A relative to a Becbay site developer now has a curiously strong link to a new director of the no-appeal planning autocracy for the €450 million site. This is all legal.

Relatively speaking, Shelley McNamara is the sister of Bernard McNamara, and is no doubt above board. Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell founded Grafton Architects, a firm with substantial governmental contracts. Yvonne Farrell, Ms McNamara's co-director at Grafton Architects has been anointed to the DDDA board
by Mr John Gormley of Green-FF. DDDA is jokingly known within Anglo-Irish as our Developers Autocracy.

There is no fair reason whatsoever to conclude a family connection necessarily causes
conflicts or even a conflict-of-interest. Is there any possibility, however remote, of any influence or communication?

Perception is king. Make your own conclusions.

DDDA dictates the no-appeal planning permissions for the
Becbay site where Mr McNamara is an apparently stress-tested investor. Possibly informed by Anglo's lawyers who in turn inform the Financial Regulator, the DDDA denies there are any conflicts of interest. Perhaps if the monkey can not see the hose he or she will not be influenced by the cold water.

The DDDA must be shut down immediately.
During the one-way "Statutory Public Consultations" the DDDA has apparently withheld information on it's secret schemes to elevate "ground-level" in Poolbeg by up to 30 feet. ApparentlyDDDA has also kept secret its scheming for a hundred thousand square foot logistics centre under the SPA nature reserve. DDDAs schemes on the floodplain will frequently flood Sandymount and Ringsend - perhaps once every ten years instead of the current 1 in 200 year assessment. After April 2009, as is dictated by the Environment Ministry of John Gormley, the public can not make any comments on the DDDAs schemes for Poolbeg. DDDA will be free to dictate whatsoever it and its cronies pull out of a hat.

DDDA is an anti-democratic autocracy controlled by the interests - especially Anglo Irish Bank - which have bankrupted Ireland and which are looting the National Pension Reserve Funds.

Legal Corruption
Is this (job unadvertised?) DDDA appointment by Mr John Gormley consistent with the reasons and perceptions whereby The World Bank now ranks Ireland worse than Botswana, Ghana and China for Corporate Legal Corruption?

Risk-Ranking using this data increases the interest-premium on Ireland's national debt by €276 million for each €10 Billion borrowed by BIFFO from China. Tired and emotional BIFFO calling China in the middle of the night adds an extra few punts. The reason for Ireland's out-of-control borrowings is the Green-FF building industry pyramid scheme run from The Galway Tent. The newest DDDA Charirman is from the Green-FF building industry.

At least the Dutch were left with some diseased Tulips. And they were not green.

[Google: World Bank Institute, Corporate Legal Corruption.]
[Google: Transparency International, Country Study, Ireland 2009]


Zero Degrees Of Separation Costs Taxpayers Hundreds of Millions at Becbay Site

Galway Races 2006
Bernard McNamara With A Socialist

Grafton Architects 2009
Shelley McNamara With A DDDA Director.

DDDA is regarded by some as the rubber-stamp-planning-autocracy for Seanie's Anglo-Irish Bank. Bernard McNamara is obliged to pay 17% interest on loans for his leveraged assets in the Irish Glass Bottle site. Anglo-Irish Bank handed out €288 million for the site. The big boys in DDDA have 'invested' about €40 million of taxpayer funds. To get the money back DDDA can permit an appropriate change of use - perhaps a Casino.

Based on current market values the IGB site has lost €300 million to €400 million since 2007. Taxpayers are now liable for €288 million, excluding the DDDA losses. Legally taking the €288 million from taxpayers requires a property tax of €10,000 for each of the 3,000 houses in Sandymount for each of the next 10 years. The public softening up process has started on the public broadcaster & in the advertising dependent newspapers - such a tax to pay for DDDA's hole-in-the-ground is likely to be introduced by 2010.

If the Developers Autocracy does not grant planning permission at Becbay the investors will lose perhaps a further one to two billion Euro in future gains. More immediately, the house of cards involving DDDA, Anglo and Becbay could collapse when "non-nationals" demand their cash back.

"He's not the worst.
He's not the slap-'em-up type of builder"

said one conservationist, who credits his sister, Shelley McNamara, with sparking his keen interest in the architectural innovation that marks out his projects.


DDDA's Planning Chimp

It's long been suspected that Chimpanzees have been recruited by Anglo Irish Bank as their in-house Directors in their Developers Autocracy (DDDA).

Anglo-DDDA Director

Scientists say a chimpanzee has demonstrated an ability to plan for future events. What exactly did the chimp do?

A: He collected stones to attack local residents in Sandymount and Ringsend

B: He hoarded peanuts, in order to treat his fellow chimps to a Community Gain feast

C: He rehearsed a chest-thumping display in private, until it was good enough to put on in front of an Oireachtas Committee

D: He arranged to be anointed to the board of Dublin Docklands Developers Autocracy

E: He rigged the market in peanut futures after dumping his Anglo-Irish Bank shares onto Ireland (Unlimited) Inc

F: He hid CAD files under rocks, deceiving the fools visiting his SIG Consultations at the zoo

March 4, 2009

Columbian Searches Mary Kelly, epa, incinerators. Why?

Location of Galway Tent Blog Readers (Snapshot)

Quizás quiso decir: epa ireland Mary Kelly incinerators

Search Conducted in Columbia (Courtesy NSA, DIA)

Does anyone know why someone in Columbia, maybe Bertie, is researching Mary Kelly in Ireland's EPA?
La Carpa de Galway Blog

EPA: Mary Kelly - Director de la EPA debe dimitir.

"El Dr. Kelly comentarios son totalmente parcial hacia la incineración y la industria parece ser más útil para satisfacer sus necesidades comerciales en lugar de mantener normas ambientales adecuadas." Green Party (2003). Partido Verde (2003).

  • Dra. Mary Kelly en el primer día de 1995 en la industria grupo de presión IBEC comenzó con un desayuno de trabajo en la oficina del Ministro de Medio Ambiente.
  • Su nombramiento por el ministro de Medio Ambiente de la EPA de empleo en mayo de 2002 dio lugar a críticas por parte de activistas del medio ambiente que se describe como un cazador furtivo ha vuelto policía.
  • 2003: Pregunta a dimitir debido a grossly partial pro-incineration stance. totalmente parcial en favor de la incineración de postura.
    _______________ _______________

March 3, 2009

Greenwashed Building Businessman Appointed Chairperson of DDDA Developers Autocracy.

Pyramid Scheme Logo
Pyramid Scheme Logo
DDDA Developers Autocracy Gets New Improved Greenwashed Building Industry Chairman.

From now on it's Green Bananas at the Autocracy.

On March 2, 2009 or so, Mr John Gormley appointed a successful and no doubt very honourable businessman from the Green-FF building industry to be the new chairman of the Dublin Docklands Development Autocracy.

Is this appropriate in light of the Green-FF building industry's leading role in the national bankruptcy?

Why is the businessman billed by Green-FF and by Green-FF controlled RTE as a 'Green Entrepreneur' when he is actually a Building Entrepreneur, similar to millions of small contractors in North America and the Continent?

Was there an open competition for the position?
If so, what were the criteria?

The Green-FF Building Industry's Pyramid Scheme wrecked Ireland and misdirected billions in national potential. The cynical Developers Autocracy continues to wreck Dublin Bay which DDDA cynically re-labels as 'Poolbeg' to fool the trusting citizen. Apart from perhaps indirectly firing three hundred workers at the closed Irish Glass Bottle factory, DDDA may have done good work in the past. Is DDDA now misdirecting national potential? Did DDDA facilitate Anglo-Irish Bank in its diddling of taxpayers for a current estimate of €19,987,654,321?

Shut the DDDA now.


FOOTNOTE, March 3, 2009

'Legal corruption' high in absence of accountability

IRELAND SUFFERS high levels of “legal corruption” because of the Green-FF Government’s failure to make political parties, large corporations and government bodies more publicly accountable.

Ireland's shortcomings include:

  • Risk of patronage and corruption in appointments to State boards.


This report by the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International is based on comprehensive research carried out over three years into the integrity of the different pillars of the State, encompassing government, parliament, courts, law and order, the public service and the media.
Dublin Developers Autocracy, Dublin Docklands Authority, Gormley, Green Party,