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We learn from the Sunday Business Post that NAMA may pay less than it previously indicated for the Irish Banks’ loans to be handed over to it (starting this very month, reputedly). We do not know anything further about this. We do not know if the report is accurate. We do not know if the report is a malicious falsehood leaked to the SBP to mislead critics of NAMA.

NAMA is a scandal. It is a scheme to transfer taxpayers’ money to private institutions without a rational justification. The irrational justification (“long-term economic value”) was mooted by the EU Commission, but it hedged it about with many conditions. We have no idea if the Irish Government and the Irish Banks have complied with those conditions. The EU did not mandate secrecy like this.

That the SBP can publish its, presumably, bona fide report and miss the real story; that its sources are unreliable and clearly manipulative of public opinion; that NAMA clearly thinks it is acceptable in this polity to behave in such a fashion and is to be condemned for it (rather than facilitated) and that covert administration is Wednesbury irrationality and a basis for Judicial Review of NAMA is a howler of a journalistic error.