Friday, May 14, 2010

Clíodhna O'Donoghue, Property Editor, Irish Independent

Irish Independent, 20 April 2007:

"John FitzGerald (ESRI economist) stated that if he believed there was a crash coming that he would sell his house and rent it back. Tellingly he is not doing so because he believes, as I do, that if (and that is a big 'if') the market is going to crash it will do so in a patchy, selective way which will not impact to any great degree on many of the existing homes in Ireland.


It also, regrettably, has caused distress to many recent purchasers and has also put off many young buyers who were intending to purchase their first home in the near future. Even if only a few people took it at face value, the programme still did much damage to market confidence which the presenter himself acknowledged as vital for the market's health."

(Not as much distress as the knowledge of having bought a house that's now worth half the amount paid, I wager - CMcK)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rachel Doyle, Professional Insurance Brokers' Association

Evening Herald, 7 May 2010:

"Even if property prices may not have reached the bottom, delaying in buying could mean that interest rate increases could work out more expensive than the benefit derived from a further drop in property prices," said Rachel Doyle from PIBA

(Hurry hurry to buy while prices are falling! Houses don't grow on trees you know. - CMcK)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Marian Finnegan, Chief Economist for Sherry Fitzgerald

Irish Independent, 13 January 2006:

"The Irish market is showing a phenomenal performance in terms of output and prices so I will rate it 10 out of 10."


If you had €75,000 what would you choose as an Irish investment?

"Property still looks like providing fantastic opportunities in the years ahead."

Press Release, 1 July 2008:

"The results of the price barometer illustrate that the reprieve in the pace of price inflation evident in the first quarter has abated."

Press Release, 1 October 2009:

“The pace of price correction has moderated notably from the beginning of the year."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Simon Kelly, Former Property Developer & Columnist

Sunday Tribune, 4 April 2010:

"I will miss Anglo for this and it will be missed in the future by the whole economy.


So I say to Charlie Bird and the like: get off David's lawn and get out of Seán's front drive. They have lost everything but they still have to live. The bank failed because we all failed."

Irish Independent, 22 May 2010

"I feel liberated to walk away from it to be honest. When you own that amount of assets, it feels like the assets own you. I was in property for 15 years. Now I can do something I really want to do.


"My house is in my wife's name. There are reports that developers are transferring homes into their wives' names. Any smart developer would have done that right from the start."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Brian Lenihan, Minister for Finance

Seanad Eireann speech, 14 May 2008:

"However, what we do know is that the underlying demand for housing remains strong, driven by a relatively young population and continued inward migration. While we may experience a year or two of sub-50,000 completions, it is reasonable to expect over the medium term that annual completions will return to sustainable levels which will remain high by international standards, reflecting the strong underlying demand for housing in Ireland.


However, one aspect of the change in the housing market, which is being overlooked by commentators, is that the moderation in house price levels, when combined with measures on stamp duty and mortgage interest relief, taken by the Government at budget time, means that better value is being obtained for those wishing to buy their own home, particularly amongst the first-time buyer group."

Irish Times, 24 October 2010:

MINISTER FOR Finance Brian Lenihan has said the bank guarantee scheme was "a necessary first step" and "the cheapest bailout in the world so far".

Irish Independent, 4 April 2010:

Brian calls the bottom!

"One of the good things about the steep discount, averaging 47 per cent, is that the residential property market will now be stabilised at a realistic level."

You can now buy in confidence that the price is realistic."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Willie McAteer, former executive director of Anglo Irish Bank

Oireachtas Finance Committee, 2 Jul 2008:

"We are often wrong but we have a strong belief that we have significant and sufficient capital to meet even worse scenarios than we envisage. If bad debts and the economy get worse, we believe we are sufficiently capitalised."


Clearly, the whole perception of Ireland and the negative sentiment towards it are obviously of concern to us. However, this sentiment is not borne out by fundamentals. We are travelling, as are many of the people here, to try to make sure that the perception of Ireland internationally is true and not a false, sentiment driven one.


We have the best interest of the country at heart and are calling it as we see it.


I reject the suggestion that banks have been foolhardy in recklessly lending and driving up values. We are in competition right across the board and I cannot think of a bank that has been reckless.


Every loan goes through a central credit committee and is properly underwritten.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Patrick Neary, former chief executive of the Financial Regulator

Irish Times, 14 Oct 2008:

"Ireland's banks are solvent and will be able to offset potential losses on property loans with their better-performing loans"

Sunday Tribune, 22 Feb 2009:

After a key meeting on 24 September, the then finance director of Anglo Irish, Willie McAteer, recalls a final exchange with Neary. In it McAteer told Neary the bank would be "managing the balance sheet at year end", to which Neary is reported to have replied:

"Fair play to you, Willie"

Irish Independent, 16 July 2010:

At the crucial September 25, 2008, meeting, Mr Neary insisted Anglo was not insolvent and that it had enough assets to cover its debts, new documents being investigated by the Dail spending watchdog reveal.

"There is no evidence to suggest Anglo is insolvent on a going-concern basis. It is simply unable to continue on a current basis from a liquidity point of view," he told the Taoiseach.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Seanie Fitzpatrick, former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank

Finfacts, 21 June 2007

"Having developed this marvellous entrepreneurial culture which is delivering so many benefits in terms of employment and wealth to the country we must ask ourselves if there is now a danger that our regulatory environment has gone too far?"


"Among the more insidious and I believe iniquitous aspects of the current regulatory environment is its apparent presumption of guilt on the part of entrepreneurs and businesspeople generally. The whole structure seems to be geared towards an annual proof of innocence statement. This is corporate McCarthyism and we shouldn’t tolerate it."


"It is time to shout stop. The tide of regulation has gone far enough. We should be proud of our success, not suspicious of it. Our wealth creators should be rewarded and admired not subjected to levels of scrutiny which convicted criminals would rightly find intrusive."

Marion Finucane radio show, 4 October 2008

Would he apologise to the Irish taxpayer for having to bail out the banks?

"It would be very easy for me to say sorry. The cause of our problems was global so I can't say sorry with any degree of sincerity and decency but I do say thank you."

Sunday Tribune, 12 October 2008

In a speech delivered at the Irish Times Property Advertising Awards in September 2005, [Fitzpatrick] took a pot-shot at RTE for giving Hobbs a platform.

"This is not good. I’d genuinely worry that much of the nonsense he peddled would gain common currency, and that the wholly unbalanced Hobbsian perspective on Ireland of 2005 would fuel the anger of many of those who have failed to benefit from our economic success thus far"


The message from FitzPatrick was clear. The public should not be told anything that would cause them to vote for a government that was not to his liking. And RTE would be held accountable if they did.

Times profile, 20 Dec 2008:

On moving up to the chairman's seat of Anglo Irish Bank after 18 years as chief executive last year, Sean FitzPatrick said that what drove him "nuts" was "bureaucracy, people who aren't real, and falseness".

Asked if he was a “details person”, he replied: "I wouldn't be well organised and would be fearful of those who are." And what would he do if he had a spare million? "I'd do something for the homeless - provide day-time facilities."

"If we try to shackle entrepreneurs instead of encouraging them, the country is going to suffer. Part of the shackling is the huge emphasis on regulation and that can't be good for business."

David McWilliams's Follow the Money:

"Then he came closer, squeezed my arm and practically hissed between clenched teeth: "No f***ing Protestant is coming near us. Those establishment f***ers and Bank of Ireland have been running our country before we came along, and those f***ers are not going to bring me down. None of them are ever going to look down on us again. We are the outsiders, and this is our moment. Those f***ers don’t own us any more."

Irish Independent, 21 March 2010:

"Will you say sorry to the taxpayer and to the shareholders in Anglo Irish Bank?"

"That's a simple question, but the answer isn't. What if I were to invite you, Ronald, to sit down here with me for a cup of tea and a chat. And what if, in the course of our conversation, you were to have a cigarette. And when you were finished with your cigarette, you were to throw the butt on the floor and this shed burned to the ground. Could I ask you to say 'sorry'?"

"You could ask me, and I would apologise," I respond immediately, while marvelling at Seanie's notions of blame and how it should be apportioned.

"Well, why would I ask you to apologise? It wasn't you who burned my shed down. It was the cigarette."

Sunday Independent, 18 April 2010:

"No, why?"

- when asked at Dublin airport last week whether he feels he owes the Irish people an apology for what has happened.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Michael Grehan, Sherry Fitzgerald

Press Release, 21 Oct 2009:

"Whenever I give a positive view of the market the perception is that I have a vested interest, talking up the business to increase revenue."

(The phrase "No shit, Sherlock" comes to mind - CMcK)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Irish Auctioneers & Valuers Institute

Finfacts, 16 January 2008:

Robert calls the bottom!

IAVI president Robert Ganly commented: "Overall, I would say to people that the market is beginning to stabilise. The worst is over."

He said that the absence of further rises in interest rates and the reformed stamp duty regime to provide some support, alongside "strong latent demand from young couples who put off purchasing in 2007".

While prices would continue to fall in 2008, "this levelling off should begin to reverse itself in early 2009, and we would hope to see the property market growing again some time during that year".

Irish Times, 13 January 2010:

2 years later, Aine calls the bottom!

These annual results are in line with our expectations for 2009 and consistent with our belief that the average residential property values would decline 40-50 per cent from peak to trough,” commented IAVI president Aine Myler. “The survey results indicate that the market floor is close, if we have not reached it already.

Insolvency Journal, 10 August 2010:

Latter that year, more bottom spotting....

"With house prices down 42% from their peak in 2006, it looks like the property market may finally have bottomed out, according to the Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute (IAVI).


Property prices are continuing to fall but the increase in activity in the sector is crucial to a recovery in the property market, says IAVI's president Kersten Mehl.

"The consensus amongst our members is that the market has bottomed out," says Mehl."