The other half of the equation is the recap money put in to the banks, in particular Anglo, INBS and AIB.
NAMA getting its money back plus costs is not enough. It has to make a serious dent on the recap costs - it’s breakeven value for the exchequer includes it making a profit.
Knowing how much NAMA paid for an individual site, knowing their costs, you then know what their breakeven is just in NAMA terms. Because some property will sell below price paid, some at and some above, you can pitch a closed market price that that comes in at or below what NAMA paid - you reckon you are getting a good deal on this because you’ve looked deeper into the individual property. In an open sale with more normal credit conditions, it would realise more. NAMA doesn’t know this because the cost of investigating each property deeply is prohibitive.
In addition, going to the borrower who owes on that property and saying that NAMA paid x for that particular property gives that borrower a level to aim at in terms of striking a deal with NAMA. It undermines NAMA’s negotiating position with borrowers who have other assets or income.
Some of us were convinced that this is how NAMA would end up, but seeing it happen is a different thing. Once again, now it is in place, a robust NAMA is required for the taxpayer, even if it was the wrong thing to do in the first place.