Thursday, October 25 08:41:05
Four out of five Supreme Court judges have found the High Court was entitled to jail Sean Quinn jnr for three months over "outrageous" contempt of court orders restraining the stripping of assets from the Quinn's international property group. However, all five judges found that Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, the former Anglo Irish Bank, engaged in "procedurally and substantively flawed" actions seeking to have Quinn jnr jailed indefinitely pending reversal of some 30 asset-stripping measures, when the finding of contempt against him related to just one measure.
While that did not mean the bank did not have strong grounds for pursuing Quinn jnr over the other matters, it must follow "appropriate procedures" and had not done so, Mr Justice Nial Fennelly said. The bank had argued it was inconvenient to have to allege and prove each contempt but this was simply about "respect for justice and the rule of law".
Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman said some of the difficulties in the High Court appeared to arise from confusion between civil and criminal contempt. Irish law on contempt of court is "amorphous" and it is "most unfortunate" it remains unreformed some 20 years after the Law Reform Commission urged reform, he observed. The Supreme Court said last week it would dismiss Quinn jnr's appeal on most grounds and gave its written judgments yesterday. The Irish Times
NAMA considered banning staff from buying any properties from its borrowers following the controversy over the unauthorised purchase of a Co Dublin house by one of its managers from a debtor. Frank Daly, chairman of Nama, said that the board had discussed a total staff ban on purchasing any properties supporting its loans. The agency instead thought a "proportionate response" was to limit staff to buying residential properties where the properties were intended for use as homes once Nama approved it and the property was openly marketed.
He told the Oireachtas finance committee that Nama had tightened rules requiring staff to seek approval to buy any property so that they could be checked against the agency's property register. Purchases where Nama has an interest in the property and it is a commercial property are banned. Nama will also force all purchasers of property in which it has an interest to declare whether they are closely connected with a Nama staff member, said Mr Daly. The Irish Times
In the 1980s, the United States under President Ronald Reagan ran both government budget deficits and international trade deficits. The budget deficit arose because US government spending exceeded revenues; the trade deficit occurred because Americans imported more than they exported. These 'twin deficits' were related in that both reflected a nation that was living beyond its means.
Ireland's twin deficits are a bit different, but also related. The Government is spending more than it collects in revenues, though the gap is gradually shrinking owing to the expenditure cuts and tax hikes over recent years. At the same time, Irish banks have lent out more money than they can raise in deposits. Since neither the Government nor the banks can borrow from markets, the twin deficits are being financed by the international 'official' sector.
This sector includes the EU rescue funds, the IMF and the European Central Bank (ECB). These deficits weaken Ireland's hand in any negotiations with our EU partners and EU institutions. We have a large budget deficit because at the height of the housing bubble in 2007 at least one in every three euro of government revenues was generated by the credit-fuelled construction boom. The Irish Independent
An American technology company is to create 120 jobs in Co Louth. Online payments company YapStone International will open its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) headquarters in Drogheda. YapStone said it would be looking for staff in customer support, research and development, software engineering, finance and accounting. Recruitment will begin immediately.
The company focuses on facilitating rental payments. Holiday rentals, apartment rentals, commercial real estate, self-storage and non-profits all use YapStone in the US. The IDA-backed investment was secured during a trade mission to the US led by jobs minister Richard Bruton, who said: "YapStone is a market leader and its decision to locate in Ireland for the first time in Drogheda is great news for the north-east and for the country." YapStone is based in San Francisco and was set up in 1999.
It is considered the market leader in online payments as a service in the US. The investment is a fillip for the IDA, which has made a policy of targeting tech companies that are still quite small but can grow rapidly. Meanwhile, more than 200 full-time jobs will be created in Cork, Galway and Meath after two companies announced expansion plans and another received planning permission to build a fuel plant. The Irish Independent
A single vat bubbles in the corner while the air in the small, high-ceilinged space under a South London railway arch slowly fills with a hoppy smell as the latest batch of Black India Pale Ale gradually ferments. This is the Kernel microbrewery, one of many new kids on the British beer block that are bucking the downward national trend in beer drinking. Where once the big multi-nationals accounted for the lion's share of brewery growth, now small, independent brewers are leading the way. "This stuff's great, way better than the big brand beers," says Max Marcus as he cradles an early afternoon pint of Camden Ink at the Exmouth Arms in London's Clerkenwell. Microbrewers are tapping into what many see as a weariness with established brands.
"People are moving away from the mainstream rubbish," says Andrew Turner of the recently-opened London Fields brewery. "They want to drink good local stuff." That 158 breweries have opened in the past year would appear to bear out microbrewers' contention that they are merely tapping into renewed interest in Britain's ale heritage. "We're easily impressed by exciting Fosters adverts, so we buy their product," says Roger Protz, author of the 'Good Beer Guide'. "But we're tired of drinking the advertising."
Small brewers have also benefited from tax breaks. The so-called progressive beer duty offers 50pc tax relief to brewers producing relatively small quantities. Unsurprisingly, bigger brewers are crying foul. They say such a favourable tax environment for low-volume producers provides a big incentive for microbreweries to remain micro, while encouraging the emergence of further small brewing enterprises. The Irish Independent