Thursday, February 14 08:11:53
The failure to repossess people's homes may be contributing to the duration of the economic crisis, a conference organised by the Central Bank heard yesterday.
A banking expert with the International Monetary Fund told the conference that those states in the US that have a record for quickly foreclosing on mortgages in arrears are recovering more quickly from the housing crisis.
Michael Moore, speaking in a personal capacity to a conference called How to Fix Distressed Property Markets, held in Dublin yesterday, said the figures supported the view that faster foreclosures contributed to the quicker resolution of housing and mortgage crises.
Another speaker, economist Anthony Murphy of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said the lack of repossession of houses in Ireland by the banks was "crazy and really strange". A former academic with UCD, Mr Murphy said that while the level of foreclosures in the US might be too high, the level in Ireland - zero - was too low.
Mr Moore said the rules in the US force banks to recognise deteriorating loans promptly and to take them off their books. This keeps the level of non-performing loans on the banks' books at very low levels.
It would be very unusual for the type of high levels seen in Ireland to exist in a US bank, he said. He said that one of the advantages of prompt repossession was that it removed the option of strategic default. The Irish Times
The family of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn will challenge the constitutionality of the new IBRC Act if the courts are found to have no power to lift the "absolute" stay in the Act halting the family's action against the bank, their lawyers have said.
Martin Hayden SC, for the Quinns, said yesterday his side would bring "a full challenge" to the Act if it prevented the stay being lifted.
He suggested that the Attorney General should be put on notice of the possible challenge.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly will hear arguments on March 7th before deciding whether the Act, which last week liquidated Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo), permits the courts to lift the "immediate stay" on "all" existing proceedings against IBRC.
That stay is set out in section 6 of the Act; the judge previously noted that the Act also disapplied provisions which normally allowed the courts to lift such stays.
The many existing proceedings against IBRC include the action by Patricia Quinn and her children alleging that they are not liable for E2.34 billion loans by Anglo to Quinn companies on grounds that those were made for the unlawful purpose of propping up the bank's plummeting share price. The Irish Times
In a further boost for the economy, figures released by the Central Statistics Office yesterday show Irish exports are at their highest level in a decade.
Analysis of the financial performance of companies listed on the stock exchange and smaller firms which publish their results in Companies Office suggest that 2013 will be the year that many companies turn the corner.
This week, drug distribution company United Drug issued the most bullish forecasts in at least five years when it predicted that earnings will rise as much as 8pc this year following a strong start to the year.
"Recent new business wins, both in the UK and Ireland, should see this performance continue for the remainder of the financial year," the company added. The Irish Independent
Fashion chain Republic has collapsed into administration putting 2,500 jobs at risk, mainly in Britain. The company also has branches in Blanchardstown and Liffey Valley.
Ernst & Young, administrator to the Leeds-based group, said the 121 shops would continue to trade while it looks for a buyer for the business.
Republic, which started as a men's denim retailer in 1986 under the Best Jeans brand in Leeds, was hit by a "sudden and rapid decline" in sales at the end of last month after poor trading results over the autumn.
Ernst said it had made 150 staff redundant at Republic's headquarters in Leeds.
Administrator Hunter Kelly said: "Republic suffered poor trading results in the autumn, and whilst sales picked up in December there has been a sudden and rapid decline in sales in late January. The Irish Independent
Providence Resources said it will delay controversial plans to drill for oil off Dalkey because the law is unclear. The Irish oil company outraged the wealthy residents of the south-Dublin suburb when it got permission from the Department of the Environment to prospect for oil within view of the Dublin Bay.
This has triggered protests from many people living in Dalkey, which is home to U2 frontman Bono and fellow musician Van Morrison.
Providence said yesterday it made the decision after it became clear that certain elements in European Union laws dating back to 1999 weren't transposed correctly into Irish law. The Irish Independent