Does NAMA still believe the banks? – Noonan

first_imgNewsLocal NewsDoes NAMA still believe the banks? – NoonanBy admin – July 20, 2010 573 Email Previous article56% drop in Shannon aircraft traffic in JuneNext articleMunster to open Heineken Cup campaign away to Irish admin WhatsApp Print WARNING that it is virtually impossible for NAMA to be profitable, the FG Finance Spokesman, Michael Noonan, says that just one quarter of property-backed loans over €5million in NAMA institutions are performing.Pointing out that rather than, as stated in its original business plan, 40% of loans were estimated to perform, Mr Noonan says that, in fact, just 25% of loans transferred to it are performing.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “This means that only one quarter of all property-backed loans in the NAMA-covered institutions, in excess of €5 million, are performing, and when seen in this way, the task of NAMA is truly enormous and it is virtually impossible for it to be profitable”.Deputy Noonan contends that the economic valuation of the transferred loans was significantly too high and that as there is no longer 40% liquidity in NAMA’S portfolio, it has taken a huge hit.“This raises serious questions for NAMA – will it now have sufficient cash flow to cover its running costs, and what now is its planned timing to release assets on to the market?”With NAMA’S bad assets now amounting to 75% of the total portfolio, rather than the 60% estimated, the Limerick East Deputy queries if NAMA still believes the information flow from the banks?He says that NAMA was presented to the Irish taxpayer as a good deal, which over time would realise a profit of €4.6billion.“It is now clear that it has paid too much for the portfolio and that losses are inevitable. Its business plan provides further evidence that the government’s banking policy is a disaster.“NAMA won’t wash its face, Anglo Irish Bank is swallowing taxpayers’ money like some prehistoric monster, and AIB and Bank of Ireland are still not providing the credit lines needed by businesses and householders”.Emphasising the need for assurances from Minister Lenihan that the next tranche of loans to be transferred will not underperform to a greater degree than the first tranche, Mr Noonan says it is reasonable to assume that the better performing loans have already been transferred.“The minister must also insist that NAMA values any future assets in accordance with the information now available in the business plan and he must insist that the valuation of non-performing loans is further cut to take the latest information into account”.center_img Linkedin Facebook Twitter Advertisementlast_img read more

Toxic talk: Agents’ use of social media app Parler stirs concerns

first_imgTagsResidential Brokerage While Parler doesn’t officially brand itself as a platform for conservatives, newcomers to the app in November were welcomed by automated messages from Trump’s re-election campaign and former Rep. Ron Paul’s accounts. The platform is bankrolled by Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of conservative megadonor Robert Mercer.One of Parler’s selling points is that it doesn’t moderate discussions, but instead relies on users to police each other. An account is deleted when it garners up to 20 “violation points,” which are determined by “a jury of your peers, not employees of Parler.” The app notes that sharing pornography, threats of violence or illegal activites are “contributing factors.”But Segal is concerned that Parler users will not recognize and report extremist views. Much of the content that brings together extremists and moderates on Parler is centered around Trump and his claim that the election results were illegitimate.Since the election, Parler has been used by far right activists and Trump supporters to jointly organize and participate in rallies such as the Million MAGA March and, most recently, the Proud Boys’ march. The overlap creates an opportunity for extremists to gain a larger audience among moderates over a shared cause without those users necessarily recognizing the extreme views a group may stand for, Segal explained.“That’s ultimately the danger, when we don’t even know how to recognize the extremists in our midst,” said Segal. “Parler doesn’t seem to be trying to address that.”Pennington said he doesn’t feel any more likely to run into extremist content on Parler than other platforms. “The same could be said about Instagram or Facebook,” he said.Extremism and hate speech on major social media platforms have been rampant for years. But Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have increasingly cracked down on extremism, hate speech and disinformation on their platforms.Despite his concerns, Segal stressed that Parler is far from becoming like the app Gab or the website Stormfront. Gab gained notoriety in 2018 for being where the shooter at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue posted anti-Semitic rants and conspiracy theories before his deadly rampage.  And a Klan leader founded Stormfront, which is considered the first major hate site on the internet.“There are a lot of non-extremist users on Parler right now,” Segal said, adding that “it’s not always cut and dry the motivation behind someone who wants to be there.”The bottom lineSeveral agents say they aren’t too concerned about a stigma being associated with the platform.Christina Winters-Ronk, who owns her own firm in Oregon, joined Parler in February because she liked its commitment to free speech.“If somebody were going to judge me based on having a social media account like Parler, I don’t know that I need them as a client.”Christina Winters-Ronk, Realtor“That finger-pointing of hate is absolutely in the wrong direction,” she said, noting that she’s seen more inappropriate behavior and trolling on TikTok than Parler.Winters-Ronk’s Parler posts are mostly personal, though she occasionally posts videos and photos of properties she’s selling.For instance, she documented a recent trip she took to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Million MAGA March. In one photo she posted over the summer, she poses in a Trump hat next to a client’s poster for former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.Winters-Ronk said the photo was taken after she and her client realized they were on opposite sides of the political fence. She said posting a photo like that in jest was something she appreciated about Parler.“Is it a social media platform that I feel like I could post something like that without backlash? Yes, absolutely,” she said. “Do I feel like that would be something censored on another site? Probably.”“If somebody were going to judge me based on having a social media account like Parler, I don’t know that I need them as a client,” she added.But while having a Parler account isn’t an endorsement of extremism and hate speech, some homebuyers and sellers may not care to make that distinction.“It’s really hard to say you’re going to use it like any other social media platform,” said Jennifer White Karp, managing editor of Brick Underground, a consumer-focused real estate site based in New York. “I mean, you’re known by the company you keep.”“I think one of the big concerns is that people [using Parler] could be more steeped in this ideology and become more indoctrinated, and it could affect how they work,” she added.The industry’s largest trade group is increasing its effort to police agents’ behavior on social media. Last month, the National Association of Realtors broadened its Code of Ethics to cover not just a Realtor’s conduct while on the job, but in all manner of public life, including social media.So far, NAR hasn’t fielded any complaints about agents’ conduct on Parler. But a spokesperson for the association noted that “the fact that Parler doesn’t impose such limitations on discriminatory speech doesn’t mean the Code doesn’t.”Segal said how Parler deals with extremist users in the future will determine whether being associated with the platform will carry more of a stigma.“In six months, we’ll see just how connected this platform is to extremism,” he said. “Then there won’t be any excuses.”Contact Erin Hudson Correction due to editing error: Stormfront, not Gab, was founded by a Klan leader and is considered the first major hate site on the internet. Email Address* Full Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* Some real estate agents have begun using social media app Parler, where experts worry they’ll bump shoulders with far-right extremists. (Illustration by Paul Dilakian)A few weeks after the election, Steve Martin Smith, a Florida-based RE/MAX broker, used his public Parler account to amplify a post by the far-right extremist group Proud Boys. The all-male, self-described “chauvinist” organization was promoting a march for President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.Thousands attended the Dec. 12 event, including anti-Trump protesters, and the demonstration devolved into violence. Four stabbings were reported in connection with the march, and Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio said he participated in the burning of a “Black Lives Matter” banner pulled from a historic Black church.Why Martin Smith promoted the Proud Boys’ post is unclear. He declined to be interviewed and switched his Parler account to private after being contacted by The Real Deal. Still, the agent, who has a weekly real estate podcast, is among millions of Americans drawn to Parler as the “premier free speech social network.” The platform has become popular among conservatives as an alternative to Twitter, which had begun fact-checking tweets by Trump and other Republican figures.“It’s really hard to say you’re going to use it like any other social media platform. You’re known by the company you keep.”Jennifer White Karp, Brick UndergroundBut Martin Smith’s behavior on Parler illustrates a pattern on the app that concerns those who study extremism.“Do [users like Martin Smith] think that event is legitimate because of Parler’s claim that it’s for conservatives, or do they actually support the Proud Boys?” asked Oren Segal of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.Segal worries that Parler’s anti-censorship stance could allow extremist users to behave without limitations. For example, Proud Boys has been banned from Twitter since 2018 and from Facebook since June, but the group’s Parler account has more than 270,000 followers.While that’s a red flag for an expert like Segal, it’s unclear if the real estate agents using Parler are aware of the controversy it has caused or its use by extremists. This could have unintended consequences for their real estate business, experts warn, particularly as the industry begins to crack down on agents’ online conduct. Parler did not respond to a request for comment.“For some people who reject extremism and hate, to know that their real estate broker is advertising on a site that has extremists may call into question their judgment,” said Segal. “Whether that’s fair or not.”Here to parleyParler users who self-identify as agents are affiliated with a range of brokerages, among them Coldwell Banker, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, RE/MAX and eXp Realty.Some say they say were drawn to the app after feeling alienated by mainstream social media like Twitter and Facebook. They’re not alone.Parler, founded in 2018, became the most-downloaded app in the days after the 2020 presidential election. Many Trump supporters, including actress Kirstie Alley and former UFC fighter Tito Ortiz, recently adopted the platform, beckoning their millions of followers to join them. Other celebrities, including radio host and musician John Tesh, also jumped to Parler.Phil Pennington, a Realtor based in Gibson, Arizona, created his Parler account after seeing people in his network on Facebook and Instagram make the move.He said he believed in the idea of a social media platform “that is just a free exchange of community ideas without the comments that seem to be so divisive,” and was hopeful Parler might live up to that.Other alternative platforms to see user bases grow this year include MeWe and Rumble. Parler functions a lot like Twitter, with 1,000-character posts known as “Parleys” and an “echo” function that amplifies other users’ posts. To see public conversations playing out in the app, users must sign up for an account and select whom to follow.Read moreNAR amends code of ethics to ban public hate speechCorcoran axes broker who cursed at woman planting Biden signsIncidents at Nooklyn and Core outrage Black agents, staff Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

Cost of housing in Qld forcing pensioners into poverty: QCOSS

first_imgPensioner with a walking stick in Saffron Walden, Essex, Britain, Apr 04, 2006. PicGraham/Barclay /Bloomberg/News – aged man frail disabled retirees generic situationTHE soaring cost of housing in Queensland in forcing age pensioners into poverty, according to a new report.The Queensland Council of Social Service’s latest Cost of Living Report reveals older couples who rely on the age pension and rent in the private market are at the greatest risk of living in poverty — foregoing basic goods and services just to survive.The report, based on the real-life experiences of age pensioners, found some of the state’s senior citizens have as little as $8 left over every week and are forced to “eat very small meals”, make their own dog food and consider dining out a “total luxury”.Age pensioner couples renting privately in Brisbane earn, on average, nearly $32 a week less than what is needed to afford a basic standard of living.And most are likely to be experiencing housing stress, which means they spend more than a third of their income on housing costs. QCOSS CEO Mark Henley, seen here with Queensland opposition leader Tim Nicholls. Pic: Jono Searle.COTA chief executive Mark Tucker-Evans said with the number of Queenslanders aged 65 to 84 expected to more than double by 2050, it was highly likely the number of people on the age pension would also increase, placing additional pressure on the state’s social services.“While cost of living pressures have eased somewhat it is important to remember that these figures are based on a very austere standard of living, with little room to cope with any unexpected costs or crises, leaving Queensland’s age pensioners living on the edge,” he said. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE “Despite some positive changes, such as the slowdown in the increasing cost of essential items such as public transport, electricity, water and sewerage and rents when compared to the last five years, the situation still remains bleak.“It is clear that state and federal governments play a critical role in supporting age pensioners to meet a basic standard of living.”The 2016 Census reveals the number of renters spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent has risen to 11.5 per cent — up from 10.4 per cent in 2011. Age pensioners who rent in the private market are at the greatest risk of living in poverty, according to QCOSS.The QCOSS report found assistance provided through the Commonwealth Rent Assistance scheme has failed to keep up with private rental prices.Almost half of QCOSS’s renter households’ budgets are taken up with rental costsQCOSS and the Council of the Ageing are calling on all levels of government to address access to affordable housing and to reform concessions.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investorless than 1 hour ago Interest only? Analyst says ‘I don’t think so’ Big changes for heritage-listed unit block Mortgage stress continues to rise The measures they’re calling for include reviewing the maximum rate and indexation of Commonwealth Rent Assistance to ensure payments accurately reflect the cost of rent over time. “If you don’t own your home and are on the age pension you will be at risk of living below the poverty line,” QCOSS chief executive Mark Henley said. last_img read more

Fast track, fast cars at Off Road Speedway

first_imgBy Randy PospishilNORFOLK, Neb. (May 21) – Off Road Speedway featured a dry slick track Saturday night and drivers took full advantage.The most competitive race of the night belonged to the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks where two hometown drivers at the top of the Off Road Speedway’s standings, point leader TeJay Mielke and Jeremy Hoskinson, dueled for the lead during final seven laps, often side-by-side, before Mielke eked out a win by a matter of inches at the checkered flag.Ironically, Mielke had been second last week in a similar finish after being edged at the line by Derek Husted.“The division is real tough with great drivers, This was a very clean, competitive race,” Mielke said. “I just happened to have the ‘long fender’ on this week after losing last week. The track was pretty nice tonight, slick, smooth.”Hoskinson’s runner-up spot was his fourth top five finish in five nights of racing at the Off Road Speedway. Nate DeSive was third.National point leader Ramsey Meyer won the division’s main event for the third time this season at Norfolk. Mark Benedict finished second, with Lance Mielke taking third.Hans Houfek recorded his first IMCA Sunoco Stock Car win of the season at Off Road Speedway, leading all 15 laps on the way to the finish line. Shawn Primrose and Chad Bruns finished in se­cond and third, respectively.Justin Addison picked up his first Off Road Speedway win of 2016 in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods. He outran Colby Langenberg and Nelson Vollbrecht.last_img read more