Friday, June 29, 2012

The Unfinished

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

NAMA and the Chicago Spire

The rubble-strewn Chicago lot where North America's tallest residential building was to have been built is turning into an international money pit.
Four years after construction stopped, leaving only a big foundation dug to support the planned 150-story Chicago Spire, an Irish government agency that subsequently bought the soured debt as part of the country's bank bailout still holds the loan on its books, according to people familiar with the property.
Now, Ireland's National Asset Management Agency, which took on the debt from the defunct Anglo Irish Bank Corp., is running up a big tab paying for property expenses that will be nearly $3 million by the end of this year. A Cook County judge in March approved the latest $1.2 million requested by a receiver, which will go for such expenses as insurance, back taxes and even the operations of a bathroom on a nearby bridge.

Wall Street Journal

Saturday, June 9, 2012


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In his twilight years, the writer John McGahern returned to the northern Irish countryside where he’d spent his boyhood to find it much as he’d left it: a land of blue lakes and sparse green fields lined by hedges that erupted in wild color every summer. McGahern, whose novels were celebrated for their elegiac depictions of rural Ireland, marveled in his 2005 memoir that Europe’s swift economic transformation had spared the landscape of his youth. “Amazingly, amid unrelenting change,” he wrote, “these fields have hardly changed at all since I ran and played and worked in them as a boy.” If McGahern, who died a year later, could see some of those fields now, “he’d be spinning in his grave,” said geographer Rob Kitchin.

 COOTEHALL, Ireland --