Podcast

Debt, profit, tax and a conduit to the rest of the world: the growing wingspan of vulture funds in Ireland

Ian Kehoe
5th Aug, 2020

Over the past year, The Currency has exposed the structures used by vulture funds to acquire tens of billions’ worth of distressed debt in Ireland. Thomas Hubert’s latest investigation into CarVal also revealed how profitable this business has been for the US private equity firm, and where its Irish-registered special purpose vehicles are headed next. From the policies that led to the mass securitisation of distressed debt to the 2016 reform of so-called Section 110 companies and its effect (or lack thereof) on the tax they pay here, and to the use of Irish vehicles to swoop on distressed debt as far away as Australia and China, Thomas joins Ian Kehoe to take stock on the presence of vulture funds in Ireland as pillar banks book a fresh round of loan impairments.

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“To benefit from the future, to benefit from asymmetries and anti-fragility, you have to position yourself to be around for that future”

Ian Kehoe
4th Aug, 2020

Over the past month, Investment Strategist John Looby has written a three-part series on what investors, policymakers and business leaders can learn from the thinking of the scholar and mathematician Nassim Nicholas Taleb. In this podcast with Ian Kehoe, Looby talks about the practical implementation of many of Taleb’s theories around probability, risk, and anti-fragility, and explains how investors can buffer themselves in an uncertain world. He also talks about what Irish politicians can learn from Taleb’s theories about the future, with Looby arguing that a significant policy goal should be winning the case with our EU partners for splitting the capital budget from the current budget, and funding the former with tailored, long-term debt.

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“There is obviously a fear of deflation in what has been a very inflated market, and it would be naïve to suggest that business would just simply flood back to sport”

Ian Kehoe
22nd Jul, 2020

With sport almost ground to a halt, the various Irish governing bodies have been warning about the financial impact of the crisis on their respective associations. In this podcast, Rob Hartnett, the founder and chief executive of Sport for Business, examines the business shock of Covid-19 on the GAA, the FAI, the IRFU and horse racing. Hartnett, whose company bridges the gap between business and sport, also talks about the impact on television rights, sponsorship and partnership deals, as well the new models that associations and clubs will have to implement to adapt to the new commercial reality.

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Reducing Covid-19 to zero: "Right now, there are places that are on fire and there are sparks that are flying to other places"

Thomas Hubert
15th Jul, 2020

US physicist Yaneer Bar-Yam has specialised in studying complex systems such as pandemics and financial crises. In January he wrote an influential paper with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of a best-selling book called The Black Swan, warning that the novel coronavirus emerging in China threatened the world. Bar-Yam has been paying close attention to Ireland's coronavirus response and argues that the best approach once the number of new cases has been brought near zero is to cut off routes for any fresh infection to spread. He tells Thomas Hubert: "You want to be as careful as possible to limit the possibility of starting a new fire and what you want to do is to limit travel as much as is reasonably possible and to quarantine people that arrive carefully so that they don't start a new outbreak."

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