Vince Cable says this of the recapitalisation of Barclays:
This is a scandal of mammoth proportions. Here is a bank which relies on the taxpayer to bail it out if the going gets rough but which has offered Middle Eastern investors a much better deal than the banks are offering to the British taxpayer.
The FT doesn’t mince words – “Vince Cable, Loony” :
We have to ask why Barclays is willing to offer a better deal to foreign investors than the British taxpayer… The answer is simple: they don’t want the British Government stopping them from paying massive bonuses to their executives.
So apparently the LibDem Treasury spokesperson would rather the UK taxpayer was taking the risk here. Odd, because not so long ago, Cable was thundering on about the unbearable burden the taxpayer was being forced to bear. More than the other banks, Barclays operate a high-risk casino operation which makes the bank particularly unstable but which gives very rich pickings to the top executives. The British Government must not simply let this pass.
You heard it: only the mediocre will do. Too bad they’re otherwise engaged in the LibDem Treasury team.
Guido has said it before; Vince Cable’s real expertise is in soundbites and faux gravitas.
“National debt is low and we’re able to borrow to do it.”
This is just delusional, he has run up the debt burden during his decade of unfunded spending, we have the biggest national deficit of all time, the books have never been so unbalanced as they are now. He fiddles the statistics, we know that, the Office of National Statistics even says so. Journalists know it. His own cabinet knows it. The Civil Service knows it. The City knows it. Foreign investors know it. This is why the pound has plunged against almost everything apart from the Icelandic Krona.
Guido Asked the PM to explain why, for example, the unfunded public sector pension debt is not government debt and hopes he can answer it without evasion. Because if he can’t he must either be (a) bonkers (b) a liar. Which is it?
Maybe they only want Andy Marr to ask Gordon a question? Perhaps they will commission Deborah Mattinson to do a citizen’s consultation? Totally pathetic. This exposes the whole Downing Street “engaging with the people online” stuff as bullsh*t spin. This is classic New Labour “consultation” and “engagement”, they want the online equivalent of a Potemkin Village. Still that means another two weeks for you co-conspirators to Ask Gordon about the economy. To your webcams!
The Fink had a go at “punk tax cutters” yesterday despite always claiming that he is in favour of lower taxes (in the long term) – it is just that those pesky voters don’t believe politicians who promise them – so don’t promise tax cuts – is his argument. Well a new poll from ComRes suggests he is wrong and that if a credible politician made a credible promise, it would be popular. It found that:
- 67% of people now think we are paying the price for government overspending.
- 59% of people agree tax cuts would be a better response to the downturn than increased public spending. Only 18% disagree.
- 68% supported an immediate and substantial cut in interest rates.
- 67% agreed that Gordon Brown should take a 10% pay cut.
Guido started writing boom to bust pieces in September 2007, Fred Harrison, the Renegade Economist, made his prescient call on the property market in 2005. His 2005 book has just been re-printed, Boom Bust: House Prices, Banking and the Depression of 2010.
He has also produced this video accusing Gordon Brown of covering up his cupability. It is apparently the first in a series. Fred’s diagnosis is interesting, Guido is not sure however that his tax reform proposals are that appealing. Definitely worth seven minutes of your time.