November 22nd, 2012

Living on Borrowed Time

Part time Tory MP Tim Yeo’s latest musings on the state of the economy read more like something out of the Ed Balls textbook of treasury tragedy. Despite yesterday’s worrying borrowing figures, the conflicted MP ludicrously says we should borrow more money:

“If borrowing is for long term infrastructure assets it should be considered, providing a direct economic benefit can be demonstrated. I do not approve of borrowing due to a failure to cut current spending quickly enough. But where the economic benefit is evident borrowing is acceptable.”

Maybe he’s hoping that economic benefit he mentions might apply to one of his own copious outside interests…


  1. 1
    Kebab Time says:

    They all the same!

    Oink! oink!


  2. 3
    Plato says:

    Borrowing to invest isn’t inherently bad? Companies and individuals do it succesfully all the time.

    However, I agree that w’anker politicians usually f’uck it up.


    • 5 says:

      Aided and abetted by civil servants.


      • 9
        CarryHole is a Hunt says:

        “Somehow” all that borrowing and spending seems to be focussed on the whims and post-retirement aspirations of senior civil servants. i.e. GreenScams and PFI.


    • 11
      Archer Karcher says:

      When the ‘company’ is £1.7 trillion in debt and struggling to pay the interest, borrowing on anything is bad.


      • 25
        Anonymous says:

        No problem if you can print money and pay it off. You can even keep interest rate low by

        1) printing money and buying bonds
        2) force insurance companies and pension to hold certain % of their assets as government bonds
        3) not asking foreigners where the money came from when they deposit it here


    • 53
      lojolondon says:

      Yeo has ‘form’. Normally when he suggests something it is because a client of his, eg. the Chinese windfarm people or German taxi people are planning something…. follow the money, it will soon be clear what the latest scam is!


  3. 4
    CarryHole is a Hunt says:

    So that rules out borrowing to pay the subsidies to the rent-seeking owners of bird-mincers.


  4. 6
    Sick of the lot of them says:

    The man is so far off the beam I wonder why he still has the Conservative whip, frankly.
    The state can’t pick the winners, borrowing to spend where some politician or bureaucrat sees benefit is a recipe for disaster and pork-barrel politics.


  5. 7
    Roscoe Rules says:

    Hasn’t that cu*t got a secretary to fuck?


  6. 13
    Nonjob says:

    Free money for everyone!

    Hurray for Tim Yeo!

    Hurray for the magic money tree!


  7. 17
    neilfutureboy says:

    Yhe second most expensive scandal in British politics, after warming/windmillery is that government construction projects cost an average of 8 times what they do in the rest of the world or did in previous generations (eg Crossrail which at 50 miles of tunnels in 2 directions should cost under £1 billion rather than 15 if we could match Norway’s £4 million/km tunneling costs.

    While politicians of all parties are understandably reticent to discuss this it seems to be a combination of regulatory parasitism and giving contracts to companies that spend a lot on consultancies by people with backgrounds similar to Tim Yeo.

    So long as that is the case any “stimulus” benefit from such projects is limited to the 1/8th they actually cost.


    • 23
      Sir William W says:

      Francre’s TGV Sud-Est cost $4 million/km. Our equivalent, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, cost $80 million/km. The geography of France is more challenging than ours. Somebody is extracting the urine.


    • 34
      Lord Deben says:

      I was hoping nobody would bring this up.


    • 58
      Slimy Chuck-a-Butty says:

      Now it’s a long time since I did my economics o level and the teacher was an arse but he explained this way back then and I’m sure it applies today and to the above.

      In the UK there were only 3 firms capable of building a motorway, company 1,2,3 we will call them

      No company could undertake all the work available, and all work was made by tender to the ‘average bid’ (it works as well with lowest bid) so they act together in their own interest.

      A project comes up for tender, normal cost £100 million, company 2 & 3 had won the previous tenders so this time it’s company 1’s turn.

      Company 1 bids £400 mliion
      Company 2 bids £200 million
      Company 3 bids £600 million

      Company 1 gets the contract and makes an extra £300 million

      Easy money.


  8. 19
    Sir William W says:

    I’m unsure how Mr Yeo proposes to separate the nice borrowing from the nasty borrowing. He’s got a point, though. One of Osborne’s crassest move was to cut infrastructure spending sharply. Only foreign aid was protected!


  9. 20
    Yeo Ho Ho says:

    I love this MP lark. Every day’s like Christmas.


  10. 21
    George Monbiot says:

    When it comes to energy production we like a ‘mix’.
    Things that work and things that don’t work.
    ‘Why don’t we just invest in things that work’ I hear you say.
    To which I would reply,
    ‘Fuck off you climate change denying hoon’


  11. 22
    C Vanderbilt says:

    Odd criticism.

    I’d be quite happy if the government borrowed £100bn off the markets to buy £200bn worth of gold.

    If the infrastructure built with borrowed money can be shown to be of higher value than the amount of borrowing what is not to like?


    • 28
      Gordon Brown says:

      That would make up for the fact I sold £200bn worth of gold for £10bn


    • 32
      Jimmy says:

      I think the objection is that it would anger the Gods of Voodoo Economics or something like that. You have to remember that tories are basically a primitive tribe for whom economics stopped in the 19th century. So Yeo is now pro growth as well as pro science. A posse of torch wielding villagers is gathering at his door as we speak.


  12. 24
    jack barden says:



    • 31
      Broadsword calling Danny Boy says:

      A little more sedative I would have thought old boy.

      Could you just go and lie down in a darkened room?


  13. 26
    Yo Yo says:

    I see no problem borrowing to spend on improving my secretary’s assets.


  14. 35
    keredybretsa says:

    What I’ve read about this geez up to now, points to a definite wotsinnitforme situation!


  15. 36
    A financial advisor (lightly regulated by the FSA) says:

    Do we think that it would be dangerous to introduce Mr Yeo to the services of They love marks, sorry, discerning punters who are ready to borrow to invest.


  16. 37
    Mad Frankie's Older Sister says:

    Yesh… lets build more half power half arsed windmills


  17. 48
    Tim Yeo says:

    Just in case it don’t work I want Pre nup before I settle down with my windmill.


  18. 55
    Anglicanus Ortus says:

    Despite yesterday’s worrying borrowing figures, the conflicted MP ludicrously says we should borrow more money.

    He doesn’t say any such thing. Did you fail basic reading comprehension, Guido?

    He says that spending should not be considered for anything other than long-term infrastructure projects delivering a clear economic benefit and that borrowing should never be allowed simply to make up shortfall in a failure to cut deeply enough.


  19. 57
    manicbeancounter says:

    This comment about borrowing to invest has more shades of Gordon Brown rather than Ed Balls. It was Brown’s “Golden Rule” that lead to Britain entering the downturn with a structural deficit at 4% of GDP. The reductions in the deficit through tax increases and spending cuts are to eliminate this part of the deficit – the cyclical upturn (when it happens) will take care of the rest.


  20. 59
    Born In Paradise, Living now in Brixton says:

    Anthing that Tim Yeo ‘brings up’ usually reveals itself to be a pile of vomit emanating from his total indulgence in overtroughing.

    I’ve seen better vomit from the family labrador.


  21. 60
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    Yes, always better to borrow to keep people on the dole – or throw away the oil wealth to do it, as Thatcher did. Do you people want to save capitalism or not?


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