Monday, September 1, 2008

Newsnight Economic Analysis

Guido is quite excited. Have had a few Guinnesses. Newsnight are going to do some analysis of the foreign exchange market (they read about it on Guido). These are the same people who called it upsy daisy Friday. (Analysis of Ms Fawkes aged 3, more accurate.)

UPDATE : Ooh – Crick says people really are “pissed off”.

Crisis, What Crisis?

Sterling is down 14% against a basket of currencies since Gordon Brown became PM and Alistair Darling took his old job as Chancellor. Oil is priced in dollars…

Flashback : Labour Government Sterling Crisis

If Britain, as a result of Gordon’s financial genius, is so well placed to weather the international financial storm, why is the pound at an all time low versus the euro? Why is it falling against a broad basket of currencies? Sterling was even down against the Pakistani Rupee last week…

“It does not mean that the pound here in Britain, in your pocket or purse or in your bank, has been devalued.”

Prime Minister Harold Wilson, 19 November 1967

Harold Wilson came out with that famous statement after the pound was devalued 14% against the dollar. The pound is down some 28% against the euro since the launch of that currency. unemployment is heading towards two million. The seventies are back under Brown. After a run on a bank, we now have a run on the currency. Could we see the return of flared trousers and exchange controls?

Chancellor Blinky

Can you imagine Ed Balls as Chancellor? He certainly can and if the papers are to be believed it is he who Darling reckons is briefing against him. Ed is possibly the only minister who the public, if they know him, detest even more than the Gordon Brown.

He is universally disliked by MPs, journalists, party activists and civil servants alike. Arrogant, rude and just plain unpleasant to deal with, he manages to come over as such even when he is on television. With him as Chancellor the Labour Party has the chance of becoming the third party behind the LibDems. Go for it…

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning Views

+++ S&P Predicting UK Housing Market to Fall 30% By 2009 +++

Bloomberg TV is tonight reporting the Standard & Poors credit rating agency predicting a fall of 30% in UK house prices (from 2007 peak) in 2009.

Back in April Charles Bean, the Bank of England’s Chief Economist, gave an under-reported speech that shook up the Gilts market. It should have shaken up everyone. According to Mr Bean the Bank’s research found that 5% of mortgagors had less than 20% equity in their home. That is equivalent to 650,000 homeowners.

A 30% fall would see more than a million homeowners better off giving the bank the keys to the front door. This could be some bust…

UPDATE : Pound is tumbling as Asian markets open tonight. The pound is now at the weakest it has ever been against the Euro, tumbling against the Swiss Franc as well. Guido is short…

"John McCain Left Both His First Wife and Mitt Romney for Beauty Queens."

Made Guido laugh. Mitt Romney gave Guido the creeps…

Carter Out of the Bonkers Bunker?

The Indy’s Jane Merrick is reporting “that Stephen Carter, Mr Brown’s high-profile strategist, is to leave his job after a bitter turf war inside Downing Street. The public relations guru’s move to a lower-key role is a victory for the Prime Minister’s long-serving advisers….”

Guido is cautious about the story because it smacks of wishful thinking by some in the Brown bunker, Carter and Muir have not been sugar-coating the dire focus group feedback. It stands out that no one else is reporting the demotion story, Merrick may have just been spun by the Brownies.

Getting rid of Carter and replacing Darling with Ed Balls would signal that the Brown bunker is bonkers, the Treasury is clearly in revolt at the £40 billion state house building splurge supposedly planned by Downing Street. Having nationalised home lending via Northern Rock, Gordon plans to double up on the mistake and nationalise home building. A last gasp of socialism to appease the Labour core-vote – public sector mass housing has been such a success hasn’t it? Huge estates of stable families, high employment, low crime and civic responsibility.

Wonder if Vince Cable will support him this time as well?

UPDATE : Dale says Merrick claims the report is triple sourced though Downing Street denies it. If Carter has quit rather than been demoted what does that say about the dysfunction in Downing Street?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Osborne : Is it Brown or Darling Who Is Telling the Truth?

The Chancellor’s candid confession that the economy is tanking worse than previously admitted has been seized on by his shadow. Osborne asks
Who is telling the truth at the top of Government? The Prime Minister says the economic situation isn’t as bad people think and that Britain is well placed to weather the economic storm, but the Chancellor says we are at a 60 year low. Gordon Brown has briefed out stories that he has an economic recovery plan all worked out, meanwhile the Chancellor says the downturn will be more profound and long-lasting than people thought.

Mulling over whether or not to bet the shop against sterling…

UPDATE : The Chancellor in the interview does appear to know the price of eggs. We can relax. Phew.

Newsnight Cock Down Up the Market Report Yet Again

A co-conspirator reports that Newsnight reported the Dow up 171 points tonight. Reassuring in these times of financial market uncertainty. Alas Guido has to report that the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs programme (budget £3 billion) has managed to get it wrong yet again. The Dow closed down 171 points. This would never have happened in Peter Barron’s day, oh hold on…

How hard can it be to report the closing price of the world’s most watched market correctly? Can’t they get a trained monkey to do it?

Seen Elsewhere

The School That Proves Michael Gove Was Right | Toby Young
Full Jenkin/Beckett/Straw Letter to PM | Politics Home
The ‘Buckingham Bonaparte’ is Cornered | Speccie
Coalition: The Movie | Indy
Lefties Moan About Messina Working For Cameron | MSNBC
Karen Danczuk V Louise Mensch: Round 48 | Sun
Jack Straw Slams Bercow | Sky News
Putin Shuts Down Red Square McDonalds | Telegraph
Paper Trail Suggests Ashcroft Still Funding Tories | Indy
Bradford Bun Fight Coming | Speccie
Former Minister’s Join ‘Canberra Caterer’ Outcry | The Times


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Westbourne-Change-Opinion hot-button


Lord Glasman tells it like it is:

“The first thing is to acknowledge that Labour has been captured by a kind of aggressive public sector morality which is concerned with the individual and the collective but doesn’t understand relationships.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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