What a Mass Bank Bail-Out Does to the Currency

This is what could happen to the pound if the Treasury decides to print cash to bail out collapsing banks. The Icelandic Króna has lost 40% in value in three months. The Icelandic Króna is not the Great British Pound, the UK economy is far larger and hopefully stronger. Little Iceland could go bust and end up begging the IMF, a humiliation suffered by Britain under the last Labour government. Nothing, however, is impossible.

The FT reports some good news; $500 billion in derivatives contracts related to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were settled yesterday. Friday, 17 October, sees $400 billion of Lehman Credit Default Swaps (CDS) come due for settlement. If this goes through without mishap, market liquidity could improve as fears of systemic failure recede and the biggest ever stress test for derivatives contracts passes.

If…

PLP Changes Bets

The collapse of the Miliband putsch and reports from the PLP that there is to be an end to hostilities” has made Guido shift his bets. Guido is now backing a May 2010 general election date with the Labour Party led by Gordon Brown. (Incidentally, you can get 12 /1 on Brown leading his party and Cameron not, an outside bet if you feel lucky.)

It seems to Guido that not even a disaster in Glenrothes will divert the Labour Party from its lemming instinct.

Newsnight Mess Up the Market Report Yet Again

Kirsty correctly informed us that the pound had “tumbled almost one and three quarter cents” yet the graphic had it up +1.74 cents. Viewers have to guess the truth, one wonders does anyone at Newsnight actually care?

Guido watched Randall Live on Sky earlier this evening interviewing Martin Sorrell. An adult conversation about business and the markets with some interesting insights. Sorrell explained what he was up to re-domiciling WPP in Ireland. It wasn’t at all the hectoring quasi-Marxist business bashing that so often characterises the BBC’s reporting – which might be fine for Guardian readers but is pretty tiresome for people interested in business news. Randall is recommended.

Clegg : Mandy Was Poisonous to Me Too

Nick Clegg is recounting to acolytes that back in 2004/5 when he was still an MEP he had dinner with Mandelson in Brussels. Over the courses Mandy spent most of the evening being vitriolic about Brown.

No doubt this will be attributed to LibDem propaganda and dirty tricks. Everyone else is clearly lying except Mandy…

Just as Well They Banned Short Selling, Eh?

As the markets tank the question is how low can we go? There is quite simply no immediate floor for the FTSE 100, after 4500 the next level is the January 2003 level of 3600, a drop of some 20%. Think that is impossible? Stocks are down more than 20% since the beginning of the year.

So it isn’t hard to see that kind of market capitulation happening. In the tech bust of 1999-2000 many stocks fell 90%. Some bank stocks have already dropped 90%. There is nothing government can do to alter the reality and this has to play out. Tokyo had near zero interest rates for the best part of a decade (sorry Vince that was no panacea). The liquidity problem is/was a precursor to the solvency problem. Governments can flood markets with liquidity but that can’t fix insolvency. This is going to be painful.

Politicians who claim to have solutions to the credit crunch are infantalising the electorate. The best they can do is ameliorate the problems. They can’t alter the underlying reality. Over-priced assets are crashing and bringing down the banks – not all – some like HSBC are relatively unscathed. There are pluses as well, if you are in your twenties you will have a better chance of getting on the property ladder now…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Meet the New Deputy Leader of the Commons

Another serious person for serious times. Chris Bryant is the deputy leader of the house. His main qualification for this is that he is a Brown loyalist, one of the curry house plotters who can be relied on to be alert to and determined to frustrate the ambitions of Miliband.

Presumably that is the reason for the installation of the strange Sion Simon as a minister for the crown. Tom Watson also remains close to the centre of power in the Cabinet Office where he can continue to brief against internal enemies of the the Prime Mentalist. Watson will have been pleased with himself having seen off Stephen Carter. Nick Brown as chief whip is the ultimate factional enforcer.

This government intake are the second-raters who would never have prospered during New Labour’s prime. They are distinguished only in the way that Kamikaze pilots were distinguished in their loyalty to the emperor. It is going to be a heck of a lot of fun, and a dirty fight to the death.

Sion Simon Made a Minister, No Really

Sion Simon has been appointed Skills Minister. His skills with video satire and political forecasting were obviously the decisive factors. Minister for Mad Hatters would have been more appropriate.

Brown Buggered : Latest Poll of Marginals Has Labour Losing 164 Seats

The News of the World’s post conference season poll of marginals shows that things have got worse for Brown since last year – with Labour now looking set to lose 164 marginal seats (full data set pdf).

Can Mandy

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+ READ MORE +

+++ Sky : Yelland – Ex-Sun Editor to Downing Street +++

David Yelland was a vice-chairman at Weber Shandwick, where Mandelson protege Colin Byrne is CEO. Interesting to put a former Sun editor up against Andy Coulson, ex-editor of the News of the Screws…

UPDATE : No confirmation of this yet.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Friday Caption Contest (Boy from Brazil Edition)

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Whatever Happened to an "End to Spin"?

The return of a troika of three New Labour high priests of spin is striking. Draper is never off the airwaves, Campbell is popping up more and more often. Now the Prince of Darkness himself returns to Westminster from across

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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