+++ TORIES BREAK THROUGH TO 52% ++++++ FTSE CLOSES BELOW 5000 +++

MORI tomorrow will have a poll putting the Tories on 52%, Labour on 24% and the Lib Dems on 12%. Total political meltdown.

The FTSE has crashed to new lows and closed at 4912, well below the psychologically important 5000 level. Economic meltdown.

UPDATE : According to Electoral Calculus, this would give the Tories 493 seats, Labour 121 and leave the Lib Dems on 8 seats.

HBOS Collapse : Jonah Brown Was There Again

The refurbished Bank of Scotland head office on “The Mound”, was formally opened by the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, at a gala reception on September 7, 2006.

Comrade Mason Replies

After the kerfuffle about the mixed up market report last night this (presumably genuine) communication from Newsnight’s business reporter and trade union leader has come in:
Guido – I should probably have said the value of its shares fell 48% in after market pricing, or some similar gobbledygook. As your other commenters point out the issue of whether there is a futures “market” is philosophically moot. Unfortunately the words “futures market” were in a piece of paper printed off into my hands literally as the 5-strong team of makeup women and masseurs was prepping me for my live appearance and seconds before we went on air. The words “futures market” entered my brain while I was puzzling whether the 48% fall really mattered in such an illiquid market. But hey, guys: if you think I sound like a hysterical Trot, you should listen to McCain!

Fair enough. Guido is in no position to criticise someone for screwing up live on Newsnight…

Incidentally, that last sentence is an interesting point, Guido will only note that the lead piece on the show tonight is scheduled to be “Does capitalism still work?” Producers with a sense of humour…

Clegg Speech : Tax Cuts and Social Justice

He also said the Labour Party was finished. Not a bad speech.

+++ HBOS Collapses 38% +++

UPDATE : Rumours circulating that Lloyds are looking to buy HBOS on the cheap. HBOS slumped 51% at one point, now bounced to off 19%. FSA has released a statement saying HBOS is well capitalised…
UPDATE II : Robert Peston’s reporting has been, errm, interesting. He said earlier this morning that Lloyds was looking at paying £3 for HBOS. This seems suspiciously toppy.

Peston should have known that the disastrous HBOS rights issue in late July was priced at £2.75. The market shunned it with the underwriters getting stuffed and left holding two-thirds of the £4 billion offering. So why would Lloyds want to pay more than the price which was shunned two months ago when conditions have deteriorated? Doh! He now says it will be nearer to £2.

Peston needs to be careful that he doesn’t get accused of creating a false market. There are laws and a Stock Exchange Regulatory New Service for market moving news!

+++ FTSE Drops Despite AIG $85 Billion Bail-Out +++

FTSE looks set to fall below the psychologically important 5000 level….

Pensions Plundered, Stocks Slumping, Gordon’s Dead-Hand

Some commentators (who should know better) warn that in these times of economic turbulence we should keep Gordon at the helm. It is a desperate line seized on and spun by his few remaining supporters. Who, they ask, knows the economy better than Gordon Brown? This is repeated so often you would think it a truism. Fraser Nelson pointed out some time ago that all Gordon knows about the economy is how to tax it. Look at how the stock market has performed during his chancellorship. Guido has pointed out before how much better other G7 stock markets have performed in comparison. Gordon’s plundering of our retirement pensions to fund his profligacy has sucked capital out of pensions to pour into his social engineering.

In the ten years prior to May 1997 before Gordon got his hands on the levers of the economy the FTSE rose from less than 2000 to more 4000. After a decade of Gordon’s stewardship of the economy the stock market has gone nowhere. Pensions have had no capital gains, what gains they have made have been taxed. During his time we have had the first run on a bank for a century. As the FTSE teeters at the 5000 level those who are retiring soon have a terrible future ahead, whereas at one time the British private pension system was a model for other countries. UK stocks under performance compared to other countries is partly due to Gordon looting pension funds to pay for current spending.

Newsnight Reports on a Market That Doesn’t Exist

Well this is a first, they have in the past reported up markets down, down markets up and once even reported dramatic moves in a market that was closed. Paul Mason has just breathlessly reported from New York that a late breaking after market story on the Bloomberg newswire has “halved AIG’s share price on the futures markets”. There is no open futures market for shares, as anybody who knew anything about financial markets would know.

There are electronic markets where stocks trade after hours. Perhaps that is what he meant? With Newsnight’s market reporting you just never know.

UPDATED : Who are the "Handful"?

N.B. This article was first published on the morning of Saturday, 13 September 2008, it is being updated and re-dated on a rolling basis as more names come out.

Guido has yet to see a list of the “handful” of

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Rat Race Continues

The rats are bailing out of the Downing Street ship fast and furious nowadays. Last week Paul Sinclair jumped, this week it is the turn of Jo Dipple.

The Prime Mentalist’s strategic communications adviser is a former Daily Mirror

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Somebody More Senior You Have Never Heard of Resigned

Nick Robinson, 10:05 GMT, 11:05 UK, Tuesday, 16 September 2008:

A source close to the Scottish Secretary Des Browne has insisted that David Cairns, Minister of State at the Scotland Office, has “no intention of resigning”.

4 hours is […]

+ READ MORE +

NEC : Comrades, We Are All United Behind Our Glorious Leader

It is like some Stalinist missive from the politburo:

Press release

Tuesday 16 September 2008

For immediate use

Internal procedural debates will not divert the Labour Party from building a fairer Britain – NEC

The Labour Party National Executive Committee […]

+ 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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