Watch the pound

Today the pound has lost significant ground against the dollar and the yen. The government should see this as a verdict on its approach to the crisis, and take action to instil some confidence in its management of public borrowing.

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41 Comments

  1. Kit
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    And if you listen carefully you can hear the whir of the printing presses.

    Can we have a debate in Parliament so the government can try to justify their actions? Can anyone justify the actions of the FSA?!

  2. Waramess
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    John, there has been a lot of talk about UK becoming a bankrupt state, which is fairly premature however, with the default premium of UK standing at 113.4 basis points and that of Spain (who have just been downgaded) standing at 115.8 basis points, how close do you think the UK is to a downgrade and what do you think would be the consequences for this government, if any?

    Reply: The trends are in the wrong direction. A downgrade would be bad news for the government, but might force a chance of fiscal policy

  3. Richard
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    John, are we heading into National Government terriotory? Could the government of the country collapse in such a way that we do not have the time for the luxury of an election?

    • Posted January 20, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      A national government is a non starter. Assuming that Gordon Brown, the chief architect of the growing crisis here in the UK were to be rightly excluded, who from this Labour party would you believe to possess sufficient competence to play a constructive role in it? Frank Field apart I can think of no one.

      • alan jutson
        Posted January 20, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Agree that Frank Field at least did think the unthinkable some years ago, with a lot of commonsense ideas but guarantee he did not think it would get like this

      • mikestallard
        Posted January 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        We could be like Rhodesia/Zimbabwe! National Government under Robert Mugabe and Morgan Chamburai. Also, perhaps we can borrow some of their trillion dollar notes too while we are at it!

    • APL
      Posted January 20, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Richard: “are we heading into National Government terriotory?”

      Do you mean ‘a government of national unity’?

      Please no!

      Not one of the current batch of scoundrels deserve to be allowed anywhere near government for at least thirty years.

      The sad thing is, even should the British people elect Cameron’s Tories, they are irrevelent, since our real government is in Brussels.

      The Tories including John Redwood refuse to address that issue.

      Those in Westminster might swap seats in the house, but you will get the same ol’ same ol’ in terms of policy even so!

      Reply: I do not duck it, and agree we need powers back to be able to govern in the way we wish

      • Posted January 20, 2009 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        Does anyone know if the Queen has the authority to dissolve Parliament with out a request from the PM ?

        This might be our best chance of avoiding Brown destroying our country.

      • APL
        Posted January 20, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        JR: “I do not duck it, and agree we need powers back to be able to govern in the way we wish.”

        Trouble is Mr Redwood, you put party before country, why can’t you be a little more like Ken Clarke, he was prepared to side with Blair, see the Tory party thrown in to disarray, when it was led by Duncan-Smith or Hague, just so he could sell the country to the European Union for a mess of potage.

        How can Cameron reward such behavior? Other than, of course he approves of it!

        Reply: I have set out my own consistent views under several different Leaders, trying to judge the best interests of the country. I have not been doing it to pursue a career in Shadow government.

  4. Ian Jones
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Tell me about it! I live in Tokyo but paid in pounds!!! It now costs the earth to live here.

    Basically the markets have finally realised Brown and Darling have no clue as to what they are doing!

    Interest rates will have to rise soon.

  5. Sava Zxivanovich
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Cut the cost of non jobs in Government, local Governments and Banks (they are now on tax role as well)! Cut military budget and benefits!

    It is pornography to see how much people in the Treasury and FSA get. It is also a pornography to learn amount of cash local “CEO”s assign to themselves. It is pornography to learn about banks packages.

    It is the final hour to do something before the sterling drops below the level of 1€. It will take years of investment in something that really creates wealth to recover. But the brain-drain will hinder recovery.

    • Blank Xavier
      Posted January 20, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      > Cut military budget and benefits!

      Benefits?

      People on benefits don’t get enough to live on. If you’re on benefits, you’re always borrowing from friends and family – it’s not really a State provided benefit, because the people you know are paying considerably more than everyone else.

      • Sava Zxivanovich
        Posted January 20, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Wrong. People that work don’t get enough, but they have to pay for those that don’t want to work.

        To be honest, I think that the benefits should be cut and capped – so that it will not be worth having more children just in order to get money. Free apartment – no problem, but at most 3-bedroom house.

        Benefits are not there to support those that don’t want to work or think that the whole society should pay for them, it is there for those that really need help.

        Otherwise it causes moral hazard. But this society likes to grow all moral hazard situations – all gain, no risk, those really prudent will pay.

      • Andy
        Posted January 21, 2009 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Not enough to live on? Hogwash.

        Remember that when you are told what a benefits claimant receives the following should apply:
        – Council tax is not paid
        – Prescriptions are not paid for
        – School dinners are not paid for
        – Eye tests, etc, etc
        – In many cases housing is not paid for, or a contribution is made to housing or the housing is subsidised.
        – And here’s the biggy: the money given is tax free

        Bear in mind that a tax payer would have to pay for all of the above from the net income, so add all of the above together, and then add back the tax to work out what the equivalent is in taxpayer land. Also bear in mind that for tax payers the majority of their income goes on housing.

        I’m not suggesting that it is fun to be on benefits, but your statement that it is not enough to live on is spitting in the face of those tax payers (and I know some) who earn significantly less than they would receive on benefits and do it without whinging about their lot. It’s also ridiculous rhetoric since it’s quite obvious that people on benefits are not dying on a daily basis.

  6. Posted January 20, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    John,
    You always talk such sense.

    When Blair and Brown were out-manoeuvred by the French a couple of years ago and gave away The Thatcher rebate were the payments set in sterling or Euros. If the latter it looks as if the money Brown gave away on the Gold selling fiasco will be lost every year, roughly due to the devaluation of sterling.

    Am I right?

  7. Adrian Peirson
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I have an Idea, why don’t we try building things like ships and cars and trading these and other commodoties for oil and whatever else we might need, why not take back our fishing grounds and tell the EU to clear off and stop destroying our Farming, I won’t mention weaponised Hn51,Two French student Biochemists or the foot and mouth strain traced back to a Govt Laboratory.
    What if instead of stealing Iraqi oil we simply traded them for it, say cars and ships.
    what if instead of Pushing a pipeline through Afghansistan and paying for troops to prop up a sympathetic Afghan regime we simply built ships to bring it here, we could even transport the stuff for other countries. It would create Jobs too.
    What if Govt stopped borrowing money from the International Moneylenders and decided to print our own money and issue that free of charge into the economy.
    No Loan or Interest to pay back, no Govt debt, no need for Income tax.
    what would happen if we got rid of the £100 Billion oper annum quangos, sure we might have to pay them unemployment for a while but it would be much cheaper than their current salaries, so just sacking them would actually save us money.
    What if we declared all bank loans, credit and mortgages null and void, let people keep their homes and cars and businesses.
    Who does Westminster world for, the People, or the corrupt, Ponzi scheming banks and One Worlders who got us into this position.

    • Blank Xavier
      Posted January 20, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      > I have an Idea, why don’t we try building things like ships and
      > cars and trading these and other commodoties for oil and
      > whatever else we might need,

      No one would buy them from us. That’s why we don’t make any of them now. We’re not good at building cars – I don’t mean in terms of skill, I mean in terms of price. Cars made here are expensive. Why buy a good British car for say 15,000 euros when you can buy a good Japanese car for 10,000 euros? a good car is a good car, doesn’t matter where it comes from.

      > why not take back our fishing grounds

      That wouldn’t help. We were massively overfishing decades before the EU turned up. State regulation of fishing is a (disaster-ed) but the illusion effective regulation was present is part of why so many fish species have been fished into commerical extinction – and that particular branch of Government is bloody expensive to run, too.

      > What if Govt stopped borrowing money from the International
      > Moneylenders and decided to print our own money and issue
      > that free of charge into the economy.

      Doesn’t work like that. Say we have 10,000 units of wealth in the economy and we have 10,000 one pound notes, so one pound is worth one unit of wealth. Then we print another 10,000 pound notes. Is there any more wealth? no. All that happens is that one pound note is only now worth 0.5 units of wealth. Since the pound note has a big “one” written on the front, you can’t change the face value of the note, but since it’s only worth half as much, *all the prices in the shops double*.

      > What if we declared all bank loans, credit and mortgages null
      > and void, let people keep their homes and cars and businesses.

      That’s theft. Consider; some bloke invests his money in a saving account at a bank. He expects to get 5% a year. The bank lends that money to someone for their mortgage. If you declare mortgages null and void, the first guy just got utterly ripped off – all his money has just disappeared!

      Suggest you read “Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith. It’s a fundamental introduction to economics. Bloody good ready, best book I ever read.

      • Sava Zxivanovich
        Posted January 20, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        > > What if we declared all bank loans, credit and mortgages null
        > > and void, let people keep their homes and cars and businesses.

        >That’s theft. Consider; some bloke invests his money in a saving > account at a bank. He expects to get 5% a year. The bank lends > that money to someone for their mortgage. If you declare
        > mortgages null and void, the first guy just got utterly ripped
        > off – all his money has just disappeared!

        Partially right. A lot of investors looked for best return and helped Northern Rock with its 125% mortgages.

        Should they be saved? No, they took too much risk and invested in a company that was not sound.

        Again, they were saved causing another moral hazard situation.

      • Adrian Peirson
        Posted January 20, 2009 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        The reason we have to have such high wages and so price ourselves out of the Market is because we have such high taxation, and the reason we have such high taxation is because our government is too big, and because we borrow our money instead of issuing it ourselves.

        Fishing was always over fished?. So how come when I was younger, Grimsby and Bridlington Docks were Full of fishing boats. now virtually empty.

        It’s not theft, the person who put money in the Bank would get his money back because I just wiped out all his debts.
        And saved him £10,000 Per year in taxes that he should never have had to pay,
        If we had Printed EXACTLY the same amount of money free of charge into our economy as Westminster has borrowed in the past decades, would we owe the International MoneyLenders £1Trillion.

        No it would be Zero.

        The value of a pound is determined not by its face value but by how many Govt Borrows and puts into circulation.

        Theft, I think its theft when the Private Bank of England lowers interest rates to ensnare borrowers on fractional reserve thin air credit, then when enough have been hooked, pulls the rug out from under them by raising rates again, to haul their assets in.
        Thats theft.

        • Blank Xavier
          Posted January 21, 2009 at 8:26 am | Permalink

          > The reason we have to have such high wages and so price ourselves out of the Market

          It’s not just wages. It’s also about geographic location, proximity to major steel manufacturers, degree of Government regulation, etc.

          > is because we have such high taxation,

          I could be wrong, but I don’t think that can be true – bear in mind the difference between real wealth and the face value of paper money. If people are highly taxed (a lot of the real wealth they’re paid is taken away) they can’t suddenly be paid a lot more real wealth – where does it come from? it doesn’t just appear! they could be paid a lot more paper money, but that’s not real wealth. High taxation cannot lead to high real wages, because high taxation doesn’t create wealth.

          High real wages *permits* high taxation, because people can lose a lot of their wealth and still be well enough off to live comfortably, which I suspect is the situation we’re in.

          > and the reason we have such high taxation is because
          > our government is too big,

          I concur.

          > and because we borrow our money instead of issuing it ourselves.

          No. Be clear about this. Paper money has no inherent value. You can print billions – trillions – you won’t be any richer. *Real wealth* is where value lies. Money is just a way of representing real wealth. The value of a unit of money is the amount of real wealth divided by the amount of paper money. If your economy is poor – and can’t afford a decent social security system, or army, or whatever – printing money does not make you richer.

          > Fishing was always over fished?. So how come when I was younger, Grimsby and
          > Bridlington Docks were Full of fishing boats. now virtually empty.

          Yeah. There’s a great book – “Cod”. Basically, back then (I’m talking about post WW2) efficient trawlers really got to work. They were sucking fish out of the ocean more and more quickly. The numbers of fish were dropping like a rock – but because they boats were *so* good, the number of fish landed kept rising – until the inevitable happened and there were basically no fish left at all. Idiots, all of them.

          > It’s not theft, the person who put money in the Bank would get his money back because I
          > just wiped out all his debts.

          It’s unjust. Consider; we have our example man, who has a mortgage (say 300,000) and savings (say 10,000) and a pension (say another 10,000). His assets are wiped out (because they’re in the bank and the bank just got wiped) but so is his debt. He wins.

          But who lent him that 300,000? they get shafted. Of course, a part of that money may well come from other people like him – so they won’t mind. But some of it will come from people who are debt free. People who are 60 and have paid off their mortgage. People who rent, rather than buy. People who’s parents worked hard to give them a good life.
          What happens once you’ve done this, though? people will still need money for a mortgage. Where will they get it from? what happens when people start saving again? do we repeat the exercise every five years? people won’t save – which means no money for investment.

          > If we had Printed EXACTLY the same amount of money free of charge into our economy
          > as Westminster has borrowed in the past decades, would we owe the International
          > MoneyLenders £1Trillion.

          No. You are conflating real wealth with the face value of paper money.

          When we borrow paper money, we are in effect borrowing real wealth, for that paper money is properly backed up by real wealth.

          When money is printed, no extra real wealth is generated. We can print all we want; we won’t have borrowed (from ourselves, this is) even a penny of real wealth.

          > Theft, I think its theft when the Private Bank of England lowers interest rates to ensnare
          > borrowers on fractional reserve thin air credit, then when enough have been hooked, pulls
          > the rug out from under them by raising rates again, to haul their assets in.
          > Thats theft.

          Yes and no. People who entered into those contracts did so of their own free will and they were (or they could have been so should have been – its their responisbility) well informed. They knew what they were choosing to do.

          If we did as you say, unilaterally wiped out all debt, it would not be voluntary. People would not have agreed to it – it would be being done to them. It’s not part of the contract they signed. That’s actually the primary reason why it’s unjust.

      • Mike
        Posted February 16, 2009 at 2:47 am | Permalink

        Blank Xavier, you really need to wake up and smell the coffee. That or get your false ideas off this page.

        Doesn’t work like that. Say we have 10,000 units of wealth in the economy and we have 10,000 one pound notes, so one pound is worth one unit of wealth. Then we print another 10,000 pound notes. Is there any more wealth? no. All that happens is that one pound note is only now worth 0.5 units of wealth. Since the pound note has a big “one” written on the front, you can’t change the face value of the note, but since it’s only worth half as much, *all the prices in the shops double*.

        Creating no money with no real value is what banks do every day – why allow private companies to do this but moan when someone rightly suggests that the government should do this – it is in fact their greatest creative opportunity. How else can you explain inflation throughout my lifetime?

        > What if we declared all bank loans, credit and mortgages null
        > and void, let people keep their homes and cars and businesses.
        That’s theft. Consider; some bloke invests his money in a saving account at a bank. He expects to get 5% a year. The bank lends that money to someone for their mortgage. If you declare mortgages null and void, the first guy just got utterly ripped off – all his money has just disappeared!

        This is even worse. Do you really think that banks lend out other peoples deposits? What planet are you living on? I think you’re quite deluded and rather dangerous. “The creation and supply of money is now left almost entirely to banks and other lending institutions. Most people imagine that if they borrow from a bank, they are borrowing other people’s money. In fact, when banks and building societies make any loan, they create new money. Money loaned by a bank is not a loan of pre-existent money; money loaned by a bank is additional money created. The stream of money generated by people, businesses and governments constantly borrowing from banks and other lending institutions is relied upon to supply the economy as a whole. Thus the supply of money depends upon people going into debt, and the level of debt within an economy is no more than a measure of the amount of money that has been created.” Michael Rowbotham

        Suggest you read “Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith. It’s a fundamental introduction to economics. Bloody good ready, best book I ever read.
        Suggest you leave 18th century for good and leap headlong into the financial quagmire that is the 21st century.

        what a tosser

  8. THE ESSEX BOYS
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    What about John Redwood and Michael Fallon?

    “Mr Cameron could have done more to beef up his economic team. He has two highly talented backbenchers – John Redwood and Michael Fallon – who both understand the financial crisis and can deliver a credible, and comprehensible, critique of the Government’s failings. Such individuals are a rare commodity these days and their talents need to be better used.” – Telegraph leader

    AND SO SAY ALL OF US!

    • Waramess
      Posted January 20, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      You presuppose that John would be willing to serve under Cameron

      • THE ESSEX BOYS
        Posted January 20, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        From reading this blog for the past few months – including JR’s specific comments re DC in the past couple of days – it certainly seems that his loyalties lie with the party and that he’d be willing to serve under any leader to help get us on the right path.

        We really hope that influential roles are found for both him and the excellent Michael Fallon even beyond the shadow cabinet and then into government. There’s not a single MP on the Labour side who understands, let alone demonstrates economic acumen.
        This writer felt embarrassed when Yvette Cooper appeared on Newsnight recently while a visiting American politician sat watching with me. He initially feigned politeness but eventually rocked with mirth at her obvious failure to grasp her brief or to put her government’s case coherently. He couldn’t believe that she’s the treasury’s current No 2 and their No 1 spokesperson!

  9. Posted January 20, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m happy the pound is on the decline. And so should you all be. It should make British goods relatively cheaper, while making foreign goods relatively more expensive. This will improve our current account balance, help us generate more jobs, and give us a little does of inflation, which is something desperately needed in this deflationary environment. And as long as the ECB continues its risible ‘strong euro’ policy, we’ll get a competitive advantage over all our European competitors.

    It’s not us following a beggar thy neighbour policy, but the ECB forcing onto all eurozone countries a gift thy neighbour policy.

    Of course, we shouldn’t laugh at their expense, because, ultimately, what’s bad for the eurozone is bad for us. We need Europe to recover.

    • chris southern
      Posted January 20, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately for a week currency to work in the advantage of that countries economy, said economy needs to be a strong export economy.

      The UK is a strong importer, and as such a week currency will see most goods go up in price as the costs of buying said products goes up.
      We need to get through this mess and build an strong export economy that isn’t based on manufacture (as we will never out compete china and india to name a few with manufacturing)

    • Deborah
      Posted January 20, 2009 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      what British goods?

    • Blank Xavier
      Posted January 20, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      Hey – I’m paid in euro. I’m very happy the pound is in decline 🙂 the pound denominated debt I have is disappearing as we speak.

      Kinda sucks if you’ve saved pounds, though, and maybe lent them. Those people are really getting it in the pants. Those who borrowed have done well, those who saved have done badly.

      It’s basically a transfer of wealth, and a deeply pernicious one, because saving (which is to say, investment) is the basis for long term economic growth.

  10. Disillusioned
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    We aren’t going to be killed by the disease, we’re going to be killed by the cure.

    The next issue that we need to confront is inflation. I hate hearing these noises about tackling deflation. Anyone who’s concerned about falling prices just needs to think about how much we import. This very short term deflationary environment is being driven by a destocking at our retailers. They are sat on unsold product and are reducing prices to shift it. At some point they will be purchasing new product, probably from overseas, and the costs will have risen by 30%+. They will have to pass a portion of these cost increases onto consumers or go out of business. Any “quantitative easing” that is undertaken now will add even further pressure here and store up more problems for the medium term. Why don’t the MPC and Treasury understand this?

    • David Herr
      Posted January 20, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      This deflationary environment is different, because it has led to a tsunami of deleveraging. Whatever up or down spikes in consumer prices occur, the decline in asset values overwhelms it. This will play out no matter what governments do, until asset prices puffed up with leverage sink to levels that people can afford based on the income they have left over after savings and taxes. Witness what happened in Japan after its bubble — they pumped up public debt to 175=% of GDP, and rates are still low. For those worried about inflation in the offing, where will the extra consumer and business borrowing and consumption come from, to stoke that inflation?

  11. Simon D
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    The atmosphere is unreal. Why are we not rioting in the streets and demanding a national government of all the talents.

    1. The jury is out on the Government’s second cut at a solution to the banking crisis.
    2. With or without a bail-out, the British banking system is no longer fit for purpose. We are light years away from the financial landscape that existed in Summer 2008.
    3. The pound is in free-fall. Even EU commentators are deeply worried about the UK as the sick man of Europe.
    4. It will take months, even years, to turn round the economic downturn.
    5. A falling pound will not produce, suddenly, a rash of profitable exporters. There are very few potential exporters out there. Anybody with any sense knows the best place to be these days is either a fat cat in a corporate bureaucracy or in Government employment. Meanwhile to cost of our vast bill for imports will rocket.
    6. In addition to the broken society, the broken economy, the broken banking system and the broken pound we also have a broken political system and a broken media. There is no sense that anyone in charge has any clear plan on what to do. Why are opposition MPs not staging sit-ins in the Westminster Central Lobby demanding a serious and detailed debate on the debacle unfolding in front of the public. Economic policy is being decided by a small clique of people surrounding the PM; most of them un-elected while MPs of all parties look on like rabbits in a headlight.

    My predictions: (a) the Government will need to nationalise all the banks (b) the IMF is getting closer every day and (c) the pound will continue in free-fall against the dollar and the Euro.

    • mikestallard
      Posted January 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      The big question is this: is the IMF still there? Some people do say that it is now so mired in bureaucracy that it is unable to act. Others say that it has only a hundred billion (or so) dollars left in the coffers to distribute. Do you know what? I don’t think that safety net is still working properly. We shall see.

      Reply: It’s still there, but will need some more money soon I believe.

  12. Jonathan Cook
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if we can persuade Obama to invade us in the name of ‘regime change’?

    Surely Gordon Brown spooked investors yesterday when he admitted he hasn’t got a clue how much toxic debt or risk there is in the UK banking system?!

    As an ordinary bloke on the street these are my concerns in priority order:

    1. UK goes bust
    2. Rampant unemployment
    3. Sterling savings become worthless

    I will feel more confident once Brown has been removed.

    Brown’s every utterance in public seems to be to protect his past reputation as Chancellor or his political prospects as PM. He doesn’t seem to be leading on the basis of what is good for the UK, more what is good for Mr G.Brown.

    We need a leader who is capable of acknowledging and addressing the mistakes of the past.

  13. Peter Turner
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Surely we are approaching the point where the only way to procure fiscal confidence is for this Government to declare a general election and to lose.

  14. Peter H
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    My name’s Gordon and I’m a debtaholic……

  15. mikestallard
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    As Yvette Cooper/Balls struggled through Newsnight last night, I could see that, in stark contrast to the other two participants who were relishing her frantic thrashings. (personal comments left out) Her chirpy defensive attitude was very depressing.
    Gordon Brown bit the head off the reporter who asked him (on Sky) whether or not we were facing bankruptcy. That, too, is not like him.
    From down here in the Fens, things like that matter because, in the absence of government leadership, we do sort of Kremlinology and guess. Rumours are bound to start.
    What I should like to see is a Rooseveltian “fireside chat” where the Prime Minister tells us the total truth: we are up for tens of thousands of billions of pounds debt, alone with no outside help, we are running at a serious deficit of a hundred billion a year (=National Health expenditure for a year), that we pay something like 50% of our wages in taxation at the moment and will soon have to up this to about 75%, and finally that he is about to resign.

    We could then be in for a time of real reform when the financial winter clears out the garden, as it were, and real new shoots appear, not just in economics, but also in education, health, welfare and the military. We are a superb nation, resourceful, full of energy and determination and we have been through a lot worse than this.

    • Sarah H
      Posted January 20, 2009 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Yvette Cooper was given an easy ride by Gavin Esler last night. Her attempts to brow-beat the public was absolutely pathetic and he let her get away with it. She sings from the same song sheet that Mr Brown has written for her – pity Paxman was over in th U.S.

  16. Libbie Miller
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    The only solution for recovery is for Brown to swallow his pride and step down and call a general election.

    We have at least a small chance that world confidence in the pound will be restored if it knows we have a new strong government taking hold of the situation in a logical way.

  17. Patrick
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    John,

    An incoming Tory administration will need to clean house in a big way. The tripartite regulatory regime has failed miserably and the FSA will need to be reintegrated with the Bank of England. All the key individuals must go.

    Cameron has his reasons for appointing shadow cabinet members.

    As Heffer points out it seems only you and Michael Fallon have any real understanding of what’s going on.

    So…I hereby nominate you for the role of Governor of the Bank of England from May 2010 onwards. Best of luck!

  18. kevin
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    john do we really have to wait another year before we have a general election can the british people not act now and force the goverment to hold a general election is there anything the british people can do it seems strange that we have to wait another year watch britain get deeper and deeper into dept but we have no control surely they is a way to get an early general election without having to wait? for things to get worse

    Reply: All we can do is to put as much democratic pressure as possible on the government to change or go.

  19. David NEWITT
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I watch the weekly farce(comedy?) of televised PMQ’s and wonder if anyone realises just what a dreadful pickle the UK is in.

    The Labour Front Bench and Financial Team seem so hopelessly out of touch with business and financial “reality” and so bound up in spouting its own dangerous bull*hit day in and day out.

    Then we have “Do Nothing” Brown posturing for posterity as “Action Man” spending OPM (Other Peoples Money) with gay abandon, knowing that it will not fall due for repayment until he has been kicked out.

    NOBODY seems to want to call a halt to this madness! Thank God I live in France!!
    David Newitt

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  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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