Straus Kahn detained and misses bail out talks

 

            Mr Strauss Kahn is innocent of the criminal charges brought  unless and  until proven guilty. It is nonetheless interesting to hear how much the EU and some left of centre broadcasters are said to be missing him and how kind they are about him. As he was one of the leading architects of the Euro bail outs so far, I think he has a lot to answer for regardless of the US criminal case which now envelops him.

           It is people like Mr Strauss Kahn who perpetuate the myth that there is an easy way out of the problems heavily indebted Euro members find themselves in. Is it caring to offer the overborrowed nations more borrowings they cannot afford on easier terms? Is it caring to peldge more of the IMF’s money, usually reserved for  the world’s poorer countries, to help rich countries that have embroiled themselves in a common currency scheme that does not work?  If Mr Struss Kahn is such a financial genius, why couldn’t he see in advance that the Euro had no system for controlling excessive deficits, did not have sufficient transfer payments around the union, and had  no agreed system for deciding how to manage bond rates and money printing in a  way which was good for all parts  of the currency union?

            All the current troubles of the Euro were easy to forecast, and some of us did so more than ten years ago. Then people like Mr Strauss Kahn drove this political project through against the wishes of many of the people of Western Europe and against the advice of people who understood markets and had studied the break up of past currency unions that did not have a single country behind them.

              Greece is now having to slash public spending in a  way  people like Mr Strauss Kahn usually condemn because they are locked into the Euro at an exchange rate they cannot handle. Those who wanted the Euro must accept that their scheme has helped  cause the extreme cuts.  Many Greeks are out of work or facing wage cuts because the Euro scheme does not work for them. Ireland and Spain had property and credit bonanzas thanks to the imperfect design of the Euro system. They are now suffering badly from big credit and property price hangovers.

              I do not believe the EU has lost by not having Mr Strauss Kahn  at their discussions.His medicine would probably be  more of the same – new loans at below market rates, with new tougher and more unrealistic conditions attached.

               In the private sector some banking is now called pretend and extend. The banks pretend that the borrower will be able to repay one day, and that one day the asset cover will be restored when the assets go up again in value. On that basis they lend more, or maintain the existing loan, and continue to keep it on their balance sheet. They usually do make some general provisions, so there is a reserve if they eventually have to give up and write it off.

             The plight of portions of  the banks sovereign debt portfolios is far less rosy, thanks to the regulators and loan extenders. The banks are told that their sovereign loans are risk free and worth what they lent. Lending more should pose no problems. If you look at what the markets think Greek, Portuguese and Irish state debt is now worth, you should at least pause for thought. Those who lend too much to weak sovereigns are undermining the banking system of  parts of the EU as well as doing no favours to the states that cannot afford their debts.

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71 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Indeed what are the true motives of these people? Surely they are not just that stupid. Is it just political lunacy or perhaps something rather worse within the EU/IMF/EURO structures ?

    Mr Huhne should also go – purely for his mad green energy policy. The policy is similarly mad and expensive, as everyone who has any knowledge of the area knows full well.

    This regardless of his personal difficulties following his very weak, not quite denial, yesterday in relation to speeding points.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      “Personal Difficulties” (might-ed)consist of adultery and cheating on (your-ed) faithful wife of some 20 years. If your own wife cannot trust you, then, tell me please, who can?

  2. electro-kevin
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    That he’s been asked to undergo DNA examinations does not bode well.

    That people are asking for another European to take his place seems a bit cheeky to me.

    • norman
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Saw a headline today with Gordon Brown saying that we’re heading for another financial crisis (I missed when we came out of the one his debt on steroids binge helped to create, maybe someone can tell me when that was?) so no doubt the Great Helmsman is recommending another course of print, borrow and spend to avert it.

      What’s not to like?

      • REPay
        Posted May 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        I think this is part of his pitch for the IMF job.

    • EJT
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Read the Agence France-Presse release.

      It’s essential that a european leads the IMF, as europe is where the crisis is. Those who are stumping up the money can’t be in charge, obviously. BTW, DSK brought” sensitivity and flexibility” to the IMF, when previously bailout terms had “fomented resentment” in countries that were being given money after spending so much that they were bankrupt.

      It’s no accident that the Anglo-Saxons had to pull the Continentals chestnuts out of the fire repeatedly during the 20th century. Deep down, they’re idiots.

    • Epigenes
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      The police are using standard procedures to establish the facts of this matter.

      What is there to, ‘not bode well about’?

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Down here in the Fens, our next door neighbour asked my wife for a pound because she hadn’t time to go to the bank and she wanted some asparagus. My wife handed her a fiver because that was the smallest she had on her. The next day, our neighbour was there with a fiver and a half a cake “which she didn’t want”.
    That is how we behave here in the primitive bit of England.
    My mother tells me that, aged 20, she was having tea with the Bishop of Balaarat in the drawing room in Cambridge. After an hour, her mother hurried in and whispered to her, “Are you all right?” Ahem. Oh for the days before the meeja with their snooping!

  4. Alan
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Actually the financial existence of the crisis was caused by incompetence in the banking industry, mainly in the USA and UK, not by the euro, and it affects the dollar and sterling areas as well as the Eurozone. It remains to be seen whether the Eurozone emerges from the crisis in a better or worse state than the other currencies. So far it is doing better; if you had kept your money in euros in a Greek bank you would be richer now than if you had kept it in sterling in a British bank.

    I don’t think anyone is saying there is an easy way out of the crisis for any country; one could hardly argue that Greece, Ireland, and Portugal have an easy way out. You might better argue that the dollar and sterling believe they have an easy way out; how often have you seen articles praising devaluation as a ‘solution’ to the UK’s problems?

    • EJT
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Nothing to do with euro-era Greece living beyond its means under the unbrella of the german credit rating then ?

      • Alan
        Posted May 17, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        I agree the Greek government of the time was culpable, but I don’t think that caused the crisis. Greece would eventually have got into trouble anyway but I don’t think it would not have caused a crisis on the scale we are experiencing.

    • EJT
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Eurozone emerges from the crisis in a better or worse state than the other currencies. So far it is doing better. Bank accounts … netc.

      I have have Greek friends who a) are desperate to move back to the UK b) have had to use back-door methods to ( legimately, I stress ) get their money out. This doesn’t square with your perception. [ note – DSK was on record talking down objections to currency controls ]

      • Alan
        Posted May 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        This is interesting. I was not aware that there were controls preventing people moving money out of Greece.

        • EJT
          Posted May 17, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

          You wouldn’t be aware, it’s not made the press. It was implemented via banking administration , not legislation as that would fall foul of EU freedom of capital movement. It applied to personal international (inclusive intra-EU) transfers. Given the greek diaspora it was not too difficult to bypass. Nevertheless, a bit of a milestone IMO.

  5. Javelin
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    There’s a song by a sonny boy Williams called Matromony blues with the lines “she drinks gin like water and whiskey like lemonade” and I was thinking this about Kahn before I read your article. He was free at spending tax payers money – I think it was an $8k a night hotel and he recently sued a French paper for revealing he spent €7k on a suit. All this for a future socialist candidate – Sacre Bleu! His diminished sense of money seems even more bloated than Gordon Browns’. Then there is his forceful personality and the rape claims. As soon as I heard them I said – some one else will come out against him now – and they did. I’m hoping the irrational moral leadership on the Euro will come to an end. Risks must be allowed to run their natural course and bond holders must make losses. Governments must be seen to get it wrong and face consequences – and not expect taxpayers to bail them out.

    • javelin
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Cameron should be encouraging a default by Greece = because it means bond holders will, in future, keep a much closer eye on Government spending. Which is something that he (and the Treasury) wants given his drive for greater transparency. He needs to ensure that bond prices are directly reflected by Government spending – so that if the another Labour Government gets back in then banks, pension funds, hedge funds and other investors punish the Government very publically for over spending. As I said before the Chancellor also needs to give tax payers a tax break at the end of the year if spending comes below target. This way it’s in everybodys interest to keep costs within revenue. Unlike Kahn and Brown.

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Remember he was a Communist in the early 70s. Plus ca change …..

    • Simon
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Williamson ?

      What a harmonica player , I love his “Mighty Long Time” .

      I take a very dim view of people who make a habit of suing .

      Isn’t it usually a sign of vanity and having more money than sense ?

      For that kind of money (I imagine !) he could have got a perfectly reasonable hotel room and a discrete , top end of the market professional sex worker .

      • Stuart Fairney
        Posted May 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        These alleged actions are rarely about sex

  6. Alte Fritz
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I remember RBS practising ‘pretend and extend’ twenty years ago when they rolled bad debt over into equity.

    The tenor of yetserday’s reporting was that this personal crisis was a tragedy because it interrupted his mission. One BBC reporter said at lunchtime that “he understands the Project, he gets it” which sounded less like news reporting than PR.

    The reported tragedy is that he cannot continue to administer his quack cure, the real one is that he ever started.

    • APL
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Alte Fritz: “which sounded less like news reporting than PR.”

      That’s the unique way the BBC reports the ‘news’.

      • forthurst
        Posted May 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        They just dont get schadenfreude, too Germanic.

  7. Richard1
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Good point drawing the parallel with ‘pretend and extend’, the practice in banking of not recognising economic reality and continuing to value loans at inflated values in the hope something will turn up. There is a good reason for this practice in banks – if the disaster doesn’t have to be recognised, no-one has to take the blame. Better still (especially with these monetary policies and bank subsidies), ‘profits’ can be recognised justifying continued inflated remuneration. Its the same for politicians. They might not have the bonuses, but for ones like Mrs Merkel who have been around for a bit, pretend and extend protects her from the wrath of her electorate. More recently elected leaders like Messrs Cameron and Osborne should be pushing for the recognition of reality and a move to proper market pricing both of sovereign and of bank financing.

    • grahams
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      As I recall, “pretend and extend” ushered in 20 years of stagnation in the Japanese economy (so far). They are still waiting for asset prices to recover.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Your post today John defies logical explanation, other than a further increase in Political power and control is being sought by our EU masters, at almost any cost.

  9. oldtimer
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Mr Strauss Kahn is said to be a socialist, and a champagne socialist to boot. Is that not explanation enough for his attitudes to public money and the European project?

  10. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Why do we have politicians as head of the IMF continuing to push their own agendas with someone else’s money? Surely there are better qualified and more objective people outside the world of politics.
    On a separate topic, I hope you will support Liam Fox in opposing a statutory requirement to spend 0.7% of national income on official development assistance from 2013. This area should never have been ring fenced and should be subject to real cuts right now.

    Reply: Yes. I have written and said that we should cut out aid to countries like China and Russia (which I think the government is doing), wind up the programmes which do not give good value for money (which they are also doing), and delay any increases in spending so that overseas aid makes a contribution to deficit reduction.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      I saw Hattie Harman on TV today getting into a right-old strop about the overseas aid issue.

      Surely this is something which requires no government at all. Those who wish to give, can. Those who don’t want to, need not do so. Everyone can have what they want, (except Hattie apparently).

      • rose
        Posted May 17, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        Hear, hear Stuart. And the same should go for maternity and paternity leave: if employers want to grant it, than let them.

  11. Javelin
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    OMG – Gordon the opsimath (one who learns later in life) has resurfaced and warned us of impending peril and a series of financial crises – but I thought he had saved the world only three years ago. Clearly not the man for a a strategic role like the IMF then.

  12. waramess
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I would have thought the exposure levels to Greece, Ireland and Portugal by the European banks and the European Bank were enough to deter anybody from taking either a bath or a haircut on the debt.

    The Europeans are in a cul de sac and they know it. The only option they now have is to extend maturities and increase exposure levels and hope that some asset sales might eventually sort the problem out. Kicking the can down the road, I believe is what the Americans call it, and they should know. Chickens and roost come to mind

    It will be interesting to see who they next appoint to the post. It’s not actually something you might recommend your best friend for, is it?

  13. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, your comments about ability to pay etc. etc. apply equally if not more so to the US and its $14 trillion dollar debt. As Obama said yesterday if people doubt his great nations ability to repay then the the whole global system of finance will be in melt down. Isnt this the same thinking that keeps governments in Europe flogging away at maintaining the Euro when in reality a blind man can see it is finished in its present form.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Yes. However belief in the ability to repay if it is not reflected in the actual ability to repay will not help. We maybe seeing the end of the 1971 post Bretton woods global fiat system. Interesting times indeed and not one of our politicians has a clue what to do about it.

  14. Gary
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Pretend and extend. Where debt is never extinguished it is just swapped for another debt of a different expiration. Not even so-called cash can extinguish the debt, because our fiat currency is itself debt. The economic growth rate required to keep pace with the debt growth has long ago become impossible. This debt monster cannot be slain using the current methods. It is just not possible. We have to change the system, root and branch.

  15. acorn
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    “Moral Hazard” is alive and fully leveraged. The ECB is lending to Banks, who are lending to the Sovereigns. The IMF lends to Sovereigns who pay off their Banks. The IMF insists that the banks get paid first; the prime directive of the IMF being to save the Banks, not the Sovereigns.

    If you knew that there is always some national or supra-national institution to bail you out, you will continue and likely increase your profligate spending and investing. The term moral hazard came from the insurance industry. Insured assets are more likely to catch fire than un-insured assets.

    The last time the world was flooded with Dollars, even Sovereigns started buying Gold to get rid of them – they are doing it now. Mr Nixon shut down the gold for dollars shop and the dollar floated away from the gold standard. If you stuck with Gold, what more can you say? The IMF should have been shut down in 1971; and the World Bank with it.

    The taxpayers pay for moral hazard and suffer collective morale failure when they realise they have been screwed.

  16. NickW
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    If DSK is guilty, what it will illustrate very well is the statement,

    “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

    The complete lack of concern for the effects of his actions on the little people of Europe is demonstrated only too well.

    This is the danger that Europe faces; one can see how absolute power is corrupting unelected European officials who are already expressing contempt and disinterest for the wording and restrictions on policy expressed in European treaties.

    The more they are allowed to get away with it, the more fixated they become on their own power and importance and the insignificance of the “Little people”.

    The increase in power and the abuse of power by the European elite is not going to stop unless the Member States stop it, and stop it permanently.

  17. sm
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    One strong point of the ECB is its inflation credentials and in general lack of QE.
    The Euro loans will at least be eventually funded by taxpayers via the current taxation frameworks of the countries involved- not by stealth and at night via inflation.

    Compare and contrast with the UK, QE, devaluation, direct bailouts,manipulated interest rates and soaring (taxation by inflation) inflation, stagnant wages, plus of course bonuses in the finance arena.

    Time to insist the banks hold loan reserves to cover defaults for rates of 3-4%. No reserves -no distributions- no further bailouts.

    Normally the IMF insist on tough conditions on bailouts , but they normally try and set a sustainable path for the target country, involving haircuts,forgiveness fiscal and probably monetary freedom. Why has this not happened?

    What are your thoughts and (Mr Osbourne’s) on central banks effectively funding fiscal spending commitments on an ongoing seemingly permanent basis?

    Reply: I am against it.

  18. BobE
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I heard today that Mr Strauss Kahn’s hotel room cost 3000 euros per night. How very scocialist!!.

  19. Stuart Fairney
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/05/06/uk-eu-shortselling-idUKTRE74547D20110506

    I would be most interested in your views on this (largely unreported) story, for me it shows that the sovereigns are scared that the end is near.

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      International Fund managers are under severe pressure to find the next Boom Economy and remove any exposure to the next Bust Economy.

      This creates large extractions of funds from one economy, and great influxes into other economies.

      The Asian Crisis occurred, not because the Asian Economies were weak, but because they were strong and it was decided that there was more growth (Profit) to be had in other developing Nations, so Stocks and Shares were dumped and Currencies were dumped turning viable and manageable indutrial debts into bankruptcy. It is said that this has doomed Asian Countries such as Korea and Japan to a generation of debt and poor growth.

      Financial Markets cannot afford to be responsible to the human suffering and misery they cause – they are in it for short term profit – this cannot be a basis for anything like a stable World Economy – with or without the IMF and World Bank.

      Greece may or may not have been irresponsible with it’s “social spending” but the debt based monetary system we have enabled them – even forced Politicians to use the facility of debt to pay for things inorder to attract voters to vote for them. They also do not trust Turkey and so found it useful having so much credit available for military spending.

      The route cause is the “Money” system. only 2.6% of the UKs money is Government created, the rest is created by Private Banks.

      • Gary
        Posted May 18, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Yes, in a debt based system where the debt relentlessly expands geometrically, they always need new debt recruits. The home owner has now been mined to exhaustion. Now they have turned their sights on fresh fodder, the university scholar. They are hoping that will be the next bubble.

        On R4 last night they discussed how the usurer is also turning his sights onto the Indian peasant, micro-lending them money at 20-30% interest that is trapping scores of them into perpetual debt. They were already working themselves to the bone before this blight fell onto them.

  20. william
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    When RPI hits 8 percent,will that brilliant controller of inflation,Mervyn King,still refuse to increase interest rates,or do we have to have the traditional October run on sterling before he wakes up to his breathtaking incompetence?

  21. Dr Alf Oldman
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I agree with this excellent article.

    However, I am seriously uncomfortable with the IMF’s severe Neoliberal medicine. Sure Greece has it’s economic problems but it does not deserve the current international humiliation – Greece has played a pivotal part in man’s development.

    I noted that last week Der Spiegel was suggesting a kind of Marshall Plan for Greece. I support this argument and believe it is time that we givee Keynesian options a chance, rather than leave everything to market forces.

    Whilst, Neoliberalism is out of favour with politicians of both the left & right, there is an opportunity for compassionate Neoliberalism – perhaps, we could could call it “Third Wave Neoliberalism”?

    On a final point, I think that George Brown would make an excellent next Head of the IMF and it would be a good gesture for David Cameron to support his application.

    • NickW
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      George Brown would be perfect for the IMF; he is dead.

    • EJT
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      I was trying to fathom the logic that connected ” Greece has played a pivotal part in man’s development ” with their current financial plight. Then I read your last sentence. ‘Nuff said.

    • zorro
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely Dr Oldman, we need someone with Gordon Brown’s unique qualities to head the IMF. I am sure that the results would be stunning…..After all, his performance for 10 years as Chancellor and 3 years as PM was second to none (none was quite a distance ahead) and has left most of awestruck (and massively in debt).

      Three cheers for the Kirkcaldy Kid, only he can save us all….cue Flash (aka Crash) Gordon music…….

      zorro

      • zorro
        Posted May 17, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Does Dr Oldman mean George Brown (deceased Labour politician) or Gordon Brown (still alive Labour politician).

        I read the original comment as Gordon Brown….You see that’s what 13 years of exposure to him as Chancellor and PM has done!!….Driven me blind (at least temporarily) and not by his brilliance…..

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      I imagine this is satire but, George Brown, from wikipedia

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Brown,_Baron_George-Brown#Personal_problems

      Yep, a long dead socialist maybe better than some choices.

      Nice attention to detail, it makes all your suggestions highly credible.

  22. Tim
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I think the whole EU project is a disaster for the PIIGS and the UK. W pay a net £10 billion for what? To subsidise foreign famers, their infrastructure to enhance their competitive edge whilst neglecting our own.
    We are told its about trade. Well last year we had a net tradeeficit of £42 billion and over the last ten years, £262 billion net trade deficit.
    The Common Fisheries policy cost us 400,000 jobs and the loss of that entire industry. We are also made by our EU masters to throw back the smaller fish or those that have reached their quota, although they’e already dead!
    Administering and implementing EU law and directives costs £9 billion each year and rising.
    The EU Human Rights lobby continues to ignore us and implement law that supports criminals.
    The CAP adds £billions to UK families food bills for the benefit of foreign farmers. Tony Blair gave away our rebate for future discussions on the CAP although most suspect he hoped for the future Presendency of this corrupt organisation. A rise of 72% in our contributions in one year. Madness.
    Workers from the EU undercut our own young people in the workplace, hence one of the reasons for the highst unemployment rate in that group (1 million plus)
    The current bailouts costing UK taxpayers about £12.5 billion, whilst absolutely illegal (Maastrict Treaty). This is over twice the cuts made to our public services last year.
    I’m afraid Mr Redwood that your leaders talked a good job in opposition yet their actions show the opposite. It is definately time for our in/out referendum on the madcap EU. The people have had enough of this nonsense or it will be UKIP in 2014.

    Reply: I see no evidence that UKIP is about the break through in a FPTP election, and note that UKIP hjas just helped the AV team lose.

    • Tim
      Posted May 18, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      I think we’re mixing issues. Many people who want out of the EU do not want constant coalition Governments and the sacrifices on policy that comes with that. Therefore they would oppose AV. However, if UKIP had fielded candidates they would have made gains in other parts of the country. We will have to await the European elections in 2014 by which time people will understand how we are trully Governed from Europe and costs to us all.

  23. Kenneth
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Excellent post.

    Some countries as well as the eu quango and IMF are sleep walking into a disaster and are effectively colluding with banks in an effort to keep themselves from waking up.

    In my view this is what happens when a small group think they know best and ignore the collective wisdom of the People.

    Farage is right: Populists are Democrats.

  24. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Does the IMF use Fractional Reserve Banking when loaning currencies to Countries?

    Does it lend deposited money only or create credit, using depositor money as reserves?

  25. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Very good article on the IMF and its failings.

    There is one thing that Mr Kahn said that I found quite disturbing, and that is he thought that when a Global Financial Institution takes charge of the economy then growth and prosperity are created, but when Nation States take charge of their own economies, the economy stalls.

    If this is true then why has the EURO been such a disaster?

  26. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I am yet to hear a single success story concerning IMF loans to third world cooutries.

    “As the chief economist at the World Bank from 1997 to 2000, I have seen firsthand the dark side of globalization; … how so-called structural-adjustment loans to some of the poorest countries in the world ‘restructured’ those countries’ economies so as to eliminate jobs, but did not provide the means of creating new ones, leading to widespread unemployment and cuts in basic services… The voices of those most affected by globalization are barely audible in discussions about how the table should be reshaped and show should have a seat at it.”
    — Joseph E. Stiglitz (in 2001 just after quitting his job at the World Bank)

  27. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 185 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.”
    — IMF Website

    Is there any evidence that the IMF has achieved any of these things?

    Or is there a clue in the phrase “working to foster global monetary cooperation”.

    • Simon
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      Well spotted .

      No doubt Prava view these people as white Knights .

  28. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    “Canada is in the process of being “structurally adjusted”. It is just that the process cannot be accomplished so easily here as in underdeveloped countries. We are a people “too well educated” and we have an “excess of democracy”. The phrase “structural adjustment ” is a euphemistic one created by the IMF (International Monetary Fund). When countries need financial assistance they go to the IMF who in turn demand “structural adjustment” (the process of removing government from its role in the economy)and “privatization” (the process of wholesale sellout of public assets) in return for the money. The IMF debt and growing interest rates take all the profits out of the country. This impoverishes the people as their resources are stolen out from under them. One structural demand is that national central banks be removed so that there is no national power to create and control their own money supply. Herein lies the explanation of why our governments refuse to use the power of our own Bank of Canada. They are complicit participants in the IMF regime and are moving Canada by stealth into the regime. They are deliberately trying to impoverish us. The truth is, we are still a very rich country- rich in natural and human resources. Uncooking the books shows that.”

  29. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    “Are you trying to make Debt Payments that you can’t afford?

    Government Legislation allows you to pay only what you can afford
    You will receive an email within 15 minutes of completing the form regarding your options and legal rights

    Would You Like To Reduce Your Payments?
    If you are struggling to keep up your payments, there are options available to reduce what you pay and freeze interes

    You Pay Only What You Can Realistically Afford
    All of your monthly payments can be rolled in to one reduced affordable monthly payment”

    It’s all very benign and friendly until ONE day your interest payments exceed your income…

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted May 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      – GAME OVER –

  30. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Maybe George Brown, whoever he may be, would be an excellent head of the IMF but Gordon Brown would be a disaster just as he was as Chancellor and Prime Minister.

  31. Bazman
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I heard a rumour that he is going to run for the next Italian presidency.

  32. Farmer Geddon
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    I agree, even George Brown must be better than Gordon

  33. BobE
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    It seems that the Euro experiment has failed. When will the countrys revert to there own currency?

  34. BobE
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    When will countries return to there own curencys. Please advise.

    Reply: Not yet – there is great political will behind the project. Previous European currency unions outside a single state have always broken up eventually. Currency unions within a single state usually survive.

  35. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, do follow your arguement where it leads. Why do you not break cover and suggest that Greece, Ireland and Portugal leave the Euro?

    Reply: I have put a lecture on this site sometime ago which looked at a range of options to sort out the Euro crisis. They included Germany leaving the Euro, or the weaker countries leaving the Euro. I also explained why I did not think this was practical politics to all those furthering the federalist plan who remain in charge of the EU.

  36. DennisA
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Why should Greece continue to get Bail?

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted May 18, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Why is Greece in this position in the first place?

      1. Bad Government – overspending on Public Services?
      2. The debt from the Olympics ?
      3. Military Spending against Turkey?
      4. International Financial Market speculation – short selling?
      5. International Fund Managers dumping Greek Industrial Debt?
      6. The EURO currency and centralist manipulation from the European Central Bank. (Almost cost us the UK economy in 1990)
      7. The Fact that money is created as DEBT. Excessive Profits taken by Government subsidised Banks and Investment Houses?
      8. Somebody wants to buy Greek Assets on the cheap?

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted May 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      It is the implacable logic of the EU institution, just as in the UK the wealthy South bails out Northern councils, Scotland etc, so We are supposed to bailout our Greek ‘Partners’

  37. stred
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Gordon Brown would make an excellent replacement for Kahn. Not only is he extremely unlikely to try anything on with hotel maids but he gained his value when listening to his dad;s sermons in his Presbyterian church- like thrift and honesty with money.

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Is that why he gave £200 billion of tax payers assets to Bankers?

  38. stred
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    And hid the building of most new public buildings off the borrowing accounts.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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