The ECB response to corona virus

The main points in  the ECB response yesterday made sense and were similar to the Bank of England’s approach the day before. The ECB announced a major increase to its version of the Funding for lending scheme, the LTRO facilities advanced to Euro area banks. It announced that Euro area banks can borrow from the ECB with the ECB paying them 0.75% a year for the money, so they can lend it on to businesses and individuals.

They also announced an expansion of Quantitative easing, adding another Euro 120bn this year.  They reduced the required capital commercial banks need to hold for any given amount of lending, and allowed a wider range of assets to  be used against the lending. They did not cut their main interest rates, which are at zero or negative already.

The ECB has two problems the Bank of England does not share. The ECB thinks a fiscal stimulus is needed at the same time, as the UK authorities arranged. The ECB cannot be sure this will happen. The Treaty rules make it unlikely, unless they find a way of authorising temporary extraordinary measures.The ECB wants governments to make banks  lending to distressed businesses more likely by offering loan guarantees financed by taxpayers. Again, it cannot guarantee this will happen.

The ECB has gone some way in weakening its prudential regulation of the commercial banks. It will allow them delay in implementing requirements imposed on them by Regulatory Inspection, and it will put off the next set of stress tests they need to meet. It is relaxing the type of capital they need to hold and it will allow them to go under the Pillar 2 Capital requirements anyway in order to keep lending going. It needs to be careful this does not build more future problems into the commercial banking sector.

The ECB has done a better job at keeping money growth at a sensible level than the Bank of England over the last couple of years, offering more support for the Euro economy. It now needs to be careful it does not dilute its regulatory standards too far and allow banks to build loan problems for themselves on a scale out of proportion with their capacity to absorb the subsequent losses when some of the loans go bad.

Mme Lagarde’s comments about spreads were damaging anD her reported private comments about the seriousness of the situation also destabilising.

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167 Comments

  1. Ian Wragg
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    The Euro continues on life support. It’s time it was laid to rest.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Indeed it is.

      • Hope
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Reports how the links between Northern Italy and China has caused such a massive outbreak there. Textiles industry linking Italy to China and allowing 100,000 Chinese immigrants to that region.

        EU allows relaxation of state aid and Germany making unlimited hundreds of billions available to businesses. Level playing field discussions will be sharpened I hope after this exposes, again, how EU/Germany change rules to suite itself.

        JR, what is the U.K. Taxpayer Liability for the EU?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          The government chief scientific advisor today:- “In a worst case scenario the NHS would not cope and nor could any healthcare system” rather an understatement.

          The problem is the NHS does not even cope with the normal everyday demands. In a worse care scenario hundreds of thousands will die for lack of critital care capacity.

          • Hope
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

            Mass immigration overwhelmed our NHS plus health tourism. Despite Tory govt policy to the opposite for ten years!

            Same for May cutting police numbers and halting stop and search which has resulted in huge knife crime wave for forty years where hundreds murdered and maimed because of her spiteful actions the police the public suffered!

            Taxation at fifty year high and current budget goes against everything over the last ten years. Deficit will not be balanced as promised for ten years but increased! Future gerations burdened with debt for useless projects like HS2, Haewei, and Hinkley. Worse the U.K. In hock to China!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      As the great oracle Nigel Farage said “the euro will be dead and buried by Christmas 2012”.

      • Fred H
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        you might as well put that in your automated ‘signature’.

      • NickC
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        The Euro would be dead if the EU hadn’t ignored its own treaties; if the USA hadn’t stepped in with cash; and if the UK also hadn’t (our loan to Eire). I bet you didn’t know the Americans helped to save your EU empire’s skin.

        • hefner
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          NickC, ‘if the USA hadn’t stepped in with cash’, as far as I remember following the EU financial mess and the Greek crisis, it was the IMF that came to the rescue. Are you not a bit confused confounding the IMF and the USA? Or if I am wrong can you point out references about this American rescue of the EU. One should be keen on learning new things, shouldn’t one?

          • Mitchel
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

            The USA directs IMF policy.These days it’s just another instrument of US foreign policy-see Ukraine and how rules were broken to get the IMF involved.

        • bill brown
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:40 am | Permalink

          Nickc

          One day we will do an economics course for you

      • ChrisS
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Nigel was right but the Euro is still in existence, only because Mario Draghi broke all the rules and everyone politely looked the other way. Even the Germans.

        If they had kept to the rules, the Euro and most German and French banks would have gone under. That demonstrates the scale of the problem that sticking with the deeply flawed Euro has caused.

        It is struggling along from one crisis to the next on life support. Sooner or later there will be a problem that they can’t dodge around, fudge or ignore. The consequences of the virus might just be the thing that brings the whole edifice tumbling down .

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

          Aw. There.

    • ian terry
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      If the Euro fails totally and is laid to rest, it will be the beginning of the end of the EU.
      I think the failure of the Euro will tip the EU over the top and it will be downhill at an ever increasing rate of knots as countries try to bail out from the impending train smash

      • NickC
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Ian, Well, I hope the Euro does fail – out of embarrassment or hubris I don’t care which. However, like last time (2012), I don’t think it will. Unfortunately. And we and the Americans might bail it out. Again.

        • bill brown
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          NickC
          whether it is owned by BoE or somebody else it is still debt.

          How much of French debt is owned by the ECB which the French government owns part of as well.
          Debt remains debt

        • bill brown
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

          Nick C

          If the EURO fails we will have a major problem on our hands a well, so let us hope that does not happen

          • NickC
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

            Bill B, We will have a problem if the Euro fails. But that problem will be much less than if the Euro continues.

    • Hope
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      The bigger question JR, how much is the U.K. liable for EU debt and bail out?

    • Andy
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      I distinctly remember in the 1990s – before the Euro launched – Europhobic Tory MPs telling us how it was doomed.

      They have now been wrong for almost a quarter of a century.

      The Euro is fine. None of its members want to leave. It is a far more important currency than the pound. And it survived the worst recession and banking crisis in a century.

      So perhaps you should change the record? Or do you still want to be wrong in another 25 years?

      • NickC
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Andy, No they didn’t. They said that the Euro was doomed unless the EZ became a single economic and fiscal government. That is exactly what the EU is pushing – and is part way there – and exactly why we had to get out.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        It is responsible for perma-recession in the deficit countries, the build up of massive trade imbalances, and a whole generation of lives and career prospects destroyed for young people.

        I recommend Ashoka Mody’s book on the subject if you can bear to read something you don’t agree with. The lost potential output – ie prosperity foregone for millions – is incalculable. It is a political project, designed to foster a federal super-state. Nothing wrong with that if that’s what people want. But that’s not what you’ve been saying when urging and voting for the U.K. to join the euro and the super-state project.

    • bill brown
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      The EURO is not more on life support than most currencies in the world including the Pound

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        Is that why it has gone from 83p to 90p in the last few weeks Bill?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          Sorry, Ian, not Bill

      • NickC
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Bill B, That is wrong for the precise reason that it was wrong at the beginning. There are problems enough for all currencies when there is an economic shock like Covid-19, but the Euro has extra problems because it does not represent a single economic and fiscal nation. That makes any response more difficult, and sometimes impossible.

  2. Andy
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Of course the biggest economic story of the Coronavirus outbreak is the car crash intervention of President Trump. The most expensive speech in US history as he crashed the markets with his ill-times and incoherent intervention.

    Still – one plus of Coronavirus. Trump is toast in November and the worst presidency in American history will soon be over.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      I think that’s probably right with the nonsense he’s been talking about it being a ‘Democrat hoax’, especially now the absurd bernie sanders looks to be toast also. It’s going to depend how things go. If this does blow over in a couple of months, as Trump has been forecasting, and markets come roaring back, Trump will win a landslide.

    • Stred
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Trump’s mistake was to not include the UK in the ban. The plan,according to Boris’s statement and advice to avoid cruises, will mean that we will have an Italian rate of infection within weeks, no doubt incubating unseen st the moment.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        Yep, US student confirmed to me 2 hours ago that thousands are looking to come to the UK, stay in Airbnb s all over the S East awaiting flight availability to the US for Easter. We should have closed borders with the EU 10 minutes after Trump did.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Trump will surely still win, assuming he survives the virus. But the virus does create some uncertainty I agree. Biden and Sanders are dire, are these deluded dopes really the best the Democrats can come up with?

      Scientists seem to think that warmer weather soon may help to restrict the spread of the coronavirus. Could it be that we will be partly rescued by global warming?

      The BBC has an agenda of “believe in experts” and distrust of experts after Gove rightly said “we had had enough of experts who get it wrong”. They misquote Gove and extend the argument to Trump. There are real and honest experts and liars, pushers of religion and soothsayers. Climate change is an area almost entirely stuffed with the latter the BBC is likewise full of deluded lefty art graduates and climate alarmists.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        So called “Experts” like the ones who told people (in Grenville tower disaster) to go back to their flats, or decided to clad the building to show how “green and virtue signalling” they were or all those experts that though we should join the ERM and the EURO. Or “expert”, “economists” like save the World, Gordon Brown who claimed to have abolished Boom and Bust!

        Or indeed the experts in control of the NHS who have run it with almost no spare critical care capacity. This despite all the clear warnings from other contagions. Or the ones still banging on about the climate catastrophe!

        I still we are under reacting and think we should be attempting to slow the infection transfer as much as we possibly can (do so as to give the NHS a little more time to prepare some more ICU etc. facilities or perhaps even find to treatments that help survival. The longer the better.

        Real and honest experts are not that common (and they are usually ignored anyway by “group think” politicians and government what to hear what they want to hear and choose the experts who will tell them this.

      • Matt
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        As well as being saved by global warming St Greta had her childhood saved from pre industrial infant mortality rates. (“You stole my childhood !”)

        Also the next extinction asteroid can only be stopped by us.

        And we have the DNA Arc of many of the Earth’s species ready to go.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. I assume if we launch a rocket to intercept and divert the “extinction asteroid” it will have to be solar or wind powered and 100% recyclable!

          Of course is it much easier for government to tackle a non real problem in 100 years than to tackle a very real one the week after next.

          • Matt
            Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

            Fist bump !

            (Previously known as High Five !)

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      His constituency will support closing borders

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      You’ve been consistently wrong Andy. You must be pleased the virus is going to kill us gammons.
      Not very good for the babysitting though.
      Have your kids got jobs in Italy yet. There must be plenty of vacancies.
      Greta the goblin will be pleased, all this reduction in activity reducing the CO2 output, a dry run for the sack cloth and ashes she advocates.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Andy

      In the unlikely event that Joe Biden wins in November he will forget all about attending his inauguration next January.

    • Matt
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      And Brexit voters will get their comeuppance too.

      Go on. Spit it out, Andy.

      We know you’re loving it.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Andy:

      I love the way you always look on the bright side!

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      This virus would be delighting you Andy -a dream come true. You have been wishing early deaths for the elderly and infirm for months, and if Covid-19 is not eradicated it will remain in circulation and in time reduce human life expectancy by many years.

      All your Christmasses have come at once.

    • Fred H
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      I disagree. Roosevelt waited 2 full years after UK declared war on Germany before joining in. It was only the oil embargo on Japan by USA which stirrred the hostility leading to Pearl Harbour and the Americans joining the war. Two years meant tragedies beyond measure…..

      • Mitchel
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        The hostility between Japan and America went back further – to the terms of the Treaty (of Portsmouth?) which settled the Russo-Japanese War-as a result of US pressure Japan didn’t gain much from it-and,if I remember correctly,subsequent collusion between Japan and the Russians/Soviets to exclude the US from trade in Manchuria.

        • Fred H
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          as I said ‘which stirred the hostility’. (already existed).

    • Lester Beedell
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Andy…. much as you wish that to happen I fear that you’re going to be disappointed😂😂

  3. bill brown
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    he so-called fiscal regulations has not had any effect on the responses made by the Danish, Swedish, German, Dutch, Austrian and French governments who have not only given support to businesses but also lightened the purse strings in fiscal terms to asssit their economies

    • formula57
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      @ bill brown – Including France in your list is accurate but misleading in that French governments have never been constrained by fiscal regulations so responses now do not change anything, just perpetuate business as usual.

      • bill brown
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        formula 57

        the Eu has completely changed policy on this issue and the French have no bigger debt than use so what is your point?

        • NickC
          Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, Nonsense. French state debt is about 100% of French GDP, UK state debt is about 67% of UK GDP when the debt owned by the BoE (£435bn) is deducted from the current 86% of UK GDP debt.

        • formula57
          Posted March 13, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          The point is as stated, nothing more. Recall Mr. Macron on election renewed his wish to see France comply with EU treaty rules on official finances (so as to be able to lecture the others with more authority) but has not made progress.

  4. Iain Gill
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Start local production of ventilators, face masks, hand gel, more oxygen bottles and get them to the hospitals. Saving people will be constrained by how many of these we have.

    Stop the silly NHS doing blood tests in one place for everyone in town, too much cross infection risk.

    Our supposed medical advisors not saying this stuff shows they don’t get it, and are constrained by NHS group think.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      There was a very knowledgeable Doctor on the TV last night. She said, it doesn’t matter how many ventilators we have, if we don’t have enough Nurses with the knowledge to operate them.

      With the shortage of Nurses we already have, the situation doesn’t look too hopeful.

    • SM
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      How much experience do you have of what it means to be put on a ventilator, Iain? It is not the same as requiring oxygen to help you breathe, by a very, very long chalk.

      Face masks, it has been noted time and again, are more likely to harbour the virus than prevent you being infected, unless you use and then discard those that are moulded to the face.

      It is being repeatedly explained that shutting down everything means that herd immunity is not acquired – so the number of cases would briefly decline and then everything could get a great deal worse.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        In an emergency like this a group of staff can be setup to manage multiple ventilators, hospitals in Italy are constrained by number of ventilators not number of staff to operate them.
        But also get recently retired nurses and docs back into work.
        Get the nurses doing DWP assessments back on the wards.
        All of this is doable, sitting on your hands and doing nothing is a death sentence for many,

        • SM
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 4:55 am | Permalink

          You haven’t answered my question. Did you know that being put on a ventilator can INCREASE the risk of lung infection, for instance?

          • Iain Gill
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            Stop being idiotic, Nobody is going to be put on a ventilator unless there is no alternative way of keeping them alive in these emergency circumstances.

            FFS

  5. DOMINIC
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Most central banks have been ‘stimulating’ now for years. Flogging the proverbial dead horse. It’s simply a reflection of how utterly desperate and clueless they are with their refusal to confront the real truth, that the fundamental laws of economics and finance have been usurped and replace by a political code that affords the political class to construct policies that benefit the political State and their various vested interests

    It is my belief that the embrace of idiotic Keynesian policy levers and the rejection of fiscal discipline will lead to catastrophe as governments chase their own tails to maintain the veneer of stability. This week’s budget was the living embodiment of this. Dangerous politicians playing with monopoly money and failing to forget that someone, anyone must be presented with a bill to pay at some point

    This government as have others, and not only in this country, have abused the taxpayer and done this with a contemptuous arrogance for one simple reason, total political control of all things

    OT – I see the BOE is considering abolishing paper money and replacing it with ‘programmable money’. This is the first step to authoritarian control of our personal finances and indeed our being

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Much truth in this. We largely have government by the state sector for the state sector. Tax borrow and piss down the drain almost everywhere you care to look in government.

      This when public services are poor and declining. The main problems are tax levels and red tape are both far too high and complex, we have an expensive and intermittent religious energy policy, a lack of much freedom and choice in health care and education, banks that are not remotely competitive and a state sector that does little of value and is far too large.

      • Hope
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        The budget was a full red blooded socialist big state, big tax and spend. To borrow to create growth, right out of the Corbyn campaign. Tories derided this plan then implemented it!

        The taxpayer will have to pay back the borrowing, there is no magic money tree as they kept telling us. Because they are borrowing by the hundreds of billions rather than Labour it is okay somehow!

        Who got rid of the doctors and nurses? Who got rid of the 20,000 police officers? Who decimated the military? The second category out of May spite. Look at the outcomes and potential outcomes of this contagion and ask why there was not enough of each when it was always a possibility but moreover cutting the numbers while having a mass immigration policy, while lying to the public to cut to tens of thousands! We know this because the historic high immigration figures inside and outside EU prove it.

        • NickC
          Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          Hope, Yes it is a mess. The new “Conservative” government prefers to waste money on HS2, “green” subsidies, Windmills, imposing battery cars, etc, rather than cutting taxes.

          I had to deal with a (quasi) government department for over two years – I thought I was cynical, but I was shocked how personally greedy they were, and how completely lacking in concern for getting the job done.

          There is no way of managing that – you just have to shut it down.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

            Sometime I think I am rather too cynical, but then the more I see of government the more I realise I am not cynical enough.

          • Mark B
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

            I agree. I too have been contacted by another (quasi) government department that wants money from me because it thinks I have information on my PC that requires me to pay them money. For what ?

      • Iain Gill
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        yes providing poor service is no barrier to success in the public sector.

        also far too much manipulation of the economy by politicians to favour, for instance, the financial industry over others, its not working and wont work, its just driving our economy more and more to la la land.

        dom cummings basic idea of turning us into the worlds favoured destination for students to study, and “white heat of tech”, is not likely to work for a number of reasons also. public sector trying to pick winners always fails. lack of protection of intellectual property here, which just leaks to other countries which undercut us.

        we would be far better off freeing the people up to make their own decisions without constant state manipulation in every single thing we do.

        on the other hand the state should be manipulating some command & control economy in emergencies, get more ventilators made locally and fast! ramp up medical oxygen supply and fast! etc just like we would produce war time bombers we need to produce such stuff and immediately

        • Mark B
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

          Agreed.

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        +1. Blue labour

    • BOF
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      I agree with you dominic. As for BOE idea of abolishing paper money, I believe we all have a duty to keep using it. To lose it is a dangerous concept and we should remember that should systems go down (which they will) then we are helpless.

  6. Stred
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    A business with no money coming in is bust and banks will be making bad loans. If the government is trying to engineer the infection of the population in order to create herd immunity more quickly than every other country then it needs to accept bankruptcies. These ‘smart’ policies aren’t.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      The main concern for me is that the virtual monopoly NHS will surely be unable to cope with the large numbers needing intensive care and that many people will die as a result. Perhaps I am wrong we will soon find out. It seem to me that more delaying of the viral spread would (to give more preparation time) would be a good plan. How many more critical care places can they create.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      A business with no money coming in for a short while is not bust if it has the cash or can borrow the cash to tide it over that period. It is just a business with less cash or a higher debt when all returns to normal.

    • forthurst
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      The beneficial by-product of letting the virus rip is that it will reduce the pension bill quite drastically; would this be the government’s ultimate aim? I could not possibly comment.

  7. Mark B
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The ECB did not need to do something now, it needed to do something when it mattered. Now that German economy seems to be heading south there seems to be some action form the ECB and, this virus is the perfect cover. Whilst they have been telling everyone to tighten their belts for the sake of the EU, now it is their turn it is time to do something.

    QE is not needed. Inflating asset prices to keep the rich, rich, is a surefire way to depression. Things are only worth something when there are enough people out there prepared to pay the asking price. As soon as they are gone the market pops !

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Those inflated asset prices are necessary to support the debt loaned against them and enable equity withdrawal for spending.It’s a complete house of cards.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        In a nutshell, Mitchel.

        • NickC
          Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          Yes, anything necessary to keep your sinking EU empire afloat, eh, Martin? Especially as it is now Germany that is the sick man of Europe.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            Are you aware of the marked strengthening of the euro against Sterling over the last few weeks, Nick?

          • NickC
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

            Martin, Are you aware of the failing Italian banks with their sinking state bonds? Who is going to bail them out? The EU? Like Greece?

            The Euro is too big to fail, so we and the Americans will have to work longer hours and pay more taxes to bail out your corrupt, useless, EU empire. Some day that cycle will stop, and then where will you be?

    • Lester Beedell
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Mark B I couldn’t agree more

    • acorn
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      You should look at the ECB’s Balance Sheets since 2010, it is now up to 4.7 trillion Euro. It has been stuffing cash into every nook and cranny of the Eurosystem since then.

      The problem is the basic framework of the Eurosystem doesn’t work. Nineteen differing nations all using the same foreign currency, with no central treasury, doesn’t fit any of them except the Germans. The sooner the EU ditches the Euro; the EU Parliament; and, replaces five Presidents with one Secretary General, the better.

      All these “supply side” central bank monetary measures are surplus to a system that is stuffed with liquidity (cash) already. No business wants to borrow because none of them have got an army of “demand side” customers, with money, knocking their doors down, wanting to buy their stuff. Supply side economics; “build it and they will come”, only works in Kevin Costner films.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        Agreed. And Burt Lancaster was great in that film too 😉

        The EURO is not a completed project. For that to happen the Germans and the Bundesbank have to handover complete control to the EU. Can’t see that happening Acorn, can you ? All those mouth to feed ?

        They’re damned if they go forward, and damned if they just stay still.

        Keeping the pound was the smartest thing the British people ever did.

  8. DOMINIC
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Banks now do the bidding of their political masters. The banking system has been brought under subtle political control using various tactics of encouragement to break their lending code by governments and understand that at some point they’ll be able to assert control over banks when their books become worthless as per 2008. Blair played a blinder there though abusing the taxpayer is fundamental to this strategy

    The political class is constantly encouraging greater consumption for consumption sake. Why is this? The reason is simple, political advantage

    It’s taken me a number of years to understand the vile nature of what the western political class has become. An embrace of political authoritarianism and a desire to control our most intimate of behaviors including how we consume and how we pay for that consumption

    The pretext of a pandemic is quite simply the perfect opportunity to ramp up further controls over people, banks and private companies. One would say it almost feels orchestrated. It doesn’t surprise that this ‘event’ originated in a country whose government is now utterly intent on impose total control over those who live there

    • NickC
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, The extent of “official” control over us is Orwellian.

  9. Richard1
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    The economist Ashoka Mody, who has written an excellent book on the euro right from it’s beginnings in the 1950s (‘Eurotragedy: a drama in 9 acts’: conclusion the euro was and is a bad idea), is forecasting that Italy is going to need a massive bail out. Of an order the eurozone will not be able to support and which will therefore require the support of other countries, including particularly the US, and – through the IMF – the U.K.

    In Italy we have a reverse of what we saw in the U.K. older people with savings and incomes denominated in euros are nervous of leaving the euro (and therefore, under the treaties, the EU). Young people want to get out.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Richard1

      “excellent book on the euro right from it’s beginnings in the 1950s (‘Eurotragedy: a drama in 9 acts’:”

      Meanwhile 70 years later the euro has become the world’s second most traded currency after the US dollar, a position previously held by the pound and which has now dropped like a stone against it.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

        Read the book

    • NickC
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Richard1, Our establishment will probably help bail out the Euro (again). It ought not to.

    • hefner
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Richard1, Indeed a very good book for telling the history how the EU (and the Eurozone) has gone (over the years 1950 to 2017) to where it presently is (and some of the interactions between EU actors are indeed really bad). However there is still a ‘small’ problem for me: specially in ch.9 ‘The final act’ and in the Epilogue there are a number of comparisons of economic indicators between the USA and what is now called the EU27. I would have liked to see the UK figures appearing in these comparisons, but they were not there. So one has to look elsewhere, for example to “The UK economy 2007-2017” by N.Fyfe & A.Threadgould. And then questions can be asked: the figures for the UK were not particularly brilliant either even with the country being outside of the eurozone.
      Was it only because the UK was part of the EU? One of the points figuring heavily in Modi’s ch.9 is the poor productivity of the EU (w.r.t. the US one), but the UK figure for productivity is as bad (sometimes much worse than that of some dominant EU countries).
      Do we have to expect huge gain in UK productivity in the coming months/years? How and where will they come from?

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    So Allister Darling (one of the long list of appalling chancellors that the UK has had to suffer since John Major) and others, now want to use the Coronavirus to “delay” Brexit. What a deluded dope he it. The sooner it is done the sooner we adjust and the better off we will be.

    • NickC
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic, The Remain establishment will clutch at any straws to delay and halt Brexit. Using the Wu-flu (Covid-19) to stymie Brexit is despicable. We voted to Leave in 2016. We could have been out in 12 months. Even with the dreadful Art50 process we should have been out by July 2018 at the latest Then it would have been all done and dusted well before Wu-flu.

  11. formula57
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    As for the ECB guarding against allowing “…banks to build loan problems for themselves on a scale out of proportion with their capacity to absorb the subsequent losses when some of the loans go bad”, did that horse not bolt a decade ago? The ECB knows its many zombie banks cannot last forever but dare not face the fact.

  12. Everhopeful
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    We had/have a HUGE debt bubble.
    The virus is the pin that has pricked (exploded) it.
    The various powers that be are employing the same tools as in 2008 for the burst housing bubble. Why would they work any better with this bubble?

  13. DOMINIC
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    its

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Still (despite the huge lack of critical care bed in the NHS) the government seem to have time to consider more motorist mugging with a proposed blanket ban on all parking on the pavement.

    It is all about finding another excuse to rob motorists. This is not a sensible or remotely efficient way to tax/mug people.

    • Matt
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      In areas where people are too poor to have off street parking but strive to get jobs and take on the financial burden of a car.

      This government knows nothing but to spank the people trying to do the right things.

      • NickC
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Matt, Standard English establishment procedure: sell your friends and buy your enemies.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        The right thing isn’t to block pavements from wheelchairs using them. Unless you’re Andy.

        • Matt
          Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

          Who pays for the wheelchairs ?

          Certainly not the tax avoiding corporations.

  15. Peter
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, the other ECB has just cancelled the England cricket team’s tour of Sri Lanka.

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/mar/13/england-cricket-tour-of-sri-lanka-called-off-due-to-coronavirus

  16. Richard1
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Has Merkel really just banned export of medical equipment to other countries even if they are in the EU? What a joke. Would any of the EU-Fanatics who are so ready to criticise Boris for anything and everything, and president trump in particular for moves like this like to comment?

    • matt
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Most countries have done exactly the same as Germany on the point.

      • NickC
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        So much for the brotherhood of the EU empire, then, Martin.

        • formula57
          Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

          Quite! I see a newspaper report today saying that when Italy asked for urgent medical supplies under a special European crisis mechanism no EU country responded.

          All for none and one for one within the Evil Empire it seems.

          • bill brown
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

            formula 57

            It is not an empire, Rome was an empire

      • Richard1
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Which others?

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Richard1

      You mean she refuses to sell the medical equipment her own people may be in desperate need of rather than flog it for a quick profit ‘on the open market’ to other less prescient countries?

      • Richard1
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        The point is it is a clear breach of the rules of the single market. It makes a nonsense of them.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        Against all the treaties of the EU and its community of nations ideals.
        The aim is to come together and help other members in need.
        As soon as things gets just a bit tricky the EU’s main economy runs away in an isolationist selfish huff.
        So much for the all for one and one for all superstate, the United States of Europe

        • bill brown
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          It is not a state it is a regional collaboration of political and economic nature supported by treaties for a number of collaboration points with a court jurisdiction linked to it and with certain regional powers for legal implementation

          • NickC
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            Bill B, The EU is a state. It a separate legal entity in international law, with a flag, an anthem, a “parliament”, centralised laws and courts, primacy of legislation, and a currency.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

            Gosh are you a member of the Eurocracy ?
            That sounds just like something they would say.

            That may well be the noble aim but we have just seen an example of selfish nationalism by the biggest most powerful member of the club..

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Imagine what would happen to the EU cooperation
      in a real war!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Free movement of goods and people while it’s convenient for Germany!

  17. Prigger
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Oh I’ll be okay left in situ as it were. No fear.
    Put it down to insanity or some unworldly religious faith to explain why I thinks so.
    I care not.

  18. BillM
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Hmm, so Carney’s term as Governor was not as successful as he believes. No surprise there, then.

  19. glen cullen
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Not to mention the ECB & BoE response to the huge drop in the price of oil ?

  20. Chris S
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    It was fascinating to watch the Brussels press conference this morning where Von der Leyen made a concerted attempt to take over the running of the Virus problem across the whole of the EU, even though health issues are supposed to be a devolved matter.

    There can be no doubt whatsoever that under her presidency, Brussels will be renewing and accelerating its objective of creating a United States of Europe.

    It was so refreshing to watch her, knowing that what she said no longer applied to the UK !

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      The Chinese have arrested the problem, we read, with a death rate of about one in a hundred thousand of their over a billion population.

      Whereas this government seem to be completely fatalistic, forecasting of the order of half a million deaths, or around one in a hundred of our population.

      That is about a thousand times higher than the Chinese rate.

      Surely, this inaction amounts to a Crime Against Humanity?

      • Grrrr
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Germany 5
        UK 10
        Belgium 1
        France 61
        Spain 83
        Portugal 0 (as of 3 days ago)
        Ireland 1 ( two days ago)
        Sweden 1 ( one day ago)
        Denmark 0 ( two days ago)
        Finland 0
        Austria 1 ( as of 13th March 2020)
        Luxembourg 0
        Switzerland 4 (one man of which admitted to hospital with pneumonia)
        Norway 0 ( as of yesterday)
        Holland 5 ( as of two days ago)
        Most clicks on any country and virus deaths take you to the death toll in Wuhan or Italy. In this case. Romania probably 0)
        Bulgaria 1 ( two days ago)
        The clock is ticking!!!!!

        • Grrrr
          Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          Their populations amount to 360,000,000 with 168 dead by the virus and underlying associated health problems. What percentage is that?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 13, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

            Do you know what “exponential” means?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 12:00 am | Permalink

            The growth isn’t showing exponential scales.

          • Fred H
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            yes – Martin your posts have become exponential, and you are not alone.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        China only had 22 new cases, and 8 deaths yesterday. She does, indeed, appear to have arrested the problem.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted March 13, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          Until people start moving again

      • Matt
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Shutting down the economy will kill people too.

      • Matt
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        We have to see how this averages out in the end. The death rate cannot be known because the numbers infected are unkown.

      • Fred H
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        what absolute tripe. A crime against humanity for (possibly) getting a forecast/ inactivity wrong? Stop the histrionics you make yourself look a fool.

      • NickC
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        Martin, You seem to have as much difficulty with arithmetic as Andy. The death rate is (as of now) about 1% (ie 1 in 100) for those that catch the coronavirus Covid-19, in China, in the UK, and elsewhere.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:33 am | Permalink

          Well in Italy it is far higher at 7%. This as many could not get medical treatments such ventilation or artificial lungs as the hospitals were totally overwhelmed.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          We will not know until this is basically over exactly what the mortality of this virus was, assuming accurate figures are kept, and even then, there will be an unknown number of undiagnosed mild cases to muddy the water.

          Yes, it may well be around one percent. If eighty percent of the UK population catch it, about fifty million people, then that means half a million dead, doesn’t it?

          What if Italy manage to restrain it to, say one tenth of that toll?

          What would the Government have to say to the millions of bereaved here?

          • Fred H
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

            so your maths tells you the risk is into millions?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            Fred, how many members do you think half a million typical families have?

    • Andy
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      What happens in the EU is not your business – you left.

      I’d worry more about Johnson’s incompetent response.

      Reply It is very much our business until the Transition Agreement expires, and will still be of interest to us as neighbours. Why are you so touchy about us analysing the EU? You must fear what we find.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        “You must fear what we find”

        Any hint you can give us? I am puzzled that you are still so enamored with a country that led you to vote to follow them into a terrible illegal war which has caused so much damage to the ME and which led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people.

        Even more surprising a country that has since voted for a man like
        Trump.

        Is there any other reason apart from simply wanting to hang on to the coat tails of the world’s last super power?

        Or should we fear what we may find?

        • NickC
          Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, Trump is opposed to foreign adventures for the USA. You’re on the same side!

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 13, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          Off topic, Margaret.

          I hear from my son that fifth year med students are to be activated in this crisis.

          For all my concerns about CV I am one very proud dad.

          (Re your comment that Oxbridge ‘know what they’re looking for’ when I said they’d rejected him.)

      • bill brown
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        Sir JR,

        There is no problem anybody finding issues on the EU, it should be debated in an open and transparent fashion , the more the better. Unfortunately,your reporting on the EU facts are not always correct, like EU legislation being responsible for no dredging in the UK earlier this week, which was factually incorrect. (this si not what the EU legislations says specifically)

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Chris S

      “It was so refreshing to watch her”

      Yes, and what a change it was from the idiotic, ignorant ramblings of ‘The Donald’ who made himself sound even more ridiculous than usual – if that is possible.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 4:36 am | Permalink

      Agreed.

  21. glen cullen
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Forget the ECB response I am more interested in immediate measures our political masters could do to help and aid our SMEs. Its easy for MPs on a guaranteed income of £80k+ to suggest further bank loans or more QE

    During these unprecedented times SMEs are worried about this/next months wage bill and paying rent and suppliers, forget about income, its about reducing costs. Only 2 options; lay off staff and/or stop paying bills. Bank loans don’t help.

    The government should battle down and help SMEs immediately by :
    Postpone employers NI for 3 months
    Government to pay all sick pay for 3 months
    Stop business rates for all SMEs
    Re-direct HS2 funding to test every SME staff member
    Government to policy buy British only
    Remove environmental tax on purchases, transport and energy

  22. Fred H
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC.
    from THE TIMES.

    The BBC Director-General (Lord Hall) has admitted that some people in their 80s and 90s could be hauled to court after free TV licences for the over-75s are abolished.

    Doesn’t it make you feel proud of our World renowned broadcasting service?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      It would not be the BBC bringing the cases though, any more than the Government brings them for tax-dodging, would it?

      • Fred H
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        the BBC is responsible for the contractual terms of the licence holder, and need for one. Point-dodging as usual Martin.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

          No, Parliament make the law, not the BBC.

          The CPS prosecute people, not the BBC.

          • Fred H
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            So who decided a criminal offence applied for non-payment of a licence? For other ‘crimes’ of non-payment it is a civil offence, not criminal.
            So the BBC Director General agrees to CPS prosecuting non-payers……I return to the point – are you proud of the ‘crime’ being prosecuted?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 14, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

            That wasn’t your question Fred.

            You asked if we were proud of our public service broadcaster.

            I ask instead whether you are proud of this country’s legislature which makes laws such as the that one you describe.

    • formula57
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      It makes me feel prouder of our some people in their 80s and 90s who will not be intimidated by the odious BBC.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      INDEED – just how many over 75s licence fees are needed to pay for Gary Lineker alone? But this is not even the main issue/outrage of the BBC. The BBC is a blatant propaganda outfit for left wing, PC, high tax, big government, the dire state monopoly NHS, ever more anti-democratic EU and climate alarmism.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        But you want big government to deal with this epidemic, don’t you?

    • DOMINIC
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t it make you feel proud that the spineless Tory party still bend to the will of Labour’s client State and their parasitic allies

      Is there no issue that this party in government haven’t sacrificed their principles to pander to?

      I bet Tory backbenchers must sit in silence while they watch as their leadership throw down the well every single Conservative principle they hold dear. And they do sit in SILENCE without a murmur

      The BBC IS A VIRUS of the left and the Tory government’s refusal to dismantle it is one of the decade’s most cowardly and vile acts by any political party

      • glen cullen
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        its about time the BBC was sold off…..maybe it could pay for HS2

        • Fred H
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

          glen – – The musical ‘Oliver ‘ sprang to mind – – -‘who will buy’?

      • Mark B
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        The times they are a changing.

        As you may know I was once a stalwart, and still am to a degree, of getting rid of the Telly Tax. But recent information has made me reconsider this position. Today, as fewer and fewer people pay into the Beebs coffers, I can see a point at which Auntie may well have to start cutting its cloth to suit its purse.

        The above, coupled with its on-going purge of pale-stale-male presenters, who I have zero sympathy with, will slowly drive the corporation to the point of bankruptcy. It will of course be a slow death, but a sure one. Subscription may save it, but I think it is past that now.

    • Foggy Media
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      The BBC online reports from the European Space Agency…and shows its video from space that the air pollution over Italy has declined. Always in pinpoint focus, the BBC

  23. Trumpeteer
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Trumps Chief Medical Officer was just asked why older people are more vulnerable and he answered their “immune systems” are not as robust. Nothing about respiratory pre-problems I’m not an expert, but this answer conflicts with the UKs Medical Officer’s views on the immune system and the virus which he seems to suggest is not an obstacle to the virus but a ‘friend’ ( in one breath) and ( in another breath) a friend of a recovering patient when the immune system kicks back in.
    There is much conflict in info about this virus which, is a worry.
    Trump has just answered another question on the UK exemption on travel and repeats “we” are taking another look at it in light of info provided by the UK in the last 24 hours.
    Oh dear. Does not sound good for us.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      They’re getting blowback from US citizens in Europe having to travel via the UK.

  24. everyone knows
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    John, I don’t believe the government loves the people like other governments do. There is a cold disconnect. I know you do your best to build bridges, hence this blog, but do the ruling elite really love us, peasants?

  25. everyone knows
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Denmark are closing their borders. Do you expect to keep the vote the elderly if they die on mass here and not in Denmark?

  26. Me
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    I admit to being confused. Nothing computes.
    The USA declares a “State of Emergency ” on the basis of 40 dead. On Twitter I am told 27 of those were from one old people’s home. Even if it wasn’t 40 dead, it is a State of Emergency
    11 dead in the UK and … everything.
    As in Monty Python’s Yorkshiremen “Wen arrr were a lad..we lived in a shoe box..”
    In reality when I was a lad we had flu every year. Old people died regularly of hyperthermia every winter
    I went to bed after a house burning a coalfire all day long and could see my breath.So cold. I made a tent of my blankets and my own breath made a small tent of warmth after 30 minutes. I awoke to ice on the inside of the windows, too hard for my finger nails to scrape off. Icicles one foot long above the window from the guttering. It was worse across the street, private and terraced rented. One cold tap. one small fireplace, no bath, one gas burner for cooking, outside toilet, tin bath hanging outside . Flu every year and smog every day in winter until you choked and coughed until your throat was raw and painful with a pain in your lungs.
    Old people died of cold.Of flu and freezing to death inside their homes. Doctors wrote all kinds of alternatives to flu. But 200 died of the pc flu statistics in 2009 in the UK. Probably over a thousand really.
    So 11 are dead. Most flying in from China. Our media are going wild and we all should panic, hoard food, wash our hands, close down schools, stop off work ,don’t go to football matches and Freemasons get togethers complete with a chessboard underfoot.
    I cannot make sense of this, We died like flies in the 1950s and 1960s.
    Now the USA is …like a tent in my bed with me breathing out large gulps of air to try to get warm so I could sleep.Only to awake after one hour suffocating and sweaty, gasping for air, getting enough strength to put my head out of the tent to breathe and live with sweaty brow, So cold.So..cold.
    Massive mass hysteria has gone right to the top.
    England is but a dream now. What it could have been after we warmed up. Now 11 dead is DOOM.
    Something is wrong now.

    • Fred H
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      The likes of Andy should read that and learn of times past, experienced by many of us older ones – but I doubt he and others would believe it.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Oh come ye great asteroid of DOOOOOOM !!!!

      Mankind is but the latest of a series of fleas on the Earth’s back.

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      wise words well composed

  27. Herd
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    It is the worst way to die…..Uresearch it.

  28. Will in Hampshire
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Getting rather bored of repeating it, but in case any Leavers had failed to notice we have actually left the European Union now, so why would we care about what the ECB does?

    Reply We are still obeying them in the Implementation period and we will have a relationship with them once we have left. Why are you so nervous about hearing what they do?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 17, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Plus what they do clearly affects us even after we have fully left anyway and is interesting.

  29. Lifelogic
    Posted March 17, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The Deputy Chief Medical Officer just now, interviewed by Piers Morgan, said “we followed the Science” and he waffles about “living in a Liberal Democracy”. Yes mate but alas the government followed “the” wrong science with half hearted action and many will now certainly die as a direct result.

    The policy, even weeks ago, should have been delay, delay, delay as far as was practically possible and for the NHS prepare, prepare, prepare with the extra time they then would have had. Even now with the U turn the action taken is insufficient.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 17, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Even on 5th March just 12 days ago, the very foolish Mayor of London was assuring us the comoonity was safe on the tube and wittering about hospital grade cleaners!

      How many people have been infected on the Tube since then? How many of them will need ventilators that the NHS do not have in a day or two’s time?

  • 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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