The elastic EU bail out fund

Will they, wont they? The “issue” from the G20 summit is will Euro 600 or 700 million be available from the bail out fund to buy up second hand Italian and Spanish bonds in the markets, so these two countries can sell new bonds at a higher price?

You might have thought the prior issue was how do they borrow all the money for the bail out fund in the first place? All the Euro states are borrowers for additional spending. You also have to remember that if they spend the bail out fund on buying second hand bonds, the money is not there to bail out banks or states that have run out of money. The bail out funds themselves will partly be provided by Spain and Italy. What curious webs they weave.

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  1. matthu
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Euro 600 or 700 million?

    I think it is several orders of magnitude higher … and all it will succeed in doing is reduce the creditworthiness of all those countries who support the bail out fund.

  2. Mick Anderson
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    It never seems to occur to either senior politicians or bankers that the trigger for the initial collapse was the opaque complexity of the financial world. If the banking had been kept simple, there might not even have needed to be such a dramatic crisis.

    In the same way that their cure for too much debt is to borrow more, the preferred solution for a complicated financial situaton is to weave a more involved web.

    They never learn, do we? (ref. Ronnie Barker as Josh the builder)

    • Robert K
      Posted June 21, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      “If the banking had been kept simple, there might not even have needed to be such a dramatic crisis”
      Not exactly – complexity is not the problem of the banking business. The problem is that it has a government-backed indemnity against failure. No-one complains about the complexity of the aerospace or pharma industries.

  3. alan jutson
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Only politicians and 5 year olds could think up such a scheme.

    But 0nly politicians will attempt to make it work.

  4. colliemum
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    “Curious web”?

    I’d say it’s more insanity. I’d say it is indicative of those oh-so-clever people at the top (governments, banks, EU) not being able to recall some simple arithmetics. Doesn’t matter by how much one multiplies Zero, the outcome will always be Zero – and no amount of spin and obfuscation, no amount of high-powered ‘summits’ will ever change that.

    • Sebastian Weetabix
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      There is certainly some insanity at work when the Italians have to borrow on the market at 6% so they can lend to the Spanish at 3%, in order to help Spanish banks survive so they can in turn borrow from the ECB at 1% so they can buy Spanish government bonds that yield 7%.

      Why doesn’t the ECB just hoover up peripheral bonds directly to drive the price of borrowing down? In the final analysis they will have to print in order for the Euro to survive, so they might as well get on with it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 21, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        We don’t know the real reasons why the ECB starts hoovering up bonds which are little better than junk, then stops doing it and adamantly refuses to do any more of it, but then does some more of it after all … it can’t really be legal constraints, there have to be other reasons.

  5. lifelogic
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Lots of pointless activity, PR spinners, fees and commissions as usual from all this merry go round racket. Does anyone even think these systems are completely honest and legal even I wonder?

    I think we need real a war on pointless jobs everywhere. Many, perhaps 50%, in the state sector and many in it private sector too doing pointless jobs (forced on them by absurd laws, structures, green energy nonsense and other regulations). It must be at least half the legal profession and about 75% of the wealth management industry (deleted limited access site I could not read-ed)

    Much of the bogus renewable industry and the tax avoidance industry (needed due to the absurdly complex tax system and high taxes), the health and safety and HR consultancy areas too.

    All helped by government separating people from their money and investments with tax breaks like pensions and isas and similar convoluted tax structures.

    Release them all to do something productive, there are millions of people doing little of any use sort out the regulations, simplify and reduce tax rates and release them all into productive work. Put the people back in contact with their own money.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      And of course the vast propaganda industry at all levels of government and even in the NHS, education, Universities, the services and many more areas.

      Things that claim for example that “people earn a lot more over a lifetime by going to University” confusing cause and effect as usual. These are historic figures and also they probably earn more because they are just brighter (which is why they might well have gone to University). Outside certain (legally rather over protected) professions I suspect the £50K+ loss of three years earnings is not worth it for most people in money terms – especially having recently looked through some absurd university prospectuses.

      You might find a lovely or rich wife or husband there though I suppose.

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 20, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Or even lovely and rich.

        • zorro
          Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          Rich would be just fine…. 🙂


    • lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      I see that David Cameron has described comedian Jimmy Carr’s tax arrangements as ‘morally wrong’ and ‘very dodgy’ well who knows, surely that is between him and HMRC. After all Cameron is in charge of the tax rules and HMRC can take action if they feel they have been broken.

      I wonder what Cameron thinks of the tax free pay off for Ministers who “resign”. I see it was reported, by the BBC, that Chris Huhne took a £17,000 tax free pay off. Is this morally wrong given that he supposedly resigned over his own difficulties, what does Clegg think too?

      Surely payment if any should logically be in the other direction to compensate the tax payers.

      • zorro
        Posted June 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        Thank God Cameron and his family would never descend to such base ‘tax evasion’……oh wait…..



        • zorro
          Posted June 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          Of course, if he gave all the money from his inheritance back at the appropriate tax rate or to charity, I would withdraw that but until he does, I won’t


          • lifelogic
            Posted June 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            It is reported that the cabinet is worth £70M with the wealthier ones having about £10M so they are at least comfortable if not rich. It would be surprising if many of them and their families had not done a fair bit of tax or estate planning here and there.

            It is a shame nearly all seems to be inherited wealth, perhaps had they had to earn it for themselves we might be rather better governed.

      • Cliff. Wokingham.
        Posted June 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I watched the state’s broadcaster gleefully reporting this and the pay levels of senior staff. I wonder what the state’s broadcaster and the rest of the authoritarian socialists/communists in our governments in both Westminster and Brussels feel the national maximum wage should be and what level of tax those that have made a sucess of their lives should pay?

        All of this rhetoric about not paying more tax then you need to, reducing top rates of pay and of course now, the levels of doctor’s pensions, is designed to appeal to the public’s sense of envy……Boo hoo, they’ve got something I haven’t got therefore they shouldn’t have it, rather than the true Conservative idea of, if I work hard I too can have it.

        I would point out that a would be doctor will leave university in considerable debt thanks to six years of fees and living costs, when the state’s broadcaster, egged on by government reps, bang on about the level of pension a highly skilled doctor would enjoy, did they take these extra costs into consideration?
        All professionals must be well paid because they have a very much needed skill; that is the whole basis of a market economy; supply and demand. The only way to bring down those high pay levels, is to produce more doctors/other professionals to flood the market or to do what has been done in the unskilled jobs market; import cheap labour from other countries.

        I always smile when the state broadcaster speaks about public outrage; what they really mean is BBC/socialist’s outrage. I have never ever worried about what others earn, only what I earned and how I could have earned more.

      • zorro
        Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        Hahaha……..Cameron whilst having a break from playing “Fruit Ninja” in Los Cabos reads a story about Jimmy Carr on his iPad and decides to create some PR spin and now gives the press licence for open season on any Tory’s tax affairs…..Sorry, John but you’ve got to laugh at that…..


        • zorro
          Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

          It probably was discussed at one of his daily tactical meetings with Mr Morally Repugnant……


          • zorro
            Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            BBC News – I see that Cameron still thinks the low interest rates in the Uk are because of his successful economic policies – utterly delusional.


    • lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      The free book I referred to was “Monkey with a Pin” regarding the financial services and investment industry. Well worth reading or listening to, I think. Nothing untowards in it at all. Even recommended by the BBC, radio 4’s moneybox programme.

  6. Sue
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    All the more reason to disconnect us from this insanity. Surely us Britons cannot be seen to be part of this lunacy? We would never have advocated this sort of idiocy in the past, why now?

  7. zorro
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I see that these jokers are starting the Shakespeare season early with ‘Comedy of Errors’…..Good to see that the German Supreme Court has told them where to get off with regards to ESM.


  8. English Pensioner
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    As no one in their right mind outside the Euro Zone (except possibly Osborne) will lend them money, where is it all coming from?
    The whole thing sounds to me like a huge Ponzi scheme with the same money being moved between countries as the situation demands.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Do you think Osborne is “in his right mind” then?

      It all sounds a bit like the Lloyds insurance market just before its huge problems which grabbed all the names’s assets and houses – with everyone underwriting everyone else again and again and earning commissions with each new bit of pointless paper.

      • Duyfken
        Posted June 20, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it does seem much akin to the LMX spiral (not just Lloyd’s). In that the liabilities were inflated to fictional levels in the circular placement and acceptance of reinsurances (cf loans begetting more loans from the incestuous Eurozone circle), the total premiums were also artificially inflated (cf interest yields), and the only hard cash in the system was the brokerage, this effectively siphoning away most of what little original premium income had entered at the bottom of the spiral. In this Euro scam, there must be somebody making money from it – follow the money!

        • uanime5
          Posted June 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          Well it can’t be the banks because they made huge amounts of money by converting European currencies, such as converting franks into deutschmarks. A revenue stream that was greatly reduced when the euro was created.

  9. zorro
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Will ‘cast elastic’ Cameron find some roundabout way to contribute to this fund in what he considers to be the national interest…..


    • lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      I am sure Cast Elastic will be working on it with Mr Morally Repugnant and how to do it without consulting parliament or the people.

      How are the “profits” going on the other PIGIS “investments” that Mr Darling helped then arrange – could they update us please how much lost per family so far?

  10. Liz
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    It’s a bit like those people who get a credit card, spend to the limit then get another one and do the same, over and over again. Eventually reality catches up with them as they drown in debt. The same will happen to the Eurozone eventually however hard they try to put off the evil day.

  11. Robert K
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Much of this is to do with the democratic deficit inherent in the EU.
    For example, recent comments from Jose Manuel Barosso show that he believes Europe’s difficulties are rooted in the US financial crash – much as Gordon Brown did. The difference is that the public had a chance to boot out the delusional Mr Brown at the last election. There is no such mechanism to get rid of the delusional Mr Barosso, if that is what Europe’s electorate wants.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      There can surely be little doubt that Europe’s electorate would want to boot out Mr Barosso.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      The sub-prime mortgage crash was a major cause of the current problems because caused investors to lose billions and destroyed the mortgage backed security market. This lead to banks suffering heavy losses.

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        It may not have helped but the problem was tying all the various speed economies of the EURO countries together in one slowly tightening noose and allowing them to borrow and waste so much money they could never pay back.

      • Cliff. Wokingham.
        Posted June 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps it was just a bolt of reality which finally woke people up to the stupidity of socialism and its crazy economic ideas that had infested so much of our planet.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          The sub-prime crisis was caused by the greed of capitalism, not socialism. This is what happens when you try to turn bad loans into good loans in order to make as much money as possible.

          • Cliff. Wokingham
            Posted June 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            I think you’ll find it was because a Socialist leaning president wanted things to be fair and equal and made financial institutions approve politically motivated loans to those that should not have had them approve. To some extent, the same happened here and across the EUSSR.

            In life there are winners and losers, rich and poor, healthy and sick, tall and short etc……Socialists try to distort the natural order of things and when they do, it leads to the types of problems we now see.

            What do you feel should be the national maximum wage and how much wealth should one person be able to have? When you answer these two questions perhaps you could say what will motivate people to do better if the state, egged on by the BBc and those like you, restrict ambition and clip the wings of success? Once society is forced into something like the old USSR and everyone is equal, how will the state fund an ever increasing state?

  12. RB
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I am so stupid. I see that now.

    What I should have done 20 odd years ago is move to France in my early 20s and become a farmer. I would never have had to worry about money again.

  13. PayDirt
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Why borrow when you can print the stuff. That’s what Central Bank is for, all it takes is for all Euro countries to agree then follow in the footsteps of George’s BoE and US Federal Bank and begin to pay off debt with funny money. Money is funny, no doubt about it, better off with holding other assets these days.

  14. Shade
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    “buy up second hand Italian and Spanish bonds in the markets, so these two countries can sell new bonds at a higher price”

    John, please elaborate. How does the purchase of existing bonds from their current holders help the Spanish or Italian government to sell bonds in future? Or does the new plan effectively mean that the EU will always underwrite any future bonds issued by those highly indebted governments? If that is the idea, then I can see that such bonds could be issued at lower interest rates – but wouldn’t that be akin to the joint liability Eurobond idea that Merkel is so understandably against?

    If that is not the idea, and new bonds would not be “under-written”, why would the rescued existing holders want to put their money back at risk, except at a high premium?

    Reply: The idea is to buy them in a way which drives the price up, so enabling – they hope – the Spanish and Italian states to sell more of these things at the higher prices. The EU authorities are not allowed simply to lend the money direct to the Spanish or Italian state, so they have to do it in this roundabout way.

    • Bob
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      “…they have to do it in this roundabout way…”

      Couldn’t they lend the money to K2, and then K2 lends it to the PIGIS.

      Seems to work for British comedians, so maybe the Euro comedians should give it a whizz. After all, it’s only money – and it’s not even their money.

    • Michel d'Anjou
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      This practice is “creating a false market in securities” and is a criminal offence other than for governments (of course). While yields may decline so may the number of willing buyers. Eventually investors will be complelled to buy dubious debt (for those with a choice will invest elsewhere); European pension plans and insurance products will be the targets of governments and we we suffer accordingly.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Clearly a mad scheme.

  15. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    It’s called a Ponzi scheme. Just a means of kicking the bedpan down the road.

  16. Atlas
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I noticed that Barroso did not mention France and Germany breaking (with impunity) the Eurozone deficit rules in his list of ‘baddies’.

    Just where is all this money for the bail out fund to come from???

  17. libertarian
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    The continued bailing out of failed Eurozone countries has now become a scam of epic proportions. Not having a single leader or senior front bench person of our 3 major political parties being prepared to stand up and point out that Emperor Barroso is in fact naked also informs us of the massive political failure we are enduring too.

  18. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Forget all that – how much are we expected to cough up?

    PS was the fund 600 million or 600 billion?
    It does actually matter quite a lot actually. The entire tax “take” of the UK is, I believe somewhere in the region of 750 billion…….

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      £750 Billion but probably reducing each year with the current tax borrow and waste socialist in power.

  19. Vanessa
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    You only have to watch Nigel Farage in the EU parliament to see what an utter shambles these idiots are presiding over.
    Is there anybody there???? When will anyone with a brain realise this cannot go on and get Britain out of this crazy club. We do not belong.

  20. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile back here in the UK, King wanted to print another £50 billion last month but was outvoted by 5-4. Next month no doubt he will get his way and probably go for £75 billion to show them who is the boss. If all this phoney money is the answer to our problems why not print another £1 trillion? Surely the sky’s the limit? Furthermore, there is nothing Parliament can do about it should the thought ever cross the minds of our neutralised MPs.

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    There could be a clever dodge around the problem that the EFSF doesn’t actually have much money to buy Italian and Spanish government bonds, and that’s not to pay for them with money but with EFSF bonds.

    As I understand the last Greek bailout involved the EFSF providing most of the “aid” in the form of bonds rather than money.

    So for example the Spanish government would sell its IOUs, bonds, to private investors, probably in the main Spanish banks, and the private investors would then exchange those Spanish government IOUs for EFSF IOUs, and the private investors could go to the ECB and use those EFSF IOUs as collateral to borrow euros, the ECB’s IOUs.

    If all went well, in the end the Spanish government would pay out on its IOUs held by the EFSF, which could then pay out on its IOUs held by the Spanish banks, which could then repay the ECB the euros they borrowed.

    On the other hand if all did not go well then the Spanish government would not be able to pay out in full on its IOUs held by the EFSF, and then the governments of other eurozone states would have to make up the shortfall so that the EFSF could pay out in full on its IOUs held by the Spanish banks so that they could repay the ECB, which would no doubt repeat the claim that its statute does not allow it to take any losses.

    Given that some of the distressed eurozone governments have already been taken off the list of guarantors for EFSF bonds, while others if left on the list might not be able to pay their share if it all went wrong, it could end up being quite expensive for taxpayers in the countries left standing.

  22. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I still reckon that turning the Euro in to a parallel currency (think hard ecu) is the way to go, with evrything floating of course. In other words revive the Drachma alongside the Euro so that within reason people get to use what they want. Anything new (such as next month’s salaries) gets paid in Drachmas but contracts in Euros stay in Euros. Minimum compulsion. This may not be perfect but rather than carrying on piling quadrillions of debt that nobody really wants to lend end on end as now, surely this could at least be discussed. As I keep saying I have both a $ and a £ key on my PC and I suspect that more modern keyboards have a Euro as well.

    What’s not to like?

    • Martyn
      Posted June 21, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Something like you suggest already exists, though I haven’t heard anything about since since leaving the RAF years ago, called the “NATO Accounting Unit” or NAU. It is a notional currency which forms the basis for estimates and funding of common funded NATO infrastructure projects, O&M and manpower costs. The value of one unit is established periodically by NATO vis-a-vis national currencies to delineate the cost share percentages that each of 13 nations must put into the NATO kitty. The NAU is a fixed unit of account for converting Euros (the NATO currency) to a monetary value and held in what amounts to a common bank. Though I doubt one could find out where that is or what it is called!

      My keyboard, as do most others in Europe I suspect, has € (ctrl, alt,4) on the numeral 4 key below the $ sign….

    • PayDirt
      Posted June 21, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      This is much too simple and common-sense for politician’s and their advisor economists to grasp. The main problem of course is the Ruling Class has too much to lose if such ideas take hold. The Revolution’s coming and it won’t be pretty.

  23. Acorn
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    I have had this wizard idea, it’s a cracker. We choose something that is in relative short supply; something that they only make a couple of thousand tonnes of each year; something that there is only about 140,000 tonnes of, above ground, on the whole planet. We will call it Gold and we will use it as a currency standard.

    All the current fiat money units in use by circa two hundred or so nations, will have their currency pegged to so much mass of Gold. Every couple of months, a global central bank; let’s call it the Bank for International Settlement, BIS for short, adjusts the pegs to account for the likes of Greece and Germany for instance.

    Just think, no more investment / casino banking industry. No more CDO; CDS; MBS; naked shorts etc, etc, etc,. I make the exchange rate at the moment, about US$ 6,500 to the Troy ounce of pure Gold. Time to start weighing the wife’s jewellery, but don’t touch my Rolex.

  24. Javelin
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Javelin | June 21 10:07am | Permalink
    | Options
    I’m going to state the obvious again. Germany paying debt for the rest of Europe is a DIRECT PROXY for reparations for WW2.

    The EZ was set up to prevent another war in Europe. Germany started the last TWO wars – thus the EZ was set up directly because of German aggression.

    The current (anti German -ed) rhetoric of the PIIGS constrasts sharply with reality of “Economic Reformists”. Thus we have these schizoid PIIGS calling Germans (unpleasant names-ed) and asking for handouts. The PIIGS are both angry and fearful. The Germans are confused.

    The pivot point is the issue of German SHAME. The decision point being, will they pay or wont they pay the debt? There are in fact two relevant psychotherapeutic models of shame. One Freudian, the other Gestalt (Fredrick Perls).

    The Freudian model is very much based on the neo-classical oedipal crisis. Whereby the indivual (“self”) is in isolation to the “other”. So the theory goes … paying the money back will help heal the shame. This sounds intuitive, but the model is 40 years out of date. It is very much a Cartesian is nature. It fails in individual therapy and it will fail in international relations.

    Gestalt psychotherapy, was founded by the German Fredrick Perls and is based on Husserls Phenomology. It is grounded in the human psyche being created between self and with other. The self is not in isolation (like Freud), but is defined in contact with the other. Without the other there is no self.

    If you need proof this is the basis of human psyche then look up “mirror neurons intersubjectivty Stern” on google. Deep in humans brains they share the same neurological representations of emotions of self and other – the brain the distinguishes self from other. Simply put humans learn to seperate self from other based on interpersonal development and empathy with care givers. When this development process breaks down so does the psyche. If you read social/developmental psychologists like Stern – who is bang up to date and whose theories accurately reflect the latest neurological research on brain scans – and the background philosophy – you will find this psychology can be applied in its various forms to people, groups and nation states .

    Shame from a Gestalt point of view is when the self does not receive support from the other – for example when the self is embarassed or humiliated. Shame creates a “rupture” in the self-other boundary. Bear with me. Healing of shame from the Gestalt point of view is by getting support from the other. It does not have to be the person who originally created the shame. The problem is that is not happening. There is nobody out there helping the German shame. The Germans need to be self supporting to be healed. Nation states can change – they do not need external support. They can become self-supporting of their own volition.

    What is happening is the PIIGS are RE-SHAMING Germany by asking for money. They are creating more shame. Asking for the Germans to pay the money is creating more hurt in the Germans – they are unaware of this process and to protect themself from the hurt and shame by resisting paying the money. If they did pay the money – by force – this would re-shame, it would confirm their shame, the Germans would resent the PIIGS and destroy the EZ to prevent their hurt again.

    So what is to be done. Psychologically the only way forward for the Germans is to leave the EZ. Not only will this prevent the hurt and prevent the re-shaming it will allow the Germans to be self-supporting once again.

    In summary, the EZ has been a reaction to WWI and WWII – it is a psychic construct designed to contain the German psyche. Now the EZ has a neurotic state. The Germans must decide whether they are self-supporting and mature enough to leave the EZ or whether they are to re-submit them selves to the asylum for further treatment.

  25. Chris
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Letter in D Tel today by Christina Speight poses a simple question on this issue of where the money is coming from:

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    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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