Monday, 22 September 2008

Those Whom The Gods Would Destroy ...


Always a difficult decision, how to pitch the Party Conference speech, but evidently Brown has decided to go for belly-laughs:

"Brown plans crackdown on world markets - PM wants more regulation in US and Asia"



Thus thunders
the Grauniad front page obligingly today, but no-one, including its own leader-writer ("the truth is that Labour indulged the City of London ...") believes a word.
Like the detonations of huge landmines in WW1 that sounded across the Channel, eruptions of laughter can be heard from over the sea: for the past decade lax British banking regulation has been systematically undercutting the stricter US and European regimes, in order - successfully - to lure business away from Chicago, New York and Frankfurt. All under the presiding genius of 'Golden' Brown.

And eruptions of frank disbelief from Robert Peston - yes, oh-so-helpful Robert Peston, he of the extraordinary running commentary on the HBOS takeover last week. A bit foolish to piss this man off, one might think: no-one commands more air-time right now, or evinces more commentator-cred.

But, as we are perennially forced to ask, where in all this is the Boy Osborne ? Sniping a little from the sidelines perhaps, but hardly a magisterial presence in the public debate. Perhaps his judgement is that silence is the right option when so many others are clamouring to point out the emperor's unappealing nakedness. It is fortunate for the Tories that their poll lead was well-cemented before all this kicked off in earnest. Nothing they are doing right now is building confidence in their alternative offering.

In the meantime we must watch our Cnut of a PM as he instructs farway bankers to mend their ways. He has pitched his throne close to the water's edge: but this is not the tide, it is a tsunami, and he will surely be swept away.

ND

14 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Might the Cameroon silence be because they don't have a f***ing clue either?

Or because the only sensible suggestion, to wait until the bottom of the housing market and introduce Land Value Tax to prevent future bubbles (while allowing low interest rates) is politically unacceptable to Tory NIMBYs, home-owners and land-owners?

Ed said...

I know you aren't a fan of Osborne (perhaps he is too much of the Letwin mould for you?) but he was really good last week on Newsnight. He offered a forward-looking policy and was light on the "I told you so" attacks which made him appear quite statesmanlike.

Hairy Arsed Bloke said...

Does anyone believe that el Gordo the Snot Goblin King’s pledge to ‘Clean up the City’ is anymore than a sop to his own party faithful? If he actually tried to do anything the City would have him out of office before the close of business. Maybe the real rocking horse photos are going to see the light of day.

Nick Drew said...

Mark , it hurts to say so but I do indeed wonder

BE - I saw him too (the one where Paxo was screaming at him for not taking personal responsibility for the whole of the capitalist system !) and I agree he kept his cool commendably in the face of this preposterous attack. He also defended short selling in the appropriate way (by saying that it's only wrong when used for market-abusive purposes); and sensibly acknowledged that some things needed changing.

And it must be said his resolute calm eventually deflated Paxo a bit, which is OK as far as it goes & leaves a fair impression.

But at the same time I didn't hear anything I would call a forward-looking policy of any substance - what did you have in mind ?

Nick Drew said...

a sop to his own party faithful - HAB - you are clearly right, and his endless trimming on details to pander to whichever audience is currently in front of him is pretty comical

Bill Quango MP said...

Watching the Labour confrence all day today. {My eyes, my eyes , my beautiful eyes!}
Many many supporters furiously demanding tax on bonuses.

Chancellor up now...
New bill in two weeks time apparently

Mark Wadsworth said...

BE, I find Ozzy thoroughly likeable in a fresh-faced schoolboy sort of way (and EU-philia aside, I like a lot of what Letwin says), but Ozzy and Cam genuinely don't have a clue about economics.

I'm afraid I didn't see him on Newsnight so I can't comment. Perhaps you can elucidate as to what his 'forward looking policy' is?

That said, to be honest, sod it. I'm old and rich and boring and from a personal point of view, yet another house price bubble under the Tories will be a real money spinner for me. I am calmly resigned to my fate of becoming ever wealthier at the expense of the little guys and the wider economy.

Ed said...

He said that he wanted to introduce variable reserve requirements so that in an upswing the banks would have to keep more in reserve. Fairly radical I would say.

Anonymous said...

Well said Mark.Not rich but two sayings spring to mind, Debt free is Glee and Cash is King.

I will get through this as well if i live long enough!!

Anonymous said...

"Many many supporters furiously demanding tax on bonuses." Which reminds us that ordinary workers, who also get bonuses, play no part in New Labour. I suppose these "supporters" are all outreach organisers and suchlike dross?

Nick Drew said...

BE - it is, but then again Vince Cable got to this one first ! it has been LibDem policy since March

which is sort of my point: Cable makes the weather in these debates, Osborne (aside from his brief moment of IHT glory) just doesn't

(BTW, I'm not at all sure counter-cyclical capital adequacy is a good idea anyway ...)

Ed said...

Right, better vote LD at the next election then!

Clegg for PM!

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