Yes, Lloyds Banking Group results are out today. What a turnaround they are, moving to a £1.6 billion profit at the half year. How have they done it? In short in two ways, firstly writing back some of the losses on bad debt and secondly increasing the margin on their key mortgage, banking and insurance products - plus of course a healthy slug of firing thousands of workers!
Given the terrible position LLoyds was in when it was forced to swallow HBOS whole in 2008 - a meal with enough fatal poison for anyone, this is a good news story.
Even better the shareprice of Lloyds is up to 72p this morning, a nice 15% ahead of where the Government bought in. Now is the time to start the process of getting rid of this overhang. the shareprice is not going any further north whilst everyone knows the biggest shareholder wants out. This is as good as it gets.
On top of that, next year is not so good, Lloyds has billions in open market refinancing to do which it will get away - but only at a big cost to its operating margin. This year is still one pumped by stimulants - next year won't be.
The sensible option for the Government is to get on with the disposal to a willing buyer now, whilst the sun is shining. The markets are unpredictable as is the economic environment. I have little hope though that Government is nimble enough for the task at hand.