Daily Archives: October 13, 2008

The prime minister is determined to portray the US as an unrivalled basket case and has ceaselessly blamed the problems in the UK economy on America.

He loves to contrast the US housing bubble with that of the UK. (Regular readers of this blog will remember the nonsense claim that Britain has no subprime lending).   Read more

I used to know Stephen Hester reasonably well. He is articulate, driven, sharp, polished, intellectual, softly-spoken, strategically-minded and determined.

But how did British Land perform under his stewardship from late 2004 to late 2008? Read more

We’ve been struggling to name this historic month. Labels like credit crunch, banking crisis, big freeze, market mayhem and meltdown monday just don’t do justice to what has happened. And we have already had far too many ‘black’ days of the week. We need a better name, capturing both the market chaos and the unprecedented state intervention this month. The best suggestion I’ve heard so far is “Red October” (take a bow Tom Cairns). Do any of you have a better idea?

Difficult times call for cool heads. Panic-mongering would be very dangerous from anyone in an official position right now. With that in mind, I am starting a list of contendors for the prize of “most level-headed commentary on the current crisis”.

Starting with: Read more

Part of the deal today to inject £40bn into the biggest banks is that they will be expected to return to their 2007 lending levels in return for state support. The only problem is: that was the height of the bubble.

Does the government seriously want to go back to the “glory days” of self-certified mortgages (liar loans), crazy buy-to-let deals on unbuilt properties and eight-times salary mortgages? Surely not. This would store up new potential losses for bank investors, which now include taxpayers. Read more