Daily Archives: August 31, 2011

Jim Pickard

With Alistair Darling’s book about to be published, people are already getting excited by his revelations about the depth of tensions between the former chancellor and the Brown/Balls axis. He confirms the old story that Brown tried to sack him, only to be left frustrated.

Here is the Labour Uncut scoop. (Apparently the Sunday Times have paid for the serialisation, so they may be a tad unhappy).

But there is also a very interesting passage where he admits his low regard for Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England. Much of the tension between the two men revolved around King’s warnings that bank bailouts would encourage “moral hazard” and cause a repeat of the banking bubble in the future. Darling’s preoccupation was simply to get through the credit crunch with the financial system intact. Here is the relevant quote:

He is similarly scathing about the governor of the bank of England, Mervyn King, who is lambasted as “amazingly stubborn and exasperating”.

The former chancellor confirms how close the government came to not renewing King for a second term in 2008 – the first time a governor

 Read more

Jim Pickard

Jerry Hayes, the former Tory MP, wrote about Lord Mandelson on the Dale & Co blog yesterday. He observed of Mandelson’s new enterprise: “his consulting company, whose clients also seem to be as invisible as his shadow.”

It would indeed be interesting to know the identity of the clients of Global Counsel, the new advisory firm which Mandelson helped to set up. Yet it appears that there is no obligation on it to do so – despite the former business secretary sitting in the House of Lords, a legislative body.

The register of interests in the Lords says that the former deputy prime minister has these interests:

MANDELSON, Lord

Category 1: Directorships

Director, Willbury Limited (trading entity for public speaking/writing)

Chairman, Global Counsel LLP (strategic advice consultancy)

The code of conduct can meanwhile be found here on the Lords website. Should Global Counsel have to declare its clients?

Apparently not. This is because full disclosure only applies to a] public affairs consultancies Read more

Jim Pickard

I predicted yesterday that it would only be a matter of time before Vince Cable weighed in after the head of the CBI told the FT yesterday that it would be a mistake to carry out bank reforms while Britain is still in the economic doldrums.

In a Times interview, the business secretary has criticised the banks’ “special pleading“. He says that the markets chaos, if anything, proves the need to make banks even stronger – to prevent a future bailout. Read more