Sunday, November 16, 2008

Osborne's overture or outlandish outré...

As Gordon Brown hails a 'world economy deal' [sic], the one in which the only 'global fiscal stimulus' is added in a caveat saying that countries should implement such measures as appropriate to their domestic circumstances; as the Wall Street Journal put it:

"...But the group, which met for less than six hours in the National Building Museum, left most of the tough decisions to future meetings."

[this image springs to my mind], the UK's Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has reacted against criticism of his warning of a collapse of sterling by saying that it's his job to tell the public the truth about the economy. He's right; he said that Gordon Brown was merely trying to "max out the nation's credit card" which to me is exactly the right way to describe irresponsible borrowing. He added:

"I am telling the public the truth and that is the job of elected politicians, particularly opposition politicians, in difficult times."

[Link]

Amusingly but predictably the Government fell upon these comments as dangerous and regretful but let's not forget that Sterling is plummeting "on the back of Brown's debt-fuelled economy"; in fact only yesterday Fraser Nelson points out in the same Coffee House in the Spectator that:
"There has never been a greater need for full-blooded, disrespectful, combative, full-on scrutiny of what he [Brown] says." ...and today in The Guardian Andrew Rawnsley reminds us that:

"it is astonishing to behold Gordon Brown tearing up all the rules by which he spent more than a decade swearing"...

"The man who once swore that he would stick to his rules on borrowing, come sunshine or showers, now declares that the never-never is the new prudence."

And he tells it how it is re George Osborne: "[his] critics are only thinking eight days ahead. He is trying to see 18 months ahead. That makes the Shadow Chancellor smarter than those Tories who want to toss him overboard" This is what I referred to as Osborne's overture...the start of something big?...or the exact opposite...(as the oft quoted adage from Harold Wilson goes - a week is a long time in politics! Appropriately his epitaph reads: Tempus Imperator Rerum)

P.S. How did I miss this!...whilst browsing the WSJ: The Opinion Journal editorial said on Friday: "All of which [re the G20 Circus] makes the meeting a wonderful forum for other national leaders to grab the limelight of statesmanship, real or imagined. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been especially voluble, yesterday suggesting that the world should pass a coordinated fiscal stimulus. "By acting now we can stimulate growth in all our economies," said the PM, without offering many details. "There is a need for urgency."

"In fact, the need is for sensible, reassuring policy, and a global government spending spree financed with higher taxes or more borrowing won't stimulate much of anything save perhaps Mr. Brown's approval ratings."

"Mr. Brown has also been talking up the idea of a new global regulatory body to monitor the world's largest financial institutions. We would have thought the far more urgent task is to assess and correct the mistakes that were made by various national regulators. Or for that matter, to reflect on the ways in which global financial regulators themselves contributed to the current mess."

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4 comments:

Paul said...

Good old Nev! Bad news this week is that Japan has gone into recession, very bad news is that the Euro is now only 1.1 to the pound (good news for you smug bastards in Euroland :-), even worse news is that Gordon Brown really believes he has solved all the worlds problems.

What caught my ear on the news tonight (Tues.18th) is that somebody has said publicly that banks are now starting to discourage customers based on their credit ratings. This is what we have been expecting to happen, whether or not the story has any legs I don't know but it would be very interesting if it did have some truth in it.

Span Ows said...

WE live interesting times Paul! Speaking of Gordon, (apart from me getting even more exasperated by his waffling...and the BBC's lapping it all up!) you posted this comment whilst I was posting on shit :-)

Paul said...

Ah the wonders of synchronicity!

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