Monday, January 7, 2008

The buck passing has already begun

How Britain's 10-year boom is turning into Brown's bust

"I imagine we’ll see a lot of finger-pointing this year – the Bank of England has already taken the flack for Northern Rock. Now poor Americans, careless bankers and bloated City fat cats will be blamed for starting the credit crunch, and Britain will be told that it’s up to Big Gordon to clean up the mess. It’s a classic attempt to erase history and start with a clean page – Stalin himself would be proud. But Mr Brown won’t be able to find a clean page that easily – he’s spilled far too much red ink for that…"

Posted by mary @ 10:38 AM (762 views)
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5 thoughts on “The buck passing has already begun

  • He cannot dodge the silver bullet.

    Gordon Brown is about to become the Steve McClaren of British Politics

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  • David Smith's Sub Prime. . . says:

    I like this. When talking about having to act decisively in 2008:

    “…It’s a clever move, an attempt to wipe the slate clean, as though the previous ten and a half years or so of his Chancellorship had nothing to do with the state the economy’s in now….”

    Mmmmmm now what was he doing in the last 10.5 years? Selling gold at ultra low values, spending the ‘windfall tax’ on what? Spending the “pension plunder proceeds”, on what? encouraging the GB electorate to go 1.4 trillion into debt, for what? spending 36 billion of the 40 billion public expenditure the first 8 months of 2007, for what (oh its not overspending in that economic cycle though I forgot)?

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  • I see MoneyWeek has taken the opportunity to have a dig at the bloated and profligate public sector.
    In fact there’s not much public sector left anymore outside the civil service because everything has been sold off to raise a quick buck. Now we have to pay for it, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

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  • Huge public sector pay rises? Really? Were those for the key workers who can’t afford to buy a house anywhere?
    I’ve noticed that many financial “experts” like to attack the public sector, as though it is the mostly modest salaries which are responsible for the imbalances in the economy. How about the huge private sector pay rises, favourable tax regime for private equity, city bonuses for those who manage our index-underperforming funds so well. etc.

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  • Yes, re: “splurging on huge public sector pay rises”, I think the NHS has done quite well for pay-rises in the last few years, in particular I remember the doctors getting big rises (funny how the better paid always seem to also get the biggest rises, eh, MPs!). Did the nurses do OK too? How much did the firemen get in the end?

    BUT your bog-standard public sector employees – binmen, dinner ladies, council office-workers, social workers, those working on the roads, the people in the local tax-offices and Jobcentres, etc, etc – have been getting about 2-3% per year for ages now (the last deal agreed for workers covered by Unison, GMB, etc, was for 2.45% for 2007 and the previous deal was 6% but spread over 3 years, starting in April 2004, so I make that 2% per year).

    The money has gone into pay rises in certain specific sectors, and gone into increasing the number of public sector workers overall (along with training loads of extra doctors that we now don’t have jobs for – how messed up is that!), not into pay-rises in general – you got that one wrong Mr Stepek (who I think is usually very good and accurate in what he says).

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