Friday, 21 May 2010

That Government Programme in Full: 1. Banking

OK, I'm going to go through these. Some will just be omitted, because I don't know or take much interest in the subject. I will use a simple "blah" for meaningless statements.

  • We will reform the banking system to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis, to promote a competitive economy, to sustain the recovery and to protect and sustain jobs.
No. You won't. You won't change the ways that banks risks are underwritten. You won't do anything to prevent housing bubbles. The only reason that we'll recover is because prices of houses will eventually fall low enough that people will start buying again.

  • We will introduce a banking levy and seek a detailed agreement on implementation.
  • We will bring forward detailed proposals for robust action to tackle unacceptable bonuses in the financial services sector; in developing these proposals, we will ensure they are effective in reducing risk.
The bonuses were about incentives. The incentives were driven by the people running the banks, who are underwritten by the taxpayer and regulated by idiots. And "detailed proposals" are blah.
  • We want the banking system to serve business, not the other way round. We will bring forward detailed proposals to foster diversity in financial services, promote mutuals and create a more competitive banking industry.
This would be most welcome, but as it's "detailed proposals", probably blah.

  • We will develop effective proposals to ensure the flow of credit to viable SMEs. This will include consideration of both a major loan guarantee scheme and the use of net lending targets for the nationalised banks.

Stupid interference by idiot politicians and their appointees in deciding where lending should occur. Bad.

  • We will take steps to reduce systemic risk in the banking system and will establish an independent commission to investigate the complex issue of separating retail and investment banking in a sustainable way; while recognising that this will take time to get right, the commission will be given an initial time frame of one year to report.
Not sure. Actually sounds promising, but I somehow doubt that homeownerists like the Conservative Party will force banks to insure their risk.

  • We will reform the regulatory system to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis. We will bring forward proposals to give the Bank of England control of macro-prudential regulation and oversight of micro-prudential regulation.

More "bring forward proposals" blah.

  • We rule out joining or preparing to join the European Single Currency for the duration of this agreement.


  • We will work with the Bank of England to investigate how the process of including housing costs in the CPI measure of inflation can be accelerated.

Quite right.

  • We will create Britain’s first free national financial advice service, which will be funded in full from a new social responsibility levy on the financial services sector.

Which will be useless. It will be staffed by fakecharity types who wouldn't have a clue about how to decipher financial products.

  • We take white collar crime as seriously as other crime, so we will create a single agency to take on the work of tackling serious economic crime that is currently done by, among others, the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Services Authority and Office of Fair Trading.
If the Conservatives seriously believed this then they would have barred a lot more MPs from standing over the expenses scandal.

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