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Gordon Brown’s podcast on the bank bailout

For those interested, you can hear UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, talking about our banking crisis on the new Downing Street podcast service (4 MB
download)
or you can read the transcript.

Here are a few extracts:

"I know you’ll be anxious about events of the last few days and weeks – and
worried about the impact on your own family or business."

You bet.

"In the last few days I’ve been meeting mothers who are worried about
household bills; pensioners anxious about the cost of heating; young people who
want to buy their first homes but just can’t get a mortgage at the right price
and I’ve also talked to small business men and women who look to banks to get
them the cash flow that they need.  I’ve said we’ll do whatever it takes to help people through these tough times
– and that’s what we’re doing."

What about taxes?  Are they going to go up?

"The bottom line is that if we don’t take this action to help stabilise the
banking system, the cost to savers, homeowners and small businesses would be far
higher. The banking system needs cash to function.  Without it, it too would
seize up and break down."

What about taxes?

"The United Kingdom government is leading the world in taking bold and
far-reaching action at home and abroad.  The decision by the UK, US and other
countries to cut interest rates is an important signal that the international
community is prepared to take co-ordinated action."

And what’s this going to cost Gordon?  Are taxes going to go up?

"At all times we are going to ensure taxpayers’ money is protected.  As you
will expect, there will be strings attached, conditions laid down to the support
we give to banks. We will need to be satisfied that the banks are lending to
home owners and businesses, including small businesses.  We will insist on bank
credit lines to small businesses being maintained on a normal commercial
basis."

But what about taxes Mr. Brown?  Everyone wants to know how you’re going to fund this £500 billion … where’s the money coming from?

"You should know that the measures we are taking are not at the expense of
better public services. Our commitment to our investment in schools, hospitals
and to ensuring fairness is as strong as ever – and we are helping elderly
people with their heating bills at this difficult time and helping get the
housing market going again, with special help for people who have mortgages and
we are providing of course £120 tax cut during the course of this year, for
basic rate taxpayers."

So where’s the money coming from?  You just had it sitting in Downing Street doing nothing?

"If you’re a saver, a homeowner, an entrepreneur, a family struggling to get
by – I want you to know that we are doing this for you.  If families are going to have mortgages, if families are going to be able to
access cash, if businesses are able to invest, they need a banking system that
is sound.  That is why we are engaging in this restructuring of the British banking
system and I can assure you that this government will carry on doing whatever is
necessary to take us all through these difficult times."

Excellent. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I admire the actions the Government is taking in trying to deal with a crisis not of their making … but everyone I know is confused about where this money came from, and this podcast does not answer any questions they may have.  It’s just an Alastair Campbell inspired piece of vacuous airtime.

Brookes385_412043a

Courtesy: Brookes

What is interesting, is that after I listened to the podcast my iTunes player went on to play the next track in its playlist which, for some unearthly reason, was bagpipes.

Gordon’s Scottish so that’s good. 

The track was Amazing Grace played by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. 

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was
lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see."

Very appropriate.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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  • Rob

    That is why we are engaging in this restructuring of the British banking system and I can assure you that this government will carry on doing whatever is necessary to take us all through these difficult times.

  • Rob

    That is why we are engaging in this restructuring of the British banking system and I can assure you that this government will carry on doing whatever is necessary to take us all through these difficult times.

  • Thanks Rob
    As I say, “I admire the actions the Government is taking”, but not the lack of detailed explanations.
    Chris