Gordon Brown

Support the Myners?

Blood on the carpet, soon

Some weird ritual? Some weird ritual?
Gordon Brown, or big clunking fist as he was known in the good old days, seems keen to pick a fight to prevent Sir Fred Goodwin getting his full pension. The suggestion is that this matter could go to law to be resolved. In Brown versus Goodwin it could be Brown wins, or loses and then there is an appeal. Or it could be that common sense prevails and Brown admits defeat now and drops the case. It's probably this latter option that sensible civil servants will be hoping that Brown adopts.

As suggested in another post Brown is so unpopular that it would not be beyond belief that the man in the pub, or outside it having a fag, would support Goodwin. Not for any other reason than spite; Brown has that effect on people! But in a court of law things are done differently, only the evidence matters. And the evidence shows that on behalf of Brown, Lord Myners (see right), agreed to the Goodwin pension. There are always two parties to a contract, it is a joint responsibility and it is binding. Only a fool would think otherwise. So how does Brown and his team think they can win? It's doubtful whether Brown's old neighbours, the Blair's, each with legal training, would have got into this mess. So, should the headlines read 'Brown wins case', there will not be universal celebrations.

The flip side to this is Brown loses the case.

King and country

Bad debt and bad news' management

Mervyn King Mervyn King
What is now more correctly called the financial crisis started out as the credit crisis. But back in the mid part of 2007 we were all feeling our way. As per usual it was the politicians who rose to the occasion first in so far as they saw an opportunity, not least Gordon Brown and his spinners. The crisis was seen as a chance for Brown to show himself to the voters at his best. That did not work out as planned the Brown 'bounce' came and went. Never mind Brown had blazed a trail for others to follow. Sir John McFall, yes another Scot, and the Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee was not shy to follow his Leader.

McFall seems genuine enough, at first, but it soon becomes clear he is also enjoying himself; a man with a mission. This could be dangerous. McFall left school very young, you could in those days; there was no attempt to keep people in school so as to fiddle the unemployment statistics. He also left without any qualifications. Then he 'got going' and, full credit to himself, obtained a Bachelor's degree and then an Open University MBA. So he lifted himself out of obscurity and onto something better. There are suggestions that this is harder to do these days; perhaps a Parliamentary Committee should look into this?

Hedge legislation

More control is better?

The Dublin marchThe Dublin march
For a while Binyam Mohamed, and probably for more than a while, dominates the news. By contrast the decision of the EU to tighten regulation on Hedge Funds is not so well reported, see The Times HERE. Mohamed was held in Guantánamo Bay for over four years and at the speed justice moves it may be at least that again before the true facts behind this case are revealed. Again by contrast, if the EU have got their position on Hedge Funds wrong, then it could take years to shake off the ill effects of these measures.

Bash a banker is a very popular sport at the moment, it is a team game and, rather like games at school compulsory, our politicians would like us all to participate; obviously they would, for while we are putting the boot into a banker we are not kicking them. But who is a banker? In the real of world of finance there are huge differences between the people you might meet behind the counter at your local bank and Hedge Fund managers. But in the pell-mell rush to be seen doing something, anything, then these finer points can be missed.

It's now well established that the restrictions placed on banks were the reason Hedge Funds were set up, so yes it was done to get around the rules but there was a benefit to the UK.

The 44th President of the USA

Things can only get better?

Man with stick? Man with stick?
It's heart-sink time. I've just heard BBC radio broadcast the idea the Barack Obama (see right) will "hit the ground running". This is awful as it takes one back to the start of Nulabour when Tony Blair began gurning at the nation and also dropped the remark that his Chancellor, Gordon Brown, would to start us off in the right direction by doing this very same thing. The term 'hit the ground running' may indeed be American and comes, so I'm told, from the world of cartoon characters. When I first heard this saying I struggled to understand it, seeing in my mind only a man running along and holding a stick, periodically beating the ground.

"What's the point of that", I thought, unlike Tony Blair, I could not see the merit in it. I imagine Tony delivering this news, eyes almost the size of dinner plates, staring dreamily into the middle distance, his whole body stiffened by a mixture of conviction and zeal, as if to say: "follow me, I'm the anointed one". Well we all know that went pear shaped; Tony took off to do better things, like making lots of money and left Gordon to save the world on his own. But alas Gordon now looks bruised, battered and crumpled like a man who has fallen over his stick one too many times while running, the dream destroyed. I wish Obama well, I say take care and don't rush about, mind that stick.

Going green, going wrong

Post-neoclassical endogenous growth theory, or so they say (see Footnote)

Things can only get better? Things can only get better?
There is a great deal, as one might expect, to read about Baroness Vadera (see right) and her stupid "green shoots" remark, well here is a little more. Vadera is a close confidante of Gordon Brown, indeed he selected her to be an adviser to him on account of her vast intellect. And perhaps that is where it goes wrong. If we go back a long way when Peter Mandelson was working with Gordon Brown to create what we now call Nulabour, the arrival of Tony Blair was secondary. The decision of Mandelson to drop Brown and become a disciple of Blair came after Mandelson's 'conversion', after he saw the light and realised that Blair was the better all round general purpose Messiah, and so more likely to get the Nulabour project off the ground. But originally it was Brown who picked Mandelson. Gaffe-prone Mandelson eventually goes to the EU and, while he is away, Brown selects Vadera, two duds in a row you say. Well indeed, but look who did the picking.

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