Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Britain plays catch up with Vince
Last weekend Lib Dem shadow chancellor Vince Cable was up in the North East. Twice I listened to a call from him to separate banking into safe retail banking guaranteed by the UK government but closely regulated and Investment banks, free to pay large bonuses and take risks but not be bailed out by the government. He has been calling for this since well before I first heard this call at the Lib Dems spring conference and the launch of his acclaimed analysis of the financial crisis, The Storm.
Like his call for nationalisation of Northern Rock, it's been derided as impossible. Now Mervyn King has called for the functions of banks to be split. Apparently the Tories are now saying that it's an idea they are interested in. The government says its impossible. It does annoy me to see billions being poured into a dysfunctional banking system when reforms outlined by Vince almost a year ago would help minimise the chances of it happening again. Vince has been proved right time and time again. I wonder how long it will take the government to change their mind.