Friday, 21 January 2011

Ed 'second choice' Balls and the failure of Northern Rock

I think that this Telegraph article from December 2007 may prove of interest to anyone who is tempted to believe the spin that Ed Balls is some sort of economics and political genius (my emphasis):
'The Northern Rock crisis is threatening to cost every taxpayer up to £1,800, as it emerged Gordon Brown was warned a year ago that "urgent action" was needed to prevent a banking meltdown.

In a further development, the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, revealed that the Prime Minister had been informed that Britain was uniquely vulnerable to a run on a bank.

Mr King told MPs that Ed Balls, one of Mr Brown's closest colleagues, was part of a top-level Whitehall group warned last year that "urgent action" was needed to deal with the potential future collapse of a retail bank.

Mr Brown, the then Chancellor, was copied in to minutes of the meeting in November 2006 but the Government failed to introduce new safeguards before the Northern Rock crisis erupted in the summer.

Britain was the only major developed economy not to have the necessary safeguards in place, according to Mr King.

MPs on the Treasury select committee, which is investigating the crisis, last night demanded the Government release the minutes of the crucial meeting to reveal the full extent of the missed warning.'
In fact the whole extract is crucial in more than one way as it shows first that Ed 'second choice' Balls and Gordon Brown ignored the calls for 'urgent action' on the possible collapse of a retail bank and second that after Gordon Brown and Ed 'second choice' Balls changed the UK banking regulatory structure 'Britain was the only major developed economy not to have the necessary safeguards in place'.

Ed 'second choice' Balls has a background of failure and that should not be forgotten.

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