Friday, January 23, 2009

Lies, damned lies and Brown

Fraser Nelson over at the Speccie has a very good " fisking" of the Evan Davis's interview with Brown this morning.
I can no longer actually watch or listen to Brown as I start throwing things at the TV/radio, and Mrs. Lear objects. Mind you, it may be she would rather I seethe and go beserk so I drop dead with apoplectic rage. Throwing things tends to relieve the pressure...
I did manage to read it, largely by skipping Brown's lies, half truths and non-answers, but the thing that struck me most was the point that in the UK, the real problem lies with the over lending of eg 125% of value. As Fraser says, how many Canadian and Spanish Banks have gone bust?Answer: none. But then, I think I'm right in saying that in Spain there is a statutary maximum of 70% loan to value and 75% in Canada. Look at Nationwide - I think the most its ever done is 85% - and funded mostly with deposits. All the Bank of England had to do ( sorry, it doesn't control this anymore) ...all whoever now has responsibility for Bank oversight ( er... er...) had to do was say no mortgages over 100% . Or 90% or whatever. But they didn't, because Brown and the Treasury loved the illusory profits which they could tax and the Stamp duty - which was all borrowed and hence yet another disaster waiting to happen - which it now has.
Don't forget Spain has building companies crashing all around, but not their banks - they never lent too much on an individual property.
Unless I'm much mistaken, the £2.5billion the Royal Bank lost on some random Russian was not even secured against anything - at least not validly - and certainly whatever it was wasn't worth north of £3.5billion. In fact, it was worth zilch.
Middle Ms Lear says that people are less trusting of doing business with big companies, because they think they might fail, whereas the small, family owned or run business has an extremely good motive for keeping going - if it doesn't, the family doesn't eat.
Perhaps its time to start a small, deposits only bank.. I even have a name for it. We could call it a Savings Bank.
I know... The Trustee Savings Bank.....

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