Friday, 23 January 2009

Throwing Good Money After Bad

The government has announced that it is to bail out the banks with a further hand out of billions of pounds of taxpayer’s money. Clearly, the original bail out has failed to save the financial institutions or to have any positive effect on the wider economy, as the banks are still not lending, and unemployment is rising.

New Labour has an allergic reaction to any talk of nationalising the banks and they are desperately trying to find some way of shoring up the status quo, when it is obvious to anyone who thinks about it for five minutes, that the status quo has failed on a massive scale. Witness the reluctance to nationalise Northern Rock and when they eventually did, they refused to lend to the public, whilst complaining that the other banks were doing just that.

The British banks are bankrupt and all the government can think of doing, is to try and somehow return to the situation that caused this whole debacle. There is a run on the pound because international investors realise that this is the case and are pulling all of their money out of the UK. Truly, the inmates have taken over the asylum.

Of course, all of this money that is being poured into the banks has only one aim, to attempt to save the share price of these institutions, which have been in freefall in recent weeks. You could buy any one of them for tuppence tomorrow, so why don’t the government do exactly that instead of wasting all of our money so recklessly? Nationalise them without any compensation payments to shareholders, because their shares are less than worthless.

Then, the government can raise funds by issuing bonds, which would be an attractive investment in these dark days, and start lending to businesses and mortgage payers again and begin to get the economy kick started, alongside investing in public works like railways and renewable energy and energy conservation schemes.

These are the times for bold and radical solutions to the economic crisis, but such has become the consensus of thinking amongst Westminster politicians that this will probably only happen in a month of Sundays.

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