'A global problem which required a global solution', says Gordon Brown, trying to make out that he has been the instigator of the so-called global solution. What he doesn't tell you, of course, is that Britain and America are the only two countries which have been hit in such a devastating way. There's a reason for that. With Brown as chancellor Britain let its finances get out of control and encouraged a debt boom, the like of which we had never seen before. Countries which managed their finances more conservatively have had fewer problems. Any rescue packages they are having to impose are largely due to the collapse in world markets because of what has happened in American and Britain, rather than in their own countries.
The Conservatives must not let Brown off the hook. He set up the current regulatory system and must be held responsible for it. It has failed and he is the man to blame. He was told over and over again the tripartite system was not working, yet took no notice whatsoever. It's all very well to blame bankers for taking short term risks - but the regulatory system which Brown was responsible for not only allowed them to do so but positively encouraged such behaviour. The warnings were there, but Brown ignored them.
There is little doubt that today marks a landmark in Britain's economic and political history.
The long term political consequences are impossible to determine yet. Labour apologists (and to some extent parts of the media) are trying to spin this as the day Gordon Brown discovered his vision for Britain - see Jackie Ashley's (third) volte face in today's Guardian.
What a pity it cost us all £37 billion in the process.