Niall Paterson is reporting on Sky News that the Chancellor is considering measures to force banks to "help" business. He may have part nationalised them, but he doesn't seem to realise that if he tries to force banks to do things they believe to be financially unviable, he further reinforces the growing perception by foreign investors that we have an economy which is fundamentally unsound. The priority of all banks now is to convince everyone that the days of financial recklessness are behind them and they now operate on the basis of a policy of sound money. What a pity it is that our government is trying to do the very opposite. And it is something they will pay for in the long term. The mantra "you cannot buck the markets" is still very true, even if the government thinks that command dogma can win the day in the short term. Long term, they will discover something very different. The way he's going, he won't buck the market, he will f*** it.
All of which makes Fraser Nelson's Spectator column this week very relevant. He thinks that Brown may go for a January election on the basis that if he leaves it any longer he may be found out. He also asserts that serious economists now view the London financial markets as "Reykjavik on Thames". Terrifying, if true.