Friday, February 27, 2009

Quote of the Day: Gordon Brown

"We set up the Financial Services Authority to, you know before we came into power there was a sort of self regulatory system so you know they more or less regulated themselves. We brought in a statutory regulatory system, supervisory system, but of course we couldn't know exactly what was going on in every individual bank and it's only in the last few days to be honest that what has happened over this pension has come to light."
Gordon Brown on Radio Oxford today.

My flabber is ghasted. And he thinks we will swallow that? IT WAS ON HIS WATCH. HE CREATED THE SYSTEM. IT FAILED.

45 comments:

kinglear said...

They did not " sort of" regulate themselves - the BofE did - and very succesfully too. Go back to 1974/5 and you will see that the Bank then held it all togther MUCH better the present shower.I continually say they know nothing - and certainly not how to negotiate a deal, do due diligence, or, come to that, tell the truth

Corporal Jones said...

There was an element of self regulation of financial services when Brown came into office, under the Financial Services Act 1986.

He replaced that with the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

But banks were not self-regulated under the Financial Services Act. Brown is just talking utter bollocks.

Chris Paul said...

Here we go again. For this to wash Iain you will have to point us all at evidence of Tory-flavour governments all over the world that managed the regulation of the banks in general in such a way that there were no problems.

Iceland perhaps? Tory PM, Tory bank regulation, Tory triumph?

As Cameron said in his Davos address the era of greed and de-regulation ushered in by Margaret Thatcher went too far. With the Tories who are now carping mostly cheering the process on and calling for less not more regulation.

That part of this particular pension that was discretionary and that might be unpacked and rowed back on should be. But c'mon Iain give us a list of all the Tory regimes that have escaped these kind of problems.

George W Bush's crew would of course be the logical place to start. Being the top Tories in the western world. How did they get on? Remind us.

kinglear said...

Corporal Jones - I assume you are shouting " Don't panic!" Round about now might be the time ....

Plato said...

WTF? He has completely lost touch with reality.

Clearly Mandy and Gordon are stoking the Get-Fred campaign for all they can.

Dr Kelly tactics spring to mind.

It's revolting, cowardly and opportunistic. SHAME ON YOU.

Let's hope that the influence of blogland will ensure this is exposed for what it is. Blame-storming.

*off for a good wash*
*and a glass of vino*

Alan Douglas said...

In that Brown quote appear the words "to be honest".

WHAT are they doing there ?

My guess is, stating the exact opposite.

Alan Douglas

wv : mergel

Hmmm, yes ....

David Boothroyd said...

Never forget that at the time, all the pressure from the Conservatives was for less regulation. Their charge against the FSA was that it did too much.

Jonathan Cook said...

That quote is hilarious isn't it!

John Redwood blogged on the topic of government pretending that banking was unregulated a few days ago:

http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2009/02/12/what-is-the-point-of-a-regulator/

So this must be Gordon Brown's new 'Little Britain' catch phrase to avoid the blame "Until I set up the FSA banking was unregulated".

Me vs Maradona vs Elvis said...

More incoherent gibberish from Brown.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Of course it all worked as he planned , of course it wasnt Broons fault........He doesnt do apologies..its always somebody elses fault.......

Plato said...

Mr Paul - Mr Draper has a couch - perhaps a little lie down would help you to see the insanity of your last contribution.

Corporal Jones - you are indeed spot on. The Bank of England were indeed on watch until Mr Brown changed the reg framework - and had learned some very painful lessons re their handling of BCCI.

For anyone of a more tender age - a little reminder:

"Nicknamed the Bank of Corruption and Criminal Incompetence, BCCI collapsed in July 1991... The failure - the biggest ever by a British bank - left 80,000 depositors, many in Britain, owed more than £5bn."

Only £5bn - what a snip!

Chris Paul said...

Jonathan Cook seems to have given you this quote in a comment at the previous post. Wouldn't it be polite to give a hat tip?

Eddie said...

Brown is only telling half the truth...

There were a number of Self Regulatory Organisations that were established to regulate individual parts of the Finacial Services Sector: IMRO, SFA, FIMBRA, LAUTRO were just a few.
These in turn were regulated by the overall regulator (A company established by the Government to act as Regulator) Securities and Investment Board - SIB
The idea was that specialist firms were regulated by specialist regulators with an overall regulator that oversaw the SRO's as well as imposing rules and regulations that the SRO's had to encompass within their rule books.

Large companies with cross industry involvement were often regulated directly by SIB.

The SIB

Oliver Drew said...

I used to get a choking kind of retch when I read such blatant bollocks. Now it seems to just wash over me!

I thought the regulation for the banks was handled by the Bank of England pre-1997 and by the looks of things I'm not the only one. Then Gordon Brown created the FSA - he and he alone is responsible for the regulatory failure.

It is alright for people like David Boothroyd to complain that the Tories wanted less regulation, but they weren't/aren't either in power or responsible for this mess. Labour is and Labour are.

The thing about regulation is that you can have too much or too little. I think Labour want too much and perhaps the Tories wanted (they have moved recently) too little.

The thing is to get minimum regulation that works and is effective; not lots of regulation that is flabby bloated and fails.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

it's only in the last few days to be honest that what has happened over this pension has come to light

I believe this can only be described as a "great big huge fuck-off lie"

Alex said...

Some twit sad...
"There was an element of self regulation of financial services when Brown came into office, under the Financial Services Act 1986."

No dummy. The banks were regulated very thorough ly by the BoE. I was there.

Brown is really talking bollocks because the regulator doesn't normally worry about directors pension arrangements, but in this particular case when the government was negotiating to take over the bank and remove the current management they should have been looking at this as well as other matters.

It has nothing to do with general bank regulation, but everything to do with the government.

Martin Day said...

Brown is utterly inept - It is Brown who needs his Pension taking away!

The FSA system Brown boasts about has failed 100%! I am always amused by Labour posters going on about light-touch regulation coming from the Tories. At the point of Sale the regulation is anything but light-touch! The only light touch in the Financial Service Industirues seems to have been on the strategic regulation, where the soft touch regultors that Brown created let Boards of directors ruin Banks and give themselves reward for failure.

Damon From Birmingham said...

Blogger David Boothroyd said...

"Never forget that at the time, all the pressure from the Conservatives was for less regulation. Their charge against the FSA was that it did too much."

The FSA did the wrong type of regulation. In 2005 I had to organise the creation of a subsidiary of the company I worked for - the amount of paperwork and proofs of identity that we had to provide was ridiculous, wasted the time of a lot of directors and ultimately achieved nothing.

acadman said...

What utter rubbish. And what a pathetic, typically tribal, Labour bleating to say just because right wing governments around the world experienced crashes then the Tories here would to.

For one thing, Canada didn't experience a banking crash, and that was ruled by the Conservative Steve Harper. But all that is completely besides the point: the fact is in this country the BoE had a good track record of bank regulation and therefore there was no practical reason for changing the status quo so radically. Eddie George apparently warned Brown at the time that banks would exploit the situation. True to form Brown completely ignored him. I remember that George came very close to resigning because Brown in his arrogance didn't even consult him beforehand. How typical.

Brown does this sort of thing because he has a database brain that lacks understanding of the real world (after all, he has never worked in it, like so very many Labour types) and only ever understands models and theories.

Strangely enough for someone who spends so much time in America his way of doing things is actually very Germanic: Cautious, mapping out a plan in great detail and then imposing it top down, and allowing no deviation whatsoever from the plan once it is in motion.

Clams Linguini said...

@Alan Douglas

'In that Brown quote appear the words "to be honest".

They never add, 'for once' do they?.

It's one of those phrases like 'With all due respect' which you know is going to be followed by some insult or another.

Oldrightie said...

"The success of the Government’s macroeconomic framework, introduced in 1997, means that the UK is facing the international financial crisis and the recession it has caused around the world from a solid foundation."

Downing Street reply to the petition for Brown to foxtrot oscar.
Sounds quite similar, Iain.

basementcat said...

I've read that three times now. I am still no closer to understanding what he is actually trying to say...

Either way, the banks did not over-borrow under Thatcher, because her drive for deregulation was responsible. Brown's 'regulation' was laughable, and his credibility is deservedly going down the toilet. Only tribal Labour supporters would be foolish enough to support his wreck of a Government.

jon dee said...

Gordon Brown may well have said.

"To be honest you know, is not something that comes easy to me, especially when I thought you were going to ask me about the Arctic Monkeys."

Dick the Prick said...

Tit

Dick the Prick said...

Chris Paul - come on now honey, really? Tory flavour governments!!

I refer the honourable gentleman to the comment I made some moments ago. It's ALL the Tories fault, all of it I tells yee, all of it.

Your head must make the middle east seem stable.

Concerned Citizen said...

As anyone ask him to give up part of his pension for under performance?

btw chris paul, on day one this administrion they took the regulation of the banks away for the people that had always done it, THE BANK OF ENGLAND.

Come on Eddy speak up, we are waiting for you to stick the knife in.

JoeF said...

G Brown set up a system where the FSA, Treasury and Bank of England were all in charge of regulation- i.e. nobody was in complete control, and even now it is not clear exactly who is responsible for what.

Banks used to be regulated by the Bank of England, where people actualy knew what they were talking about- possibly because they had careers there, unlike the FSA.

Thatsnews said...

"Well, you know, we, err... no, err... yeah... but... no...but...yeah... but..."

It's official!:

Premier Brown is now a character in Little Britain.

The Penguin said...

Gordon Brown is a dishonest corrupt morally-flawed useless idiot whose blind tribal hatred filled stupid policies have turned everythinghe has touched to shit.

The Penguin

Lola said...

I know you don't like profanity on here Iain, but really, what else can one say but what a fuckwit.

Oh, and it lies of course.

cassandra said...

The premier unelected mental loony would tread on his granny to stay afloat blame wouldnt he?
Brown has turned the game of blame shifting into an art form, in fact the lasting gift of newlabour to the nation will be the explosion of the 'it all someone elses fault innit?'.
Brown is a classic coward, he displays all the attributes of a self centered bully, quite how he got as far as he did in Westminster is a testement to the decline of Westminster from the early 90s onward, Brown has flourished during this decline so to blame Brown alone would be wrong, Westminster embraced this dishonest coward and allowed him to grow into the leader he is today, he should have been stopped in his tracks years ago, but instead he was rewarded for his greasy pole climbing,back briefing/stabbing, nasty, manipulative scheming and plotting!
The fact that there are still unthinking cheerleaders like Boothroyd and Paul out there is also testement to Browns political survival skills.
Brown will go down in history as the most dishonest and dishonourable British polititian ever!
Be warned, there are plenty of his ilk skulking and plotting in the corridors of Westminster, their rise mirrors the evident decline in standards and the rise of the 'profesional polititian'.

Ethelred the Unhinged said...

No, no, no. Gordon is angry. ANGRY.

Just not so angry he will do anything about it.

He'll want a job in this sort of line sooner or later.

Unsworth said...

@ Chris Paul,

So your position is that (in your view) all other regimes have failed, therefore it's OK for Brown's crass fiscal regime to fail? What, after a decade of 'prudence'?

How much of an idiot are you? Brown has had over ten years to ensure stability. He has monumentally cocked-up. And now he wants to blame everyone else - much as you do.

Clown.

Unsworth said...

@ David Boothroyd

No. The Conservative charge is that the FSA is/was a) incompetent (and that is self-evident) and, b) trying to regulate the wrong areas. Why don't you go back and read what was being said at the time?

Lola said...

Chris Paul posted:

"Here we go again. For this to wash Iain you will have to point us all at evidence of Tory-flavour (no such thing) governments all over the world that managed the regulation of the banks in general in such a way that there were no problems."

"Iceland perhaps? Tory PM, Tory bank regulation, Tory triumph? (Iceland was as much a ponzi scheme as Browns. They also abandoned sound money and based banking liquidity and capital requirements on the farcical Basel rules, plus lost control of the money supply - it is irrelvant as to what their politics were)"

"As Cameron said in his Davos address the era of greed and de-regulation ushered in by Margaret Thatcher went too far. (No, it didn't. It didn't go far enough) With the Tories who are now carping mostly cheering the process on and calling for less not more regulation. (Yes, exactly correct. This current crisis is a failure of regulation - as in excessive , overweening prescriptive, box ticking, useless regulation operating as nationalisation by one remove, and specifying in minute details how financial services firms should operate at all levels, except that its oversight on banking liquidity and capital requirements were lamentable. I have worked with it since its inception and it is utter crap. And I predicted that it would fail). "

"That part of this particular pension that was discretionary and that might be unpacked and rowed back on should be. But c'mon Iain give us a list of all the Tory regimes that have escaped these kind of problems. (Wot?)"

"George W Bush's crew would of course be the logical place to start. Being the top Tories in the western world. How did they get on? Remind us. (They are not 'top Tories' anywhere. They were as anti freedom as New Labour and abandoned core principles of sound economic policy as well as adopting lefty legislation - enacted under Clinton - to force poor lending practice and used monopoly cartels - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to achieve it. They have learned the same lesson - regulation is the problem, not the cure. See this link for a better explanation - http://mises.org/story/3353

Trouble is, Obama don't got no clue, so they are doomed.)

The whole crisis is an object lesson on the nature of freedom and markets and how not to run an economy and society by prescrption, diktat and deceit.

What we are now seeing is the markets - as in the people everywhere - passing judgement on the failed policies of global mercantilism and statist leftyism with excessive 'regulation'. All it has lead to is massive malinvestment and misallocation of capital and the destruction of the various fiat money regimes.

Unless clowns like you get their heads out of their collective arses we are condemned to a future of penury and slavery to the State.

Oglemia Clitsky said...

"Eddie said...

Brown is only telling half the truth..."


Which half would that be?

trevorsden said...

The current crass complicated regulation system was set up on the very first day Brown took office - by Brown. Before that the BoE was soley responisible - But Brown neutered the BoE, it was his first Smoke and Mirrors trick. He did not give it independence, he made it pointless.

Its numpty ignorance to suggest its anything to do with 'big bang' in 1987.

This is more likely - as per a letter to todays Telegraph by Lord Derwent ---
"In America, the Glass-Steagall Act had protected deposit-taking commercial banks from the risky activities of the investment banks. Congress was effectively obliged to repeal the Act in 1999 because New York was losing its business to London, which had no such restrictions and the "light touch" regulation encouraged by Gordon Brown.
Had Britain enacted similar legislation to Glass-Steagall, the US Act would not have been repealed, the City would have made less money but the banking collapse in both America and Britain would have been avoided"

BTW 1999 - that would be the Clinton regime.

Dick the Prick said...

Oglemia - pip pip and perhaps, if not completely impolite - toot toot.

Nah, seriously folks - we'e got to concern ourselves with our mental health here.

I'm a bloody good golfer who's 4 months older than Tigger (I call him Tigger because I love him so) and my stoopid mother told me to go to college - well, bally good show mum - thanks.

This is the longest campaign in British politics than anyone in living memory has knowledge of. It's crucial that strategy dominates.

I've said some really horrid things about Dave Fotherington Cameron and I dam well will continue to do so but I reluctantly concede that just maybe, he knows what he's doing.

June 2010 - it's a good time to be alive - history books don't get written in one day. Fiscal prudence, pragmatism, unaccountable cohorts, immigration - hmm.. sell that Saatchi! It's a par 5 and the weather's bad, take a 4 iron and punch it.

trevorsden said...

I don't always go with what Guido says but he is bang to rights in his points about your new 'webfriend' Prezza. And he has some killer points about Sir Fred and Myners (I think we all should pointedly stop calling him 'Lord').

word verifiction 'kierings' - this is the sound the till at RBS HQ makes as the govt largess drops in.

PS
Chris Paul should realise that 'GW' tried to stop the excesses of the Carter era Community Reinvestment Act (as deployed by Clinton - re his 'National Homeownership Strategy') but Democrats in Congress stopped him.

As far as banks were concerned it was either insolvency or be labelled 'racist'. These bad loans were not doled out and subsequently repackaged by greedy banks - they were forced through by dumbassed Democrat politicians.

Take a good look at that pavement your walking on, on your road to Hell, Mr Paul.

PS, err ... you query?
take look at New York Times story on Sept. 11, 2003: "The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago."

Not a sheep said...

"to be honest"... It's the way he tells them!

Sobers said...

Blogger David Boothroyd said...

"Never forget that at the time, all the pressure from the Conservatives was for less regulation. Their charge against the FSA was that it did too much."

What just like Labour pushed as much (if not more) as anyone to enter the ERM in 1990? I don't remember them taking much of the blame for the crucifixion of the economy on high interest rates to try and stay in the damned thing.

So don't expect the Tories to take any of the blame for the Tri-partite system, or light touch regulation, whatever they may have said on the subject. Responsibility lies with governments, not oppositions.

H said...

Since Labour came to power all control (along with experience) went out of the window.
As an IT professional who had over 20 years experience in the industry, I found it impossible to get a job after 2000.
However, tonight, I met my lovely nieces lovely young man, who told me he is in charge of IT at his company. He doesn't know one end of a computer from the other, but he has got a degree!! He also has 'geeks' to tell him what to do!
Isn't this what has been happening in the banks? The people who know have been sidelined for the people who have "management skills".
This is what the country has come to since 1997 - experience = 0 degree = infinity.
The guys at the top have slavishly listened to the 'bright young things' who have got fantastic degrees (but never done a days work before) but don't actually understand anything. Look at that sham of a TV show 'The Apprentice' - they are young, think they know everything and lie on their cv!
I would love to think things would change under the next conservative government, but DC seems just as much in thrall to the same attitudes.

The Grim Reaper said...

Looks like Guido's label for Gordon Brown as our Prime Mentalist is becoming more and more true by the day. He's absolutely mad.

Peter said...

Compare

British Banks pre FSA long established solid and reliable institutions well capitalized and very prudently managed.

British Banks post FSA dynamic institutions but with little regard for prudence and badly capitalized.

Canadian Banks long established solid and reliable institutions well capitalized and very prudently managed.

My point

Brown set up the FSA

The present Government has bankrupted the country!

Cynic said...

A slight reworking of Gordons whole speech. (It was a quiet night and like Iain it was so risable I had to do it)

"When it comes to this pension it is completely unacceptable and that's why I've said we're considering every means at our disposal to take legal action if it happens that after the pleas of the public Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are not prepared to reduce their pension entitlements. We have all the evidence now, and even if there is some discretionary element in the contracts and that we've got to look at what we can do and if we have the legal power to do so we believe that part or a very substantial part of those pensions should be returned.

When we moved in to buy shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland, certain contracts had been signed with a legal basis and, as a Government we were so incompetent or lazy that we failed to spot this one with Fred Goodwin, so what we are trying to do now almost 5 months later, is to obfuscate and cover that up and look at what is the difference between if you like the formal legal entitlements before we started to be involved in this and any discretionary payments that had been made either before or since and that's what we're trying to get to the bottom of.

When you're dealing with private companies that you've had to take action upon it's a very difficult thing because the government doesn't have a clue how to run anything so we don't want to be in control of banks, we want banks to manage themselves under a regulatory and supervisory system where they can show integrity and honesty and build trust and show responsibility. that will get us off the hook for never having made it happen before and we can learn how to do some of these things ourselves as a Government for a change, particularly the honesty bit.

But when we have to intervene we've got to do what I believe is the right thing. So, for example, we've got to cut out the expenses culture in the Commons which was based on our ability to claim ridiculous amounts for non-existent expenses and then cover it up. It wasn't built around long-term success because we will clearly lose the next election so for many of our members its just fill your boots now before it all goes horribly wrong. I know that some people within the country are angry about that but it's got to change. They have just got to get used to it.

To get back to the banks, if you've got a board member that doesn't understand what the board is doing and can't hold the chief executive accountable, that board member should not be on the board and that's why the banking system of putting people on boards who don't necessarily know what they're doing has sometimes come to grief. We should know. We employed Fred Goodwin to advise us on low pay for Gawd's sake !!

As far as the pension is concerned there is a limit to what we can do in terms of legal entitlements but as we now know there may have been a discretionary element in this pension and it's right to say that if there was a discretionary element, given that the Government has had the biggest losses and regulatory failure in history, the fastest devaluation of the pound and a slump into depression caused by its regulatory failure, it's quite wrong for any pensions to be paid to those Ministers or Officials responsible

We set up the Financial Services Authority to, you know before we came into power there was a sort of self regulatory system so you know they more or less regulated themselves. We brought in a statutory regulatory system, supervisory system, but of course it didn't work at all. In fact when everything collapsed we found out that it was all a complete shambles but we couldn't have known exactly what was going on in every individual bank even though it had been forecast for months in the Times, Daily Telegraph, FT, Mail, Mirror and Private Eye. But we don't read those because we are too busy not regulating. And it's only in the last few days to be honest that we have woken up at all and asked ourselves, what has happened. When things come to light that have been done we will make it absolutely clear that our intention would have been to do something if we had been awake and knew what was going on at the time.

Now we've got great banking employees also round the country, and especially in my constituency and in Scotland. Ordinary staff who are doing a great job every day serving the customers by selling them whopping great mortgages, insurance and car loans on commission. They too want a banking system that little people can stupidly have trust in and will borrow lots from and that's exactly what I'm trying to restart with billions of your money.

You know I was brought up to believe that integrity and responsibility were the important things, that you cannot suspend the rules of good behaviour for Government. We've got to apply them and now we have evidence of what has been happening we've got to take the action to clean up the Government and that's what we're going to do. Honest. Cross my heart and hope to die. You can trust me. I am a pretty straight sort of guy. It all went wrong while Tony was in charge.