Monday, March 23, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Myners Had to Look Up Quantitative Easing on Wikipedia

On the newspaper review on the BBC on Saturday night I described Lord Myners as "hapless". Little did I realise how accurate that description would turn out to be... Before you read on, just bear in mind what position Lord Myners holds. He is a senior Treasury Minister, responsible for financial services.

At a private function last week, Myners came out with this corker. He was asked about 'quantitative easing' and said

"I didn't know what it was and had to look it up on Wikipedia."

Just the man to get us out of the crisis, wouldn't you say?

33 comments:

JoeF said...

I hope the Wiki entry is accurate and up to date.

Guess he was too embarassed to ask an official (0r maybe they did not know either?) or call the Bank of England?

Oldrightie said...

You can give these people all the titles and jobs going, the truth is they are Labour and Brown donors (fact) and are in high places through their purchasing power and influence.

Martin Day said...

Typical - Another Labour Minister who is not qualified for the job he is supposed to be an expert on! NO wonder Fred has a smile on his face!

When will Ministers start resigning for their incomptence and lack of knowledge in the areas they are supposed to be making decisions on - If Lord Myners is supposed to be an expert in his field in the house of Lords and minister it just shows Life Peerages need to be scraped an elected second chamber created.

Elby the Beserk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Iain Dale said...

Elby the Beserk. You know the rules of swearing. Abide by them please.

English Guy said...

Puts the last 24-hours' news cycle into context doesn't it. At least our shadow-shadow Chancellor knows what the financial terms mean, even he's not always on message (or on piste for that matter).
EG

Thatsnews said...

Oh, look. There's now a link to the Iain Dale's diary story on the Wikipedia article!

Andreas Paterson said...

Not all that surprising Iain, up until a few months ago it was nothing more than an obscure policy tool used by Japan's central bank at the beginning of the millenium.

Myners was a businessman not a cenral banker, so it's not surprising that he had to research it. We've all been adding new words to our financial lexicons as the credit crunch broke so let's not pretend that we've all been all knowing oracles of finance for all this time.

Thatsnews said...

Andreas, Wiki is not a valid research tool.

The article could have said anything a Wiki-vandal wanted it to say. And Myners would have been non-the-wiser.

He should have asked a government official. THAT was what was wrong with him looking it up on Wikipedia.

Lola said...

You have got to understand that many smart people are as thick as two short planks. Myners is a successful climber. End of.

The Penguin said...

Odd for someone who greased his way to multi-millions in the pensions industry not to be interested in what Fred's pension was going to be...especially given the personal history.

The Penguin

Stepney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stepney said...

This era will go down as a special one in the history of this country. With no exceptions whatsoever we are under the iron fist of the most incompetent, inept and inarticulate amateurs ever to have held positions of power. Nothing has been safe in their hands; no project has been completed well or on time or to budget. Their policies have led to deaths, misery and outrage. Somehow a bunch of failed student union politicians with no experience of the thing we call real life, and their poorly educated and lazy accolytes have got themselves in charge at the most crucial moment since 1939.

The history books will judge this era and the political management of it as the lowest of British history. Makes me quite appreciative of the Callaghan era in retrospect.

They really are a bunch of no-hope shi*es

The Python said...

It's a pity Gordon Brown did not look up 'Chancellor of the Exchequer' when he got the job.

God help us. Literally.

Ewan Watt said...

Maybe he was cracking a joke, no?

on the rock said...

What do you expect when politics is a job like selling insurance or telling jokes; leads directly to the question of how long until we all learn that the least common multiple is just not enough.

Andreas Paterson said...

thatsnews - Certainly, relying on Wikipedia for a solid cast iron explanation of something is not the way to go. As a first place of reference for a rough explanation of a hitherto unfamilliar term it does the job pretty well.

Myner's never suggests that everything he knows about quantitative easing came from Wikipedia, he just says that he had to look it up.

Jeff said...

Your 'Exclusive' post might have had more potency Iain if you had managed to spell quantitative correctly...

on the rock said...

How many "ti"-s and "ta"-s are there really in Quantitative? Looking up is cheating!

Victor, NW Kent said...

It is quantitative Iain - not quantitive nor quantatitive.

Myners is history - he only got the job because he worships Gordon Brown as he made clear on his one appearance on Question Time.

Cato said...

Andreas Paterson said...

Myner's never suggests that everything he knows about quantitative easing came from Wikipedia, he just says that he had to look it up.

If he had to look it up, then it's quite plain that he knew nothing about it in the first place...so what he found on Wiki is probably about as much as he does know...or is ever likely to.

Martin Day said...

Labour are doomed but they have doomed us with ministers of this low calibre.

Savonarola said...

I know Myners from his time at Gartmore.

He knew little then and less now of the financial markets.

His role was to ensure his guests had a good lunch. He was a polite and generous host.

He should be manager of the Connaught and not involved in financial matters.

But then again Brown knows nothing of the financial world so ignorance is no bar to high office in the NuLab administration.

cassandra said...

The future party line/excuse will be of course that nobody could have foreseen wht a disaster quantative easing will turn out to be, the printing of fake money to make up for the lack of actual real money which as we all know has already been gambled away by fools who dont know any better.
Newlabour has always opperated on the basis of 'its not what you know it who you know' and who repeats the right slogans rather than the actual truth gets the top job.
The employment of fiscal illiterates and party morons over experts with real qualifications can be traced back to Gordon Brown and 1997, he knew in his retarded mind everything there was to know about everything and anyone who disagreed was some kind of enemy, he didnt want anyone around him with ideas of their own, oooooh no, this would have contradicted his fantasy island world that he created in his disturbed mind, he used all his well known 'charm' to bully and sack all the people at the treasury who would have seen what was coming and he replaced them with mindless party droids whose sole purpose was to carry out his specific orders, you only have to look at his mindless puppet Darling to realise this.
Hmmmmm now where has that kind of thing happened before I wonder? if I recall correctly it didnt end up too well then did it?
So you have one man with a personality defect of such proportions that he surrounds himself with substandard yesmen who wouldnt or couldnt speak up when the problems started to appear, you will remember how Brown sabotaged the BoE oversight and control mechanisms, what many people dont know is that he did it to silence his critics, he did it to clear the field of those he saw as political and personal enemies when in fact they were the very people a normal leader would have surrounded himself with, see the difference?
What person in sound mind would get rid of experts on the basis that they might contradict him? Only a crazed egomaniac could think that and a crazed egomaniac is what we got of course!

Bill Quango MP said...

He should have watched this
explains everything

David Gerard said...

*cough* At least we had an entry ... unlike Britannica ;-p

The Grim Reaper said...

This one's gonna run and run.

Does anyone seriously believe Myners when he says that he didn't ask any questions about Goodwin's pension? If he is telling the truth, it makes him look completely incompetent and should resign. My conclusion is that he's either an idiot or he's lying. I just can't tell which one it is.

rob's uncle said...

Anyone seeking to go beyond Wikipedia's entry on this is recommended to read Prof Willem Buiter's essay 'Quantitative and qualitative easing again'
[Jan 11 2009] at http://blogs.ft.com/maverecon/2009/01/quantitative-and-qualitative-easing-again/ which comes complete with model balance sheets that anyone can understand.

Nigel said...

GOAT - government of absolute tw*ts.

Btw, congratulations on finding a photograph of Myners without a glass of wine/champagne/random cocktail drink in his hand.

http://www.cctvstar.blogspot.com said...

We know he's completely thick - he's Labour.

Bringing Radical Islam Under Control

Little Black Sambo said...

Why should he know a new bit of jargon specially designed not to convey what the Govt were doing?

Chris Paul said...

Ewan is right. This may well have been a joke. Andreas is right, it was obscure jargon until everyone - including ID - started bandying it about without much understanding. When I did my A level and my degree we used to call it rather plainly: "Increasing the money supply".

Interesting too that Jeff should point out the spelling mistake - even better/worse on Twitter - yet come over and moan about my blog grammar, or syntax, or punctuation, or something or other when I made the same point.

Oh and Jeff, I've looked at your blog(s) and you're in no position to preach about anything. And this is blogging, not Tolstoy. But if you're jeering about someone's alleged knowledge of a term being able to spell that term would be a start I'd have thought.

Plenty said...

I like your West Ham blog Mr Dale, although one thing I've noticed is the share this button is obscuring the comments button - last time I saw anyway - not a big deal I suppose....