So Osborne, we now learn, is determined to sell off RBS and Lloyds before the election to prevent Labour, if it wins the next election which looks increasingly likely, from keeping them in the public sector and breaking them up in order to reconstruct them as agents to drive a national economic recovery.
That says it all about the government’s priorities. It is more important to them to privatise everything they can in pursuit of their real objective of a fully marketised State rather than to compel these banks, of which the taxpayers own 82% of RBS and 39% of Lloyds, to prioritise lending to industry to kickstart the economy and get growth going at last. Continue reading
A number of media reports suggest there is a dispute between the management of Lloyds Bank and its regulators at the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The dispute centres on Lloyds’ estimated profits, which one set of City analysts forecasts will be £800 million. Management wants to use the profits to pay out dividends to shareholders. The regulators argue that prospective losses at the bank in future years mean that the profits should be retained, and used to bolster the bank’s capital. Continue reading
The economy is stagnating and is clearly in deep trouble.
The latest figures show the UK economy has grown by just 0.2% in the nine months since George Osborne announced his Comprehensive Spending Review that set out a huge package of cuts. There is turbulence on the stock markets in part, at least, because of fears about growth prospects and a collapse in confidence in the capacity of decision makers to resolve the crisis. Continue reading