Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Now there's a thing

With the unlikely figure of Britain emerging as a shining example of how to rescue banks, writes Lionel Laurent for Forbes,

… the real credit should go to the Ecofin meeting of Europe's finance ministers on Tuesday. It was there that the conditions were laid for measures such as partial nationalisation, which otherwise may have run into trouble from regulators because of limits to state aid.
Then, EU commission president José Manuel Barroso is recorded by ForexTV, welcoming the UK banking sector proposals to supply the banking system with £200 billion in a speech before the EU parliament today. "I take this opportunity to welcome the measures announced by the UK, which are in line with the principles adopted yesterday at Ecofin," he says.

Yet the British media still haven't begun to understand what is going on, or even Ruth Lea, who is still writing about our local government having been "dithering".

With increasing clarity, though, it is emerging that Brown and Darling were waiting for the go-ahead from the "colleagues" before acting. That is why they took no action on Monday – they could not until they had had their marching orders from the "colleagues".

Thus, overnight on Tuesday and into the early hours of this morning was the first time they could have acted, having been given the green light at Luxembourg to break the EU rules. No wonder Mr Barroso is looking quietly confident. This is the face of the man in charge.

  • Other posts on the financial crisis here.