Political Promise

Alistair Darling ditches the charm in Davos

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Did anyone else observe the “kid-gloves” that were being used to gently box the ears of the big banks shortly after their risky business caused their collapse, which triggered this global meltdown? Anyone else find this ever so slightly odd seeing as the City banker must surely rank as the most alpha of all the human beings? If they can’t take a bit of criticism, who can?

 Well, it appears enough time has passed since government and banks squared up to each other in a pride offensive, blame has been dealt out and duly discarded, time it seems has healed wounded egos and chancellor Alistair Darling reckons the banks are ready for a stern talking to.

 He’s in Davos (and Brown’s at Stormont of course, leaving Tony heading up the London office) holding talks with the City’s top bankers. All the usual suspects are present including Barclays, HSBC and Goldman Sachs. Darling used the face time at the World Economic Forum to urge faster results in aims to shore up the beleaguered financial system and the way it’s regulated. Waving a headmaster-y finger in their faces he said; “The banks should do what they are supposed to do, provide credit to the economy. They must know that changes are necessary. They can all see that the regulatory regime needs to be more robust and more intrusive.”

 The chancellor is not happy. His call to arms comes hot on the heels of the news that a new banking rulebook that was due to be published this Autumn may well be delayed until 2011, because of a failure of banks and regulatory bodies to agree on what the rules should be. *Sigh*. As with anything that needs a consensus from a large group of determined beings, the road to change may be long and winding. Poor old Alistair, he’s said a delay on this would be “very, very bad.” Well he’s got me worried.

Emma Hill

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