Tuesday, November 20, 2007

On Jeff Randall Live

I'm afraid I've been very busy and am now feeling very ill. Hopefully I'll recover by the morning. In lieu of anything more substantial here is a transcript of the Shadow Chancellor, Peter Hahn - former director at Citigroup and now academic at the Cass business school and myself discussing Northern Rock on Jeff Randall Live, Sky News. A couple of extracts:

Matthew, let me bring you in, nationalisation, we don’t exactly have a great record with that do we? Looking back to all those car companies in the 70s and indeed the Dome more recently wasn’t exactly a great success.

Well indeed and talking about confidence, if you are going to make this issue entirely one of, make all of the control of Northern Rock the government’s, if we are going to make it entirely a government concern, then we need to have confidence in the government. How much confidence do we have in them, how much confidence would we have in their management, in their ability to take Northern Rock forward if this becomes entirely a matter of the government handling a huge amount of risk once it nationalises and takes over all of the risk connected to Northern Rock?


Matthew, Taxpayers Alliance, you sit there and watch the government’s every move, you count the pennies, what mistakes have been made here?

I think the problem we had here was not necessarily that the government went in and lent but it went in without a proper exit strategy and without a proper idea of how it would limit its commitment. This is analogous to the Iraq War, your problem isn’t the decision of whether you go in or not, your problem is what you do next and I don't think they ever had a very clear picture of what that was going to be."

Update: Thanks to Edmund for pointing out that the link went to an interview with Chris Langham. It now points to the right place.

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