The full tabs for this week’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here, as usual, it covered a range of different subjects. On the regular leadership trackers both Cameron and Miliband are largely unchanged – David Cameron’s approval rating is minus 9 (from minus 10 last week), Ed Miliband’s is minus 24 (from minus 23 last week). However, in both cases this is a continuation of a slow trend as the effect of hackgate fades – hence it is Cameron’s highest rating since June, and Miliband’s lowest since hackgate.

On Libya, 48% of people now think Cameron has handled it well, 31% badly. Unsurprisingly the overwhelming majority of people (71%) would like to see the suspects in Yvonne Fletcher’s murder extradited to Britain, but opinion on al-Megrahi has now swung against his extradition (presumably given he is semi-comatose and close to death). 29% still think he should be returned to Britain, 55% now think he should not.

On the economy, people are now more likely to have confidence is Osborne than Balls to make the right calls on the economy. 30% have a lot or a little confidence in Osborne, 24% in Balls (when YouGov asked the same question in February both were on 31%). 28% have confidence in Ed Miliband, 31% Vince Cable. David Cameron scores the highest, with 41% saying they have a lot or a little confidence in him making the right decisions on the running the economy.

45% of people think that taxes on the wealthy should be increased, compared to 35% thinking they should be kept as they are and 11% who think they should be cut. Amongst Conservative voters, 30% think they should be increased. On the specific case of the 50p tax rate, opinion seem to broadly think it is about right as it is – 21% think it should be higher than 50p, 24% think it should be lower, 48% think it is about right. Public opinion towards the banks remains extremely harsh. Hardly anyone (3%) thinks they have reformed their bonus culture, only 14% think they have reformed their practices. 77% think the government have been too soft on them and 59% of people would support separating retail and investment banking, with only 9% opposed.

Looking at the other subjects in this week’s poll, opinion on free schools is still quite divided – 35% support them, 38% oppose them. There’s a similar division on whether people think Labour should support or oppose them – amongst Labour’s own supporters, 49% think the party should oppose free schools, 20% think they should support them, 31% say neither or don’t know. On roads, 39% would support increasing the speed limit on motorways. Half of respondents support building more motorways at taxpayers’ expense, 36% would support building new toll motorways. 40% of people perceive the government as too anti-motorist, with 24% thinking they get it about right and 8% thinking they are too pro-motorist.


232 Responses to “More from the YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. Alex

    Yes indeed, my point is not that the euro is not flawed but that in focusing almost exclusively on those flaws we ignore the more fundamental causes of our predicament. I am concerned that if the root causes are not addressed that twenty years from now we will be facing same crisis only with a different name

  2. @Alec,

    Thank you for the link. It may surprise you to know that I do read Ambrose Hyphenated-Surname – I don’t always agree with him, but I have a soft spot for Telegraph commentators who argue logically (it’s a small subset… :-) ) and live in the real world (even smaller subset… :-) ). Neither do I deny that it’s possible for the Euro to break up – in fact, I outlined two methods by which it could happen[1][2].

    My point is that the Euro is a voluntary arrangement – all the countries that are in it, are in it voluntarily. In practice they are not forced to be in it, and can leave it any time they wish. As long as the political will for it to exist holds amongst the EZ-17, then it will hold. Conversely, if any of the Eurozone countries wish to leave, then it’ll change in a way that you would characterise as a “collapse” (there y’go, there’s a third mechanism for you). Currently, no country wishes to leave. Since no country can be forced out (there’s no mechanism for this!), I conclude that it’ll survive with its present members. Hence my statement that both Germany and Greece will be in the Euro on January 1st 2012.

    Regards, Martyn

    [1]: if the Greeks remove all their money from the Greek banks and don’t put it back into any banking system (eg put it under the mattresses), then the ECB will have to step in to correct the imbalance by recapitalising the banks, which’ll break the ECB
    [2]: if enough national banks just start printing Euros without central ECB authorisation, then that’lll cause hyperinflation and the zone will break up. This is the way the rouble zone broke up in the 90’s, incidentally.

  3. RiN

    “insane levels of leverage ”

    Your concerns on leverageing in banks are well founded-though of course the whole western economy , and our domestic finances are based on leveraging.

    The days of my parent’s philosophy-only buy what you can pay for-are long gone.

    Basel 111 recognises the problem. In addition to enhanced rules on minimum common equity + retained earnings ratios a Leverage Ratio is to be introduced-though the timetable is painfully slow :-

    2011 Supervisory monitoring: Developing templates to track the leverage ratio and the underlying components.
    2013 Parallel run I: The leverage ratio and its components will be tracked by supervisors but not disclosed and not mandatory.
    2015 Parallel run II: The leverage ratio and its components will be tracked and disclosed but not mandatory.
    2017 Final adjustments: Based on the results of the parallel run period, any final adjustments to the leverage ratio.
    2018 Mandatory requirement: The leverage ratio will become a mandatory part of Basel III requirements.

  4. Colin

    It was-overengineered & unuseable ( literally) in some cases. Over priced & appallingly financed in all cases.

    …..none of which addressed the problem of educational outcomes-the thing which actually matters to children & their parents.

    Point noted; but I think the intention was to replace old school buildings and not to change schools , etc.

    Our best local school was a very old building that was sold off as it was a prime development site. Everyone was happy with the old building and with the standard of education but that was a long time ago.

  5. Colin

    Sounds good but as folk on this board are fond of saying “the devil is in the details”

    One detail that is of concern is he separation of book and trading asserts, where the trading part must be evaluated by market prices but the book assets can be marked as par even though the market price is much much lower. By moving trading assets to book banks can hide their loses and inflate their tier 1 capital, this is already being done with PIIGS debt bonds

    On the whole basel III is a step in the right direction but only a baby step and even that is under pressure by the banking lobby. They still believe that they can get out of this mess unscathed and free to continue as before. The scary thing is they might be right, in which case you and I will be on the hook for loads of money.

  6. Nick Poole

    Free schools are just more cherry picking of the pupils from better off families.

    I assume the existing schools will be somewhere where Cameron’s 120,000 problem families can send their children.

    I do not think this is the case. Where did you read this?

    Possibly the children from the most deprived backgrounds would benefit most from schools that provide discipline and encourage aspiration; if the schools that have failed them close, so be it.

  7. Chris Lane or others in education

    It seems that key to assessment of how well a school nowadays is doing is the Alis score. It seems very complex. Do you have a cross reference to a site that provides a simple but comprehensive explanation?

  8. I have my mortgae with the Nationwide, a builing society. Essentially people put their savings into the Nationwide and receive interest and the Nationwide lend it to people to buy houses and pay it back, with interest.

    now back in the eighties lots of Building Societies (non profit organisations) bribed their members into voting to become banks (profit making organisations owned by shareholders). The reasoning behind this was to allow the new banks to raise money “on the money markets”.

    What does this mean?

    Well, I would guess it means the new bank says to another bank I am owed £100,000 at x% interest and i’d like to sell that debt to you to raise another £100,000.

    Ok, says Bank b. Done.

    So Bank A then lends out another £100,000 that it has just got from bank B. So then it has another “parcel of debt to sell “on the money markets”. To Bank C.

    Only problem is, it’s the same money, isn’t it?

    And once all the mortgage debt has been sold off and the money raised relent and the debt sold off repeated until the bubble is the size of a death star or maybe Jupiter we have a pop.

    Now the problem with this scenario is two fold.

    1. It is obvious. The banks must have been aware; and

    2. the sub-prime excuse is just that. The money has been bought and sold many times over and sooner or later you’ll get a default. It had nothing to do with sub-prime except that the massive generation of non–existent funds had to be lent to someone as everybody else had borrowed all they wanted.

    Of course this must be oversimplified. If it isn’t, how come the brilliant minds in the banks didn’t see that the same money was being bought and sold over and over agin.

    Now, explain to me how the Glazers can borrow the money to buy Manchester United using the club itself as collateral? Why can’t I buy Real Madrid on the same terms?

  9. Nick

    Are you insinuating that you being unable to borrow money to buy real Madrid is evidence that the free market is not free?

  10. Nick Poole: 2. the sub-prime excuse is just that. The money has been bought and sold many times over and sooner or later you’ll get a default. It had nothing to do with sub-prime except that the massive generation of non–existent funds had to be lent to someone as everybody else had borrowed all they wanted.

    Of course this must be oversimplified. If it isn’t, how come the brilliant minds in the banks didn’t see that the same money was being bought and sold over and over again.

    The surprise was the mass defaulting that took place when the generous sub-prime discounts expired and mortgage-owners (not the banks) were instantly hit with a significant rise in debt repayments, which few could afford when they had financially stretched themselves just to get a mortgage in the first place. It was an unprecedented event which no-one believed would happen in the glow of what was, at the time, an extended period of strong and stable global growth.

    Now, explain to me how the Glazers can borrow the money to buy Manchester United using the club itself as collateral?

    It’s a mortgage.

  11. Pop quiz time

    Which American president said this

    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration

    Clue- not a democrat

  12. That’s fine. I want a 100% mortage to buy Real Madrid.

    Please.

  13. Nick poole

    Yep. I posted on UKPR threads three weeks or so ago (I’m beginning to sound like Alec) that in time people will see the financial crisis as the biggest scam ever perpetrated by the banks on us mugs.

    I am delighted that the US is now pursuing these banks.

    But hey, we need the banks…we cannot impose regulation on them or break them up as it would lead to disaster. Oh, hang on…

  14. Rich in Nor

    That was Abe (as if I hadn’t googled).

    The flip side of that is any capital that is seemingly generated independently of Labour (i.e. asset value increases) are not real at all. Bubbles.

  15. @Steve – “It’s a mortgage.”

    Not quite. Under UK business taxation, companies get can set debt servicing costs against Corporation Tax liabilities, meaning that the tax payer was actually paying a percentage towards the Glazer’s purchase of Man U.

    The effect of this has been to encourage predatory corporate bids and asset stripping – like the purchase of Cadbury’s recently – and the encouragement for businesses to rely on debt financing rather than more solid forms of equity.

    You and I have paid for the privilege of allowing under capitalised businesses buy up UK business assets and then strip them down for their own profit.

  16. Incidentally – tha would be another of area of misdirected spending relevant to my mini rant against @Neil A last night where we could go for growth without hugely inflating spending.

    Currently we subsidise highly leveraged and potentially unstable companies, while offering very little to encourage cash rich companies to invest. The system also encourages companies to borrow to but assets rather than straighforward investment in productivity. End the relief on debt interest and switch that spending to relief subsidies linked directly to capacity building investment.

  17. @Nick Poole

    “That’s fine. I want a 100% mortage to buy Real Madrid.

    Please.”

    You’re not related to the Glaser family by any chance, are you??!! Isn’t that, in effect, how they managed to get their hands on “M*n Un*t*d plc.”?

  18. Alex

    Yes I am also concerned about the effective subsidy for mergers and leveraged buyouts which is often anti competitive. Company’s either buy up their competitors or buy up their supply chain and try to limit competitors access or buy up the distribution for similar reasons. It is rarely in the public interest one way to discourage this would be to levy VAT on the purchase of other companies but maybe not at the 20% rate

  19. Richard I N

    ” They still believe that they can get out of this mess unscathed and free to continue as before”

    Sure.

    That description in AD’s book of Fred Goodwin’s attitude sums them up.

  20. for those interested, the Guardian carries this report on the sentences handed down by Crown courts to those involved in the riots.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/sep/05/riot-jail-sentences-crown-courts

  21. I see NC has given his assurance regarding the free schools:

    “They must not be the preserve of the privileged few – creaming off the best pupils while leaving the rest to fend for themselves, causing problems for and draining resources from other nearby schools. So let me give you my assurance. I would never tolerate that.”

    Well, that’s all ok then.

  22. Biggest monthly drop in UK CIPs/Markit service sector index in August. On the bright side, it is still (just) in positive territory and the riots had a small impact, but the new orders element of the index fell badly suggesting the next few months won’t be pretty.

    The FTSE has fallen badly again with banks taking more hits. BBC are quoting a somewhat spectacular statement by the outgoing head of Deutsche Bank who admitted that ‘some European banks would go bust if they were forced to recognise in their accounts the existing losses on government debts they own, based on current market prices for government bonds.’

    Effectively he is saying that there are banks out there that are bust, but accounting methods have managed to hide this fact.

    Pretty much sums up the mess we allowed the banks to get themselves into.

  23. NICK POOLE

    ” it’s the same money, isn’t it?”

    No-it isn’t.

    Its the exchange of the mortgage debt for cash by turning it into a mortgage backed security -and selling it on.

    The cash exchanged -new cash; is then lent on another mortgage-a different mortgage.

    There is nothing inherantly wrong with this process.

    It was created in USA in 1938, when the government created the government-sponsored corporation Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), colloquially known as Fannie Mae, to create a liquid secondary market in these mortgages and thereby free the loan originators to originate more loans.

    ” It had nothing to do with sub-prime except ”

    It had everything to do with sub-prime. The credit worthiness of the mortgagee obligations sitting behind the Mortgage Backed Security is of the essence.
    The whole point about the credit crunch was that purchasers of MBSs supported by sub-prime loans either weren’t aware of their risk levels-or didn’t bother to find out when they bought them.

    Presumably we will find out which when the US Government action ( via Fannie Mae) against the banks from whom they bought sub prime MBSs comes to court.

  24. Colin

    The money lent again and again had the effect of pushing house prices up. So the asset the money was lent and relent against were apparently going up and up.

    Doesn’t matter about ability to repay if the securing asset is worth as much as the debt does it? But the asset values became nothing very quickly when it was time to cash the assets in.

  25. Alex

    The statement by the Deutsche bank boss pretty much is the same as I posted a few hours ago, the banks most exposed are Italian and French or at least that is what is thought but there is a large US bank which it is rumored is in the firing line, well I say rumored but the source is very reliable. I don’t know which one because I’m too stingy to stump up £1;000+ for his market analysis but Citi has been mentioned by other commentators. Bank of America will probably go to the wall before the year end, if they don’t get another massive bailout.

  26. The TNS-BMRB tables for their latest opinion poll are here

    http://www.tns-bmrb.co.uk/assets-uploaded/documents/independence-poll-august-2011_1315215048.pdf

    Usual caveat about cross-breaks, but TNS always give a geographic breakdown

    West, Agree 41%, Dusagree 41%, DK 19%
    S & E, Agree 35%, Dusagree 39%, DK 26%
    North, Agree 44%, Dusagree 30%, DK 26%

  27. @OldNat

    “North, Agree 44%, Dusagree 30%, DK 26%”

    So, the further towards the Highlands you go, the more independence-minded the Scots seem to be. Is that because those pesky Picks retreated ever northwards to escape the clutches of the Angles and the Saxons (and Romans, I suppose), all those years ago?

  28. Nick
    “The money lent again and again had the effect of pushing house prices up. So the asset the money was lent and relent against were apparently going up and up.”

    No-

    Look-two entities:-

    a) The Mortgage provider-finds borrowers/values houses/creates mortgages.
    b)The Finance Provider-buys securitised mortgages from a) so that a) can expand its loan book. This is the entity created in USA as Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), ( Fannie Mae, ) precisely to provide a source of funds to Mortgage Providers & widen house ownership in USA.

    The money isn’t “relent ” at all.

    House prices are a function of supply, demand & mortgage rates.

    “Doesn’t matter about ability to repay if the securing asset is worth as much as the debt does it? ”

    Of course it does because-If the mortgagee defaults on repayments, the income stream to the Debt holder stops & the property is repossessed by them, They don’t want to own houses-so they sell it., putting more supply into the market & tending to reduce prices.

    When this happens on a mega scale you have the USA right now-gazzillions of repossessed houses at rock bottom prices-and Debt holders with mega bad debts on their books.

  29. Colin & nick

    The way it works is like this

    Bank A has £1000 which allows it to make loans at say a ten to one ratio(the ratio is larger but its an easy example) A lends £10,000 to bank B

    B now has assets of £10,000 which means it can make loans of £100,000

    And so it goes on

    You don’t believe me!!?? Well I don’t either but it’s true at least in theory

    Fractional reserve banking, it seems dishonest but modern economy’s can’t function without it, maybe? But like all good things when taken to extremes it can be dangerous. Like a drink or two is good for you but twenty is very bad for you and possibly fatal.

  30. Just returning to NC…and his very recent utterances on free schools and the NHS.

    What are these about?

    One way to interpret them is that NC is sending a signal to his party. Is NC attempting to get his party to fall in behind him before the conference?

    Do they indicate deep divisions between the coalition parties that could lead to collapse?

    It is possible to infer from NC’s utterances that the Cons and DC are feeling remarkably confident – to the extent perhaps that they see their LD partners as preventing the Cons displaying their true politcal colours/ambitions/policies.

    Will NC’s utterances affect LD share of VI?

  31. Nick Poole

    I seem to remember when I was studying economics at college many moons ago, that at that time for banks to lend they needed a percentage of cash to back the lending. So there was a limit on how many times you could lend the same money. The rules were imposed because of the boom and bust of the twenties and so governments had learnt wisdom.

    Sometime between then and the 2000s these safeguards were removed meaning considerably more, almost unlimited, credit could be created. There was a huge advantage to this in that it could create a boom and all the tax and other benefits to the govt of the day but one draw back it would end in tears.

  32. Colin

    Bank a collects £100,000 in deposits and lends it out to People A to buy houses
    Bank B does the same for People B
    Bank C does the same for People C
    Bank A borrows £100,000 from Bank B on the strength of what it is owed by the punters (effectively secured against People C’s houses twice)
    Bank A Lends £100,000 to People D
    Bank C borrows £100,000 from Bank A secured against People C’s assets
    Bank B borrows £100,000 from Bank C secured against People B’s assets
    So now there’s twice as much money raised as assets so Bank A, B and C want to lend to People D, E and F and then borrow the amount again from each other to relend effectively secured against the same assets
    Meanwhile demand for property and cheap money is putting up prices
    Repeat as often as you like but with more than 3 banks and see how many times the properties get used as security
    At the very least twice property is used to secure money twice, once originally and once to borrow from other banks, but in fact people can start remortgaging property now because all this is inflating the values and all three banks can lend and borrow to Banks D, E, F, G etc and reborrow and relend when the same property is remortgaged. And we haven’t even thought of repackaging batches of loans and selling bits of them to everybody else yet.
    The question is…where does all the money go when the house values go back to nought?
    Answer: nowhere because it never existed in the first place. The only way to get the money and keep it is by buying a property when the value was low and selling it when the value is high. Which some people did, of course. Rich bankers who knew what was going on for a start.

  33. Richard i N

    You’re describing leveraging.

    ie the proportion of funds borrowed ( & lent on) to ordinary share capital & retained profits.

    Share capital is permanent.
    Loan capital has to be repaid-so as you said if this is lent on & impaired too badly it will impact permanent capital.

    But leveraging is just a measure of the vsource of funds to lend to housebuyers-not a means of doing so.

  34. Henry

    I believe you are right. It was a failure by Maggie with her Big Bang and then Gord pulled a masterstroke by splitting regulation between BoE and FSA and effectively allowed everything important to fall through the middle.

    Although if I had to pin blame it would be on the Bank of England here and its equivalent over the pond.

  35. As I understand Richard’s point, it is that when the bubble burst, actually it didn’t. It merely deflated somewhat and the rest of the air has still to escape. The spendthrift countries are in a much worse situation than others, but that won’t help those others, because their economies were and are and will be damaged by reducing trade with the ne’er do wells.

    Is that it – roughly?

    No man is an island.

  36. NICK

    “Bank A borrows £100,000 from Bank B on the strength of what it is owed by the punters (effectively secured against People C’s houses twice)”

    You lose me here :-

    Bank A can only borrow by securitising its own mortgages-ie those of People A ( not people C)

    If Bank B is a mortgage provider I don’t understand why it would want to lend to Bank A at interbank lending margins rather than to new mortgagees at mortgage margins. In your example Bank B has to raise new funds in the market anyway.

    Mortgages can be & were securitisesd & sold on-but that doesn’t create new money.

    You still finish up with one house purchased with one loan held by one funder /shared by a number of funders

  37. Rob
    I disagree this time (read your link) – it did not deal with the issue of environmental sustainability. There are two other kinds and what the Government is concentrating on is what it considers to be economic and social sustainability.

    In a sense, the presumption of development being acceptable, unless proven otherwise, is already the case. It is the Development Plan, of which the NPSs and now this proposal are part, which is the long stop against beamers bowled by our typical rural dodgy scrap merchants / farmers and slick city slickers who are eternally on the lookout for a vulnerable weakness in the system, a bit like a cheetah circling the herd.

    I’ve almost run out of metaphors but we definitely need the NT /CPRE prairie dogs to keep a look out because the last poll on the subject proved that most of the herd is peacefully grazing.

    They only awake on getting a NIMBY shock and then start charging around. I don’t like winning the campaign that way, but it’ll do for now, as it did for the forest sell-off, which was totally unfair to poor Mrs Spelman .

  38. I’m pitching a major new TV gameshow format to enterntainment industry execs tomorrow.

    I’ve called it ‘Alec’s Death Spiral’. Competitors are given an unspecified amount of cash by the host, with no one knowing how much cash the other competitors have. They each have to go to their alloted space on a movable spiral slide where and place their cash in a hole in the wall or ‘bank’.

    When the siren sounds they each have to go out and borrow as much money from other players, convincing them that they can pay it back. They can also issue and receive IOUs with interest which they then take back to their ‘bank’ to get as rich as possible. All the while the spiral is getting steeper and it becomes harder to move up and down the banks.

    When the siren sounds again contestants have to pay and collect everything they are owed in a very short time period, with the spiral now getting really steep, with the winner being the one still standing with the most money.

    The winner gets to keep their cash and gets a huge bonus. The losers don’t have to worry about their losses, and get a huge bonus. The audience has to pay the bonus.

    It would be great for the Saturday 6pm slot.

  39. @ Richard in Norway

    “Pop quiz time

    Which American president said this

    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration

    Clue- not a democrat”

    Not googling it. My best guess would be Teddy Roosevelt.

    Btw, I’m glad to see you posting. How are you holding up after that terrible tragedy in July?

  40. Howard

    Yes the bubble has not burst yet

    But which are the real spendthrift countries is debatable, at the moment the small and weak are being thrown to the wolves, but it is the UK which has the highest total debt to GDP ratio. High home prices are so double edged!!

  41. Alec
    Great idea. It would work well. Reality TV.

  42. Alec

    Hilarious :-))

  43. crossbat11

    The Picts stayed right where they were, defeating all -comers (till the Vikings!) :-)

  44. Alec

    “The winner gets to keep their cash and gets a huge bonus. The losers don’t have to worry about their losses, and get a huge bonus. The audience has to pay the bonus. ”

    If Anthony had a “Poster of the Year” Competition – you would just have won it.

    Marvellous!

  45. Alec

    Now I think about your idea, I don’t think it would work. I mean, the audience would have to be mugs to be willing to cough up the money for the bonuses, wouldn’t they? No one is that stupid!

  46. @Crossbat11

    You said “…So, the further towards the Highlands you go, the more independence-minded the Scots seem to be. Is that because those pesky Picks retreated ever northwards to escape the clutches of the Angles and the Saxons (and Romans, I suppose), all those years ago?…”

    I assume (but do not know) it’s to do with the Highland clearances

    Regards, Martyn

  47. @Alec

    You said “…Pretty much sums up the mess we allowed the banks to get themselves into…”

    Right sentiment, wrong verb. We did not *allow* the banks to do anything: the banks are no longer under our control, neither of us as a people nor us as a nation-state. The banks are way bigger than the countries and can kick them around as they wish, as was amply demonstrated in 2007/8/9

    Incidentally, expanding on the third mechanism by which the Euro may collapse: a government can’t sell its Euro-denominated bonds, leading to it not being able to finance its deficit and running out of cash to pay its staff (police, judges, army, etc). It decides to leave the Euro and issue debt in NewCurrency denominated bonds (by implication defaulting on the preexisting Euro-denominated bonds), and pay its staff in the NewCurrency. This is the emergency mechanism to which you were presumably referring to all this while.

    So we have three mechanisms, and they are:

    * 1: the Stephanie Flanders scenario: if the Greeks remove all their money from the Greek banks and don’t put it back into any banking system (eg put it under the mattresses), then the ECB will have to step in to correct the imbalance by recapitalising the banks, which’ll break the ECB
    * 2: the Open Europe scenario: if enough national banks just start printing Euros without central ECB authorisation, then that’lll cause hyperinflation and the zone will break up.
    * 3: the Roger Bootle scenario: if Greece can’t sell its Euro-denominated bonds and then decides to leave the Euro, issue debt in NewCurrency denominated bonds (by implication defaulting on the preexisting Euro-denominated bonds), and pay its staff in the NewCurrency, then the zone will break up.

    There y’go: three perfectly respectable scenarios by which the Euro can fall apart. I’m betting that for various reasons (mostly political, but primarily because the governments just don’t want to do this), they will not happen by January 1st 2012 (in fact, January 1st 2014) and that Germany and Greece will still be in the Euro on January 1st 2012.

    Regards, Martyn

    (“Greece” above refers to any Eurozone country)

  48. Alec
    I think it’s called ‘pass the parcel’.

  49. Barclays and RBS along with HSBC are among 17 major banks to face lawsuits in the US for their role in the subprime loan sector.

    Its going to be a while before that “investment” we all made in RBS pays off !

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