The full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here.

Economic confidence is very poor – the proportion of people expecting the country to fall back into recession has grown to 73%, up from 59% when YouGov asked in February. Only 8 expect their financial situation to improve in the next 12 months, with 63% expecting it to get worse (a net feel good factor of minus 55, the lowest since January) and only 31% of people think the government is managing the economy well, with 59% thinking they are doing so badly. Despite this, the Conservatives still have a lead over Labour as the party people think would best deal with the country’s economic problems, 30% to 24%.

Ahead of the Labour conference opinions of Ed Miliband are generally negative. His overall approval rating stands at minus 33, with the boost in perceptions that he enjoyed from “hackgate” having almost completely disappeared. Ratings of his leadership so far are miserable – only 18% of people think he has provided an effective opposition, 64% think he has not. Only 19% think he has made it clear what he stands for, 66% do not. Only 19% of people think he would be up to the job of Prime Minister, compared to 62% who think he would not.

His ratings are poor even amongst Labour supporters – 51% of Labour voters do not think Miliband has provided an effective opposition, 52% think he has not made it clear what he stands for. 45% of Labour voters think would be up to the job of Prime Minister, 34% think he would not.

36% of people think that the party would have been better off with David Miliband, including 45% of Labour supporters. Only 6% think the party would have been worse off with David Miliband, 35% think it would be no different. Asked who the best leader of the Labour party would be, 30% of people pick David Miliband to a rather cutting 9% for Ed Miliband.

There was also a BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday, which had topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%.


152 Responses to “YouGov on the economy and Miliband”

1 2 3 4
  1. @ Richard in Norway

    “i’m surprised that the myth of the sub prime crisis being the fault of the poor borrower deceiving the lenders and bill Clinton forcing lenders to lend to folk that were unqualified to receive them still has legs considering the evidence of extreme fraudulent behavior, but its pushed as a way of getting the powerful off the hook”

    I suppose so. I’m surprised that the myth exists at all.

    Most of these subprime lenders wanted to make these loans because they individually benefited from them. They could make a huge amount of money through hidden predatory fees (things like prepayment penalties) and the huge upswings in monthly mortgage rates gave them the opportunity to reap huge profits. That was if people could afford to pay off the loans. By enticing people with extremely low initial interest rates, they would gain back that much more when the rates skyrocketed. And if people couldn’t afford these loans, the subprime lenders would become wealthier by possessing the properties. Their greed is beyond sickening.

  2. An interesting observation on the ‘who is to blame’ argument –
    The right will blame the borrower because the borrower (who isn’t in the dominant position) should have taken more personal responsibility in taking out the loan.
    The left will blame the lender (who is in the dominant position) because they were in the position to recognise that the borrower couldn’t really afford the loan.
    Perhaps both left and right are wrong – both sides are somewhat to blame, both for different reasons.

    It strikes to the left and the right speaking two different languages, in a way*.
    The right talk about ‘responsibility’ and mean personal responsibility – each person is to blame for their own circumstances.
    The left talk about ‘responsibility’ and mean responsibility to other people.
    The right talk about fairness and mean procedural fairness where the left mean ‘distributive’ (for lack of a better term).
    etc

    * not completely my own observation – George Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics at University of California has written books on the subject.

    Also –
    I think PeteB summed up Miliband’s performance so far –
    “In contrast Miliband came across to me as waffly and evasive.”
    He’s trying the old trick of being everything to everybody and not actually nailing down what he stands for.

    Ask about the unions and his answers are ambiguous – he won’t say that he won’t support future strikes but doesn’t support strikes ‘while talks are in progress’.
    etc
    It seems like he’s waiting for the public to tell him what to think, rather than coming out fighting and standing for something.

  3. Tinged Fringe

    “It seems like he’s waiting for the public to tell him what to think, rather than coming out fighting and standing for something.”

    Gary Gibbons was making that very point on the Ch 4 news. Seemingly journalists are regularly asked by journalists what the views of voters are.

    Liam Byrne and (I. think) Harman were using the same slogan today that “politics have to come before policies”.

  4. @ Colin

    “They were certainly front & centre in what became the global credit crunch.”

    It wasn’t just them. They were just one part of it.

    When the government allows sub prime loans to be made in mass to unsophisticated purchasers (looking the other way while these lenders act as predators), you are bound to get the housing crisis.

  5. Sorry

    “Seemingly journalists are regularly asked by Labour MPswhat the views of voters are.”

  6. Pete B @ John B Dick

    “Scottish Parliament was done by a pretty boy (Blair), but apart from that, I agree.”

    Not really. If I can contribute anything to this site it is to make known the fact that it was all Donald Dewar’s doing and that I know this because he had it all worked out as a teenager and told me of his vision some 44 years before it came to fruition.

    TB didn’t understand a complex brief, but he could not fail to notice that DD did. Perhaps critical were two factlets: John Smith’s two soundbites.

    “The settled will of the Scottish People”
    “Unfinished business”

    Appointing DD to the Scottish Office must have been just about the easiest decision TB was ever required to make as PM.

    A man who speaks in soundbites and cliches almost certainly thinks in soundbites and cliches. He would think that he had to do something to finish the unfinished business and bring about the settled will of the Scottish People (and Labour in Scotland) so he would just tell DD to get on with it.

    So DD did as he had been planning nearly all his life and certainly long before I knew him.

    An alternative view is that there was an eu requirement.

  7. John B Dick

    Council of Europe requirement – not EU.

  8. John B Dick

    Or possibly, Council of Europe “strongly advised”, might be more accurate.

  9. Richard in Norway

    but its pushed as a way of getting the powerful off the hook”

    But not by me Richard-or I wouldn’t have commended this to you :-

    “The U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission reported its findings in January 2011. It concluded that “the crisis was avoidable and was caused by: Widespread failures in financial regulation, including the Federal Reserve’s failure to stem the tide of toxic mortgages; Dramatic breakdowns in corporate governance including too many financial firms acting recklessly and taking on too much risk; An explosive mix of excessive borrowing and risk by households and Wall Street that put the financial system on a collision course with crisis; Key policy makers ill prepared for the crisis, lacking a full understanding of the financial system they oversaw; and systemic breaches in accountability and ethics at all levels.“

  10. SOCAL

    ” And if people couldn’t afford these loans, the subprime lenders would become wealthier by possessing the properties. ”

    Really?

    So the collapse of real estate values never happened then?

    And all those FOR SALE signs in RepoVille are a trick?

    And all thoseSub Prime Mortgage Backed Securities didn’t lose value catastrophically?

    And the Banks stopped lending to each other & threw the western world into recession, because they failed to understand everything was just fine & dandy?

    Well I’ll be doggone!

  11. I do wish that people would give EM a chance before rushing to judgement.By the end of the conference things
    may seem different.By the way Pete B,I presume that you
    are extremely good looking ,as you are so keen to comment on the looks of others.

  12. Richard

    One for you

    h ttp://www.slate.com/id/2200160/#

    Shall we stop now before AW gets cross?

    We can both use a keyboard :-)

  13. @ Old Nat

    “Liam Byrne and (I. think) Harman were using the same slogan today that “politics have to come before policies”.”

    That sounds terrible. And even dumber to admit that in public.

  14. @ Colin

    “Really?

    So the collapse of real estate values never happened then?

    And all those FOR SALE signs in RepoVille are a trick?

    And all thoseSub Prime Mortgage Backed Securities didn’t lose value catastrophically?

    And the Banks stopped lending to each other & threw the western world into recession, because they failed to understand everything was just fine & dandy?

    Well I’ll be doggone!”

    Well if everyone does it, then these things tend to turn into housing crises. Because no one can afford to pay back these loans.

    The crisis was not caused by the pricing bubble (and frankly, these things happen…..it’s always good to be a seller in a bubble and a buyer after it birsts). What iwas caused by is lenders pursuing buyers who couldn’t typically afford homes of their own and telling them that they could afford it. And not only could they afford a home, they could afford a brand new, shiny, spacious home in a new subdivision. Of course, the truth was they either couldn’t afford the home or wouldn’t be able to afford it after a few years. People were so enticed by these new homes that they never bothered to read the fine print (and that was the intention).

    The housing crisis is caused by this and its ripple effects. Businesses in those new subdivisions couldn’t survive when people were foreclosed upon and had to leave. Real estate groups who bought up shopping centers in those areas (and I have personal experience with this) could no longer profit when they could no longer bring in new renters. Because of the widespread debts incurred, those who entered into subprime loans could no longer afford to make other payments and their buying power decreased (harming the greater economy). Finally, because there was no more demand for it, developers couldn’t build any more developments (no one would buy the homes, the shopping centers, the office parks) and to keep themselves from going under, they had to lay off and stop hiring all the construction workers and subcontractors. This increased unemployment and further hurt the economy.

    Real estate bubbles come and go. They do not typically result in national housing crises and near global economic meltdowns.

  15. @ Colin

    “The U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission reported its findings in January 2011. It concluded that “the crisis was avoidable and was caused by: Widespread failures in financial regulation, including the Federal Reserve’s failure to stem the tide of toxic mortgages; Dramatic breakdowns in corporate governance including too many financial firms acting recklessly and taking on too much risk; An explosive mix of excessive borrowing and risk by households and Wall Street that put the financial system on a collision course with crisis; Key policy makers ill prepared for the crisis, lacking a full understanding of the financial system they oversaw; and systemic breaches in accountability and ethics at all levels.“

    All true. That does not exclude the possibility of fraud on the part of lenders.

  16. SOCAL

    ” They do not typically result in national housing crises and near global economic meltdowns.”

    Not until the mortgages funding the bubble were spread around the worlds banking system via Mortgage Backed Securities.

    Thats what changed-& Fannie & Freddie were in the thick of that explosian of securitised mortgages.

    And when the bubble burst it wasn’t just in Hicksville Mortgage Corporation’s books-it was everywhere in the western banking system………….and they all said bloody hell…………and stopped lending to each other.

    Then in little old UK, idiot business models like Northern Rock , which relied on Wholesale Bank Finance came to a gshuddering halt.

    And the rest is history

  17. @Ann in Wales

    “By the way Pete B,I presume that you
    are extremely good looking ,as you are so keen to comment on the looks of others.”

    Well as it happens…… :-)

    No, but if you read my post I was simply making the point that in a televisual age, whether we like it or not, appearances seem to affect VI to some extent. That is all.

  18. SOCAL

    “That does not exclude the possibility of fraud on the part of lenders.”

    Did I say it did?

    Its not me who wants to point the finger at one group.

    You are confusing me with a bloke in Norway :-)

    As your Commission makes clear-the cast of this drama was very extensive.

  19. colin

    from the wall street journal

    As expected, the regulator overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac today sued many of the country’s biggest banks, claiming the government-owned entities were duped into buying tens of billions of dollars in mortgage securities that went south.

    In a news release, the FHFA detailed the banks it is suing. And its filings also detail the amount of mortgage securities Fannie and/or Freddie purchased that these banks sold, underwritten or otherwise were involved in.

    Ally Financial (ex-GMAC), $6 billion

    Bank of America Corp., $6 billion

    Barclays Bank, $4.9 billion

    Citigroup, $3.5 billion

    Countrywide, $26.6 billion

    Credit Suisse Holdings USA, $14.1 billion

    Deutsche Bank, $14.2 billion

    First Horizon National, $883 million

    General Electric, $549 million

    Goldman Sachs, $11.1 billion

    HSBC North America, $6.2 billion

    J.P. Morgan Chase, $33 billion

    Merrill Lynch/First Franklin Financial, $24.853 billion

    Morgan Stanley, $10.58 billion

    Nomura Holding America Inc., $2 billion

    Royal Bank of Scotland Group, $30.4 billion

    Societe Generale, $1.3 billion

    you see all these banks were involved in making and selling morgage backed sercurities. all of them are engaged in lawsuits with privite investers who are also claiming they got ripped off

    was fannie and fredie a part of the problem, yes but they were only a part of the problem and they were not the root cause

    i say nothing more

  20. I have only just emerged from a couple of hours of lying down in a darkened room. Not only did I have to recover from a dreadful first half performance from my beloved Villa at Loftus Road and then, after a much improved second half display, an injury time QPR equaliser, but I had my whole Sunday afternoon enjoyment ruined by the appearance of David Cameron at the game, supporting the Villa!

    It is at times like this that I am inclined to share the sentiments of Jonny Marr of the Smiths who, when he heard that Cameron was a fan of the band, publicly forbade him from liking them!

    Cameron a Villa fan, for pity’s sake. What next; Ed Miliband reveals his lifelong affection for Birmingham City??

    Alas, my familiar world, with all its reassuring and life-affirming certainties is becoming evermore confused!

  21. Pete,of course I read your comment, that is why I commented on it! It is just that I prefer my men tall,dark and handsome,rather than tall ,red faced and with a tiny
    mouth.The whole thing is subjective of course.

  22. Crossbat,well fancy that,Cameron supporting the Villa,and the Lib Dems holding their conference in Brum.The main
    battleground for the next election?Well the midlands of course.

  23. @ Crossbat11

    “I have only just emerged from a couple of hours of lying down in a darkened room. Not only did I have to recover from a dreadful first half performance from my beloved Villa at Loftus Road and then, after a much improved second half display, an injury time QPR equaliser, but I had my whole Sunday afternoon enjoyment ruined by the appearance of David Cameron at the game, supporting the Villa!”

    I’m sorry. I know the feeling. Like watching the Lakers get swept by the Mavericks back in June. Then finding out that the team’s lack of cohesion was due to one of the players hooking up with one of the other player’s wives. Talk about unprofessional!

    Also, I hate it when I find out people I dislike are fans of my same sports teams. Whenever Dubya would throw out the first pitch at Nationals games in D.C. (commonly known as the Nats), the entire stadium would erupt in loud boos and jeers.

    “Alas, my familiar world, with all its reassuring and life-affirming certainties is becoming evermore confused!”

    Yes, I feel your pain. If you’d like something to cheer you up, check this out:

    http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/GOP-Debate-Cold-Opening/1358180

    I saw this last night and laughed my sides out. It’s hysterical and will make up for any sports blues you may be feeling. :)

  24. On the blame for duff mortgages;

    I don’t know very much about the US mortgage market, but in 2008 I investigated a minor mortgage fraud that arose from a seizure of some (probable) drugs cash.

    I had to take statements from the brokers, and educate myself in the way their whole system operated.

    A large part of the problem was neither the lenders nor the borrowers. It was the middle-men in between, greasing the wheels for a tidy fee of their own. Every mortgage deal would generate several hundred pounds (at least) of bunce for the broker concerned, who had done virtually nothing except fill out three or four forms. Some borrowers, and some lenders, no doubt connived in the process. But what went on in the middle was pure crime, for very obvious and transparent motives.

    It’s no suprise that the community of mortgage brokers and the community of organised criminals in the West country overlap to quite an extent.

  25. Neil A

    Sounds like what I understood to be the case in the USA, from my relatives there.

    The core of the problem (as I understand it) was the banks paying large commissions to local agents for every mortgage they arranged. The banks didn’t perform due diligence that their “rules” were being followed.

    The same incompetence that allowed rogue traders to lose billions (just on a smaller scale).

  26. Come to think of it

    Since the banks were then parcelling up these duff mortgages and selling them elsewhere ….

    On a larger scale.

  27. @SocalLiberal

    Unfortunately, for some reason, I couldn’t play the clip you provided but when I saw it involved a debate between Mitt Romney and Rik Perry I presumed it must have been hilarious. In fact the mere thought of it made me laugh, so thanks for cheering me up!

    An old comic hero of mine, Groucho Marx, once had a similar experience when an old friend sent him a book he’d written and asked him to tell him what he thought of it. Groucho, after a few days, replied as thus; “From the moment I picked up your book to the moment I put it down, I couldn’t stop laughing. I really must read it some time!”

  28. @Crossbat

    Cameron is only pretending to be a Villain – he’s on record about four years ago admitting that he couldn’t stand football. My commiserations nonetheless.

    Miliband is unlikely to be a Bluenose. Were he to come out as a Baggie, however, it would show not just impeccable taste, but also provide cast-iron proof that, unlike Cameron, he knows what real suffering is. :)

  29. @ Neil A

    The mortgage brokers in the US were forging or changing documents to show incomes several multiples higher than they actually were. They knew the borrowers could not afford to make the repayments, but did not care, as once they had taken their cut, there was very little comeback on them. Who would they believe had forged the documents, the borrower often foreign without a good grasp of English or the broker ? I believe that some of these brokers have since been caught, but I suspect that there are many thousands out there who have got away with it. My experience is that any work type that involves commision payments without suitable supervison and regulatory oversight, is bound to lead to dodgy dealings, as people get greedy.

  30. Crossbat/Ann

    THE most revolting act of betrayal by any politiician was David Mellor’s switch from supporting Fulham to supporting Chelsea when (Chelsea fan) Major took power. Rank, obsecene opportunism.

    A man can be unfaithful to his wife, even change political party and still be redeemable. But to change football team…Beyond the pale.

    Course. as a lifelong Doncaster Rovers season ticket holder, there’s little chance of me rubbing shoulders with any major politico. Even EdM follows the usual route of football supporters in Donny and supports Leeds Utd…

  31. @Pete B

    Of course it goes without saying that you’re an adonis, but I find EM rather attractive. Certainly compared to that red faced, smarmy individual who is our PM.

    Remind me, what does this have to do with polls? 8-)

  32. @Tark

    You may well be right about the sincerity of Cameron’s footballing allegiances, but I’m getting seriously worried about some of the company we’re keeping. David Cameron, Prince William and Mervyn King have all expressed support for the Villa at various times and I need reassurance that Rupert Murdoch and Sir Fred Goodwin aren’t intending to make an appearance at Villa Park in the near future!

    By the way, always better a Baggie than a Bluenose!

  33. CROSSBAT11

    Thanks for that Groucho story. I hadn’t heard it before.

  34. @Pete B
    And its only a straw poll of course, but it looks like the female contributers to this site find EMmore appealing than DC, so put that in your pipe… 8-)

  35. Valerie!

    I know I raised the concept of a “political” dating agency a thread or two back, but really!

    You’ll give Anthony an incentive to reprogram YouGov’s computer to match us all up with compatible partners.

    Mind you, given its accuracy on the Scottish GE, it would probably suggest that Steve and I were soul mates. :-(

  36. Wasn’t it also Groucho who wrote the review that might have been penned for most conference speeches?

    “I found your work both original and entertaining. Unfortunately, the entertaining bits were not original and the original bits were not entertaining.”

  37. @ Neil A

    Torquay’s the place. Scousers .Jocks and the Adams family.

  38. For those bemused by Ed Miliband, here are a couple of evaluations, from one who is not uncritical, and another who has not so far been well disposed.

    Allegra Stratton: “Miliband has two endearing character traits that are sadly not serving him in good stead here: he is a very nice man, and he is really quite self-assured. He thinks his nice man-ness exudes, and it does compel those with whom he has personal contact. But since it is not connecting with the broader public, it ends up being an anti-asset – encouraging complacency. Similarly, the deep well of confidence that comes from the tips of his toes desensitises him to those moments when something really should be done…
    One year on, Ed Miliband’s tenure is marked by understandable care bordering on conservative caution.”

    Andrew Rawnsley: “… those of his critics who describe Ed Miliband as timid, unimaginative or directionless are not correct. The Labour leader does have a strategy and it is really rather breathtaking in the boldness with which it challenges both conventional wisdom and historical experience…
    Whatever you think of Ed Miliband’s strategy, absolutely the wrong word for it is cautious.”

  39. @ Old Nat

    You’ll give Anthony an incentive to reprogram YouGov’s computer to match us all up with compatible partners

    ————————————————————————–

    The mind boggles! :-)

  40. I can’t imagine how anyone could describe Miliband as timid. Taking on Murdoch publically required guts. I still think that may backfire for him but glad he did it anyway.

  41. I think Ed M should play to his strengths and BE bold. His major (only?) success to date was when he ignored “right thinking” folk and demanded Brookes resignation from NI. Don’t forget how bold that move was, and how it wrong footed Cameron.

    He needs to back his own instincts a bit instead of waiting for focus groups. If he is confident, let’s see it.

  42. @LeftyLampton

    At risk of Anthony switching me off for turning this site into a football chat room, can I congratulate Donny Rovers on their first win of the season yesterday. Your new Manager is an old hero mine; the legendary Dean Saunders.

    In my cricket playing days, we once toured South Yorkshire and based ourselves in Doncaster. Played some great clubs in the area including Barnby Dun and, my favourite, Bentley Colliery. We played Bentley on a rain affected day and when we arrived at the ground and surveyed the grey, rain-laden skies, retired to the nearby Miners Club for a few light refreshments, assuming the game would not take place. This was in the early 70s and with a NUM subsidised bar to enjoy (a double gin was 12p!), we had one or two over the odds. At about 4.00pm, one of the miners disturbed our revelry with the rather alarming news that the rain had stopped and play would start at 4.30pm. I recall very little after that apart from our rather droll Captain, who had won the toss and elected to bat, asking me to open the batting. I asked for a runner and, if that wasn’t possible, at least an escort to the crease, but he refused on both counts. As for my brief innings, I was told much later that I’d played and missed at the first three deliveries and then was run out by 10 yards off the fourth, having made some slight contact with the ball. I have a vague memory of meeting my opening partner, who was similarly intoxicated, in the middle of the wicket as the stumps were broken at the bowlers end. We briefly negotiated who was out between the two of us and, apparently, I did the gallant thing and offered myself up to the sanctuary of the pavilion. Legend has it that, as I departed, he shouted after me that he wouldn’t be much longer and could I get him a pint when I made it the bar. He wasn’t and I did buy him a pint, and one or two more if I remember rightly!

    Great tour, great place, superb people and some wonderful memories.

  43. There really is another way to look at the mortgage disaster blame game, at least for those on the right. For lenders within commercial, shareholder owned institutions, do they not have a duty to ensure the price for the service they are giving (provision of loans) can be paid by the buyer?

    Forget ideas of fraud and deception for a moment, and focus on the purpose for which private banks exist – to make money. then ponder how much they lost when the loans and investments went bad.

    In very straightforward terms, they made extremely poor business decisions. Don’t blame the borrowers for this – any lender has a duty to its own shareholders to make provision for any bad debts, and the banks called it wrong.

    Whoever the criminal law or our own moral codes may tell us is to blame, the financial institutions own judge and jury – the bottom line – is absolutely clear that they got it wrong.

  44. “Miliband explained that the new policy was designed to form the centrepiece of a manifesto if an early election were held. He indicated that it remained his ambition to move towards endorsing a graduate tax by the time of the next general election if the present parliament lasted until 2015.

    “If we can do more by the time of the election [in 2015], we will,” he told the BBC. “But this is an important first step.””

    Appears I was spot on the money earlier. This is only a temporary policy.

  45. Don’t forget that the lending aganst overpriced property wouldn’t have mattered except for the fact that property prices fell and suddenly we discovered that every bank in the known universe owned 100% of all those dodgy loans.

    How did that happen?

    They were packaged and repackaged and everybody bought them and who owed what to whom became everybody owed everybody…and where is the money?

    It’s left the banks and in the brokers’ separate accounts. The only security has collapsed in value.

    All that buying of gold. Who was doing that?

    My guess is bankers who son’t want to keep money in their own bamks.

  46. Thoughts on QE;

    Yesterday’s Guardian had a fascinating example of one potential solution in the form of a school economics project by some 16 year old Bavarians. They constructed a new local currency, the chiemgauer, which has become the world’s most successful alternative currency.

    It’s based on parity with the Euro and isn’t traded on currency markets so maintains its relative value. They persuaded 600 local businesses to accept it, having to pay a one off registration charge and a small monthly fee, as well as a 5% levy if they exchange to Euros. In return, businesses get free promotion through the scheme.

    In reality the scheme was designed to raise income for charities, with users paying a small % of each transaction to a nominated charity (a bit like credit card user fees, except the bank is your nominated charity in that case).

    But the clever bit, and the bit with implications for QE, is that if you don’t spent the currency within 3 months it loses 2% of it’s value. This means that the currency is constantly spent within the accepting businesses and is a very good way to boost local economies. Some banks do accept the currency, but they have to spend it locally, and cannot take it away and hold it or invest it elsewhere.

    If the BoE is going to pump £400b into the economy, why not do it with a special currency with built in depreciation if it isn’t spent, with geographical limits on where it can circulate, and in a form that banks or businesses cannot horde or invest for profit? The concept of negative interest has been around for years, but now might be a good time to road test it.

  47. @Alec

    “In very straightforward terms, they made extremely poor business decisions. Don’t blame the borrowers for this – any lender has a duty to its own shareholders to make provision for any bad debts, and the banks called it wrong.”

    Back to politics and, of course you’re absolutely right about the folly of the lenders. They gambled, not on the ability of the borrower to repay, but on the endless spiralling of property values. I don’t think they much cared whether the borrowers could meet the repayments or not, they just presumed that if they defaulted they could gain possession of an ever appreciating asset. They thought the bonanza would never run end; hence the Northern Rock 125% mortgages.

    It was financial lunacy and they shouldn’t have required a set of regulators to protect them from a disaster that they should have foreseen themselves.

    Their behaviour was a bit like a burglar defending his crime spree by blaming householders for not protecting their properties.

1 2 3 4