This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll is up here. Topline figures are CON 29%, LAB 41%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 12%.

Economy

The economic trackers are as bad as usual for the government – people think the government are managing the economy badly by 65% to 25%, 67% think George Osborne is doing a bad job as Chancellor, only 11% of people expect their economic situation to get better in the next twelve months. Asked if the government’s economic strategy is working only 7% think it is, 36% think it isn’t but will in the fullness of time, 45% think it is unlikely to ever work. Take note of these figures – they are the background to this week’s budget and we’ll see next week if it has a positive or negative effect (in recent years budgets have had negative effects far more often than positive ones).

On the budget itself YouGov asked people what they wanted to see happen to spending and taxes in the budget – and how it would be paid for (otherwise everyone tends to say they’d like more spending and less taxes). 32% of people (mostly Conservaitves) said they wanted to see spending cut more, 25% (mostly Labour) that they wanted to see spending cut less, 25% that cuts should stay at about their current level. People were similarly divided on taxes – 24% wanted to see tax cuts, 22% tax rises, 38% that taxes should stay at their current level.

These should all be seen in the context of the more regular YouGov polling on cuts that does show that people dislike the spending cuts – they consistently say they are bad for the economy, too fast and being done unfairly. However they are also consistent in saying that they think they are necessary, which proably explains why people answered this week’s poll as they did.

The survey also asked about ringfencing spending on various areas after Liam Fox’s call for NHS spending not to be protected. His stance was, unsurprisingly, not widely popular! 74% think it is right for NHS spending to be protected, 18% think it is wrong. There is also widespread (67%) support for protecting spending on education, but 76% are opposed to protecting spending on international aid.

Leveson

The poll also had a series of questions on Leveson, which generally speaking show the public pretty evenly divided. Some of the aims of the proposed regulations, such as forcing newspapers to print corrections or making newspapers who do not join the system subject to larger libel fines met with widespread support (90% and 62% respectively), but questions on the details of how the system works met with divided replies and large proportions of don’t knows. To be honest, I suspect that while people would like an effective and independent system of press regulation, few outside the industry or politics really care about the difference between underpinning by royal charter or by legislation.


432 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 29, LAB 41, LD 12, UKIP 12”

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  1. The money grab in Cyprus amounts to a government tax on the rich. Now were have I heard that before oh yeah Mansion tax.

  2. Turk

    In Cyprus they call it a Dacha tax.

    …or ???? ???????

    ..or Dacha ?????

  3. oops-pasting from Google translate doesn’t work !

  4. 40% of Cypriot bank deposits are by foreigners-mostly Russians.

    20% of Cyprus’s GDP is said to be dependent on Russian money.

    “Cypriot Finance Minister Michalis Sarris flew to Moscow on Tuesday afternoon to talk with Russian leaders about the implications for their citizens’ deposits.”

    Washington Post.

    Who is actually calling the shots on Cyprus ?

  5. GRHINPORTS/StatGeek
    The 32 today is only 1.4% off my 7-day weighted average (1% if you’re rounding) and Lab at 40 is only 0.9% off.
    That’s not an unusual figure, even when polling is pretty stable, just from statistical noise.
    That puts the weighted average-Lab lead at 10.3 (Lab down 0.3, Con up 0.4).

    And if tomorrow we see Con 30, Lab 41, the difference will be 0.3 for Con, 0 for Lab from the average – pushing the Lab lead up to 10.7.

  6. GRHINPORTS
    Another thing you have to deal with the lead is that small variation in both Lab and Con VI can cause much more accentuated lead variation.
    So the rounded 7-day weighted average for Lab/Con is currently Lab 41, Con 30.
    Assuming normal variation of +-2 from that position, you could have Lab 43, Con 28 or Lab 39, Con 32 (which is actually much larger variation than we’ve seen recently) – meaning that the lead could be as large as 15 and small as 7, just from that small variation.
    Even a variation of +-1 would give Lab 42, Con 29 or Lab 40, Con 31 – leads between 13 and 9.

  7. So. Have the Cypriots called the EU’s bluff?

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSB4N0AU01Z20130319?irpc=932

  8. @ Colin

    “Who is actually calling the shots on Cyprus ?”

    If the EU aren’t careful The Russian East Med Fleet!?

  9. “….ECB to provide liquidity as needed within the existing rules.”

    Can anyone tell me simply what this actually means in everyday terms?

  10. Cyprus – What a clusterf**k.

    We really are poorly served as a species by our movers and shakers.

  11. Tony

    It means nothing but the key word is liquidity, most financial trading is done by computers, they scan the headlines for key words trying to get a jump on the rest of the market, as soon as the algorithms saw the word liquidity the markets reversed and shot up but as soon as the humans actually analysed the statement the move was faded

  12. RiN

    I may be (scratch that, “am”) an incurable optimist, but I really do think that the Cypriots have called the EU’s bluff in a way that Greece didn’t dare to.

    Schaueble has tried to force this deal on Cyprus, in order to be able to put himself forward as the tough guy on the feckless Club Med’ers when the German elections come along. But Cyprus knows that he’s playing for enormous stakes. Does he dare risk pushing a Euro state into leaving the currency? Because if they do, what price any “guarantees” that Italy and Spain won’t also be forced out when the crunch comes. And in that case, the Euro is kaput.

    I suspect a messy deal is in the offing, with Cyprus providing some public funds, possibly Russia underwriting some of the bank debt and the ECB being forced into acting a lender-of-last-resort-because-the-alternative-is-unimaginable.

  13. Lefty
    “…I suspect a messy deal is in the offing,…”

    I know you don’t like partial quotes, but I agree with this representative sample of what you said. It just saves space not to quote the whole lot.

    Interesting times ahead!

  14. For the record, I wrote the post above before watching a recording of Paul Mason on NN saying pretty much exactly the same thing.

    I don’t know why I pay my licence fee…

  15. I can’t help but think that this Cyprus business will provide a further boost to UKIP support – from everyone else – it’s just that getting out of the EU will not rule out such things happening, we are in a bit of a pickle ourselves anyway.

  16. @Lefty – I suspect you are right. None the less, I am somewhat heartened by the Cypriots act of defiance.

    Like you, I’m also intrigued by the situation of one of the smallest economies having the biggest impacts in the EZ. This remains an almighty cock up by the EZ leaders. Up until a few days ago, everyone was assuming the worst was over for the EZ. Now, crisis is back in the news and everyone is fearful and worried. To effect that degree of change in such a short space of time takes an extraordinary amount of skill.

    These guys are seriously good at what they do.

  17. @Alec

    “These guys are seriously good at what they do.”

    *grin*

  18. Alec.

    I am wonderfully uplifted by the Cypriot defiance. We’ve waited 3 years for a people to have the balls to call the bluff of the Germans who refuse to accept their responsibilities. So we’ve had the madness of austerity packages forced on the debt-laden countries, without the balance of the other countries loosening their belts and stimulating demand. If Germany would finally grow up and get rid of it’s Weimar inflation obsession, Europe would have a path out of the darkness. Cyprus may have just forced them into a step along that path by forcing the ECB to underwrite them. Or else…

    Of course, Cyprus is crucial because it is symbolic. If depositors in banks in a tiny island can be fleeced, a line has been crossed and depositors in bigger countries would have no assurance that they are safe. And so Armageddon comes a step closer. And if a tiny island state is allowed to leave the Euro, what is to prevent bigger Irelands or Italies from doing the same. In which case, what price EU insistence that they will do “whatever it takes” to hold the Euro together? So Cyprus leaving the Euro takes us one step closer to another Armageddon.

    And it appears that the Cypriots realise this. They know their worth and they have gone all-in on that.

    Wolfgang Schaueble will be having an interesting night. He thought that he could bully a tiny country into submission in the way that he did Greece et al. Now he has two choices – accept the ECB being banker of last resort for the EZ, with all the culture-shock that this will mean for Germany, or accept Cyprus collapsing, with all that means for the future of the Euro.

  19. Are they still investigating plebgate????

  20. LEFTYLAMPTON,

    “call the bluff of the Germans who refuse to accept their responsibilities.”

    Eh, and just how is it Germany’s responsibility to bail out a Country that let it’s banking sector suck in dodgy money until it couldn’t afford to guarantee it?

    Your solution to countries who have been living beyond their means on credit seems to be for the Germans to live on credit to to stimulate demand.

    Yeah that will really work, all you need is for the Germans to slash taxes so that they can all ditch their BMW’s and Merc’s and rush out to by the output from the mighty Cypriot car industry.

    I don’t see the Germans blinking on this, if Cyprus can find the 10 billion it’s short another way then that’s fine, but if not I don’t think it will get more from the EU.

    I find it bizarre that anyone can be saying; well done Cypriot defiance when what they are doing is saying

    “It’s an outrage that the Germans are only prepared to underwrite 90% of our bloated and collapsing banking sector, we are entitled to 100% of what we want from them to dig us out of the mess we have made, after all we shouldn’t have to pay for our mistakes the Germans should”

    Peter.

  21. Peter Cairns

    My apologies if my earlier post came across as one-dimensional (which your reply suggests that it did).

    What I mean by “Germany’s responsibility” is that Germany was a driver of the whole Euro project, but has not seen through the consequence of monetary union – the commonality of fiscal policy and responsibility for underwriting banking systems. Instead, it has allowed a situation in which a thousand fiscal flowers and a thousand financial schemes have blossomed. And it’s response then was “That is YOUR problem to sort out.”

    In the meantime, Germany’s economic strength has been built on an export sector underpinned by a Euro that has been artificially weakened by the weaker countries.

    But I can put it all much more simply. In a common monetary zone, if there are imbalances between debtors and creditors, BOTH are to blame. If systems do not operate to level out these imbalances, both sides are on the way to catastrophe.

    “I don’t see the Germans blinking on this, if Cyprus can find the 10 billion it’s short another way then that’s fine, but if not I don’t think it will get more from the EU. ”

    If you are correct, then Germany and the EU are opening the gates to hell. If they allow Cyprus to go under, the Euro is a busted flush and will not see the year out in its current form.

    Remind me. What is the SNP policy on joining the Euro?

  22. Latest YouGov / The Sun results 19th March – CON 31%, LAB 41%, LD 11%, UKIP 11%; APP -38

  23. It’ll be interesting to see if the budget can shift the polling from Con 30/31, Lab 41, Lib 11, UKIP 11.

    From the ‘speculation’ that we’ve seen so far, it looks like it won’t be a particularly exciting budget (with the exception of possible BoE inflation target announcements), but a ‘steady as she goes’ budget is probably what’s needed for the Cons, as far as public opinion goes.

  24. “Latest YouGov / The Sun results 19th March – CON 31%, LAB 41%, LD 11%, UKIP 11%; APP -38”

    “It’ll be interesting to see if the budget can shift the polling from Con 30/31, Lab 41, Lib 11, UKIP 11”

    Hurrah! I knew if YouGov concentrated hard enough they would produce a sample that gave a Con VI in the middle of the range for once.

  25. @Lefty
    Russian oligarchs stand to bear much of the loss from either a savings haircut or a collapse in Cypriot banks. So Cyprus is negotiating with those same oligarchs who control the Russian state. It shouldn’t be that difficult to reach a mutually acceptable solution where the wider resources of Russia are used to effectively bail out both Cyprus and those same Russian oligarchs, with the Russian people being left to pick up the tab.

  26. @Leftylampton – “I am wonderfully uplifted by the Cypriot defiance.”

    Likewise. Sometimes it’s better to charge the guns rather than wait for the shells to explode around you. Either way you’re probably doomed, but die trying at least.

    @Petercairns – you are quite wrong – Germany does carry a responsibility for this, in general terms at least, but also in some specific areas. This really is less about assigning blame – the truth is that the system is defective, and lots of individual governments have made mistakes. However, because of the linked Euro system, there is only one way to rectify these mistakes once they have happened, as the previous market controls now no longer exist.

    Germany wanted a single currency, and were happy to link their country with 16 others, without a full consideration of the consequences. That is negligence for a start, but if you enter a currency union you are agreeing to pool responsibility for that currency, pure and simple. Germany pooled responsibility in the good years, but are refusing to do so when the trouble starts.

    I’ve said this many times before on here, but
    no currency union has ever survived long term without full fiscal and political union – it just hasn’t happened ever in the history of money.

    The only way currencies can function is to have full fiscal union, where budgets are controlled centrally and large fiscal transfers take place to move cash from wealthy areas to poorer ones. This is the only way you can run an economic area where there are no currency fluctuations to absorb stresses, unless you wish to use substantial unemployment in poor areas and/or inflation in the wealthy zones as the means to absorb the pressures.

    Germany wants it all ways. They are not prepared to fund the poorer EZ zones, they will not accept inflation at home, so they insist on mass unemployment for others.

  27. Good Morning All.

    ALEC. Thank you for that brilliant post on customs, fiscal and political union.
    In the UK the ‘political elites’ have often not be fully truthful about this.

    The founders of the original EEC institutions intended fiscal and political union to occur. They said they were ‘primarily politicians’ rather than businessmen. (No women at the top then).
    The Treaty of Rome to which the UK and Ireland signed up to in 1973 also makes this clear.

  28. @Petercairns -incidentally, quite some time ago I posted a link to an economic paper commissioned by the EEC (as was) in around 1975 if my memory serves me well.

    They asked a panel of economists to report on the requirements for a single currency. I found it interesting for two key reasons. Firstly, it wasn’t long after UK had joined the union, but despite what the Yes campaign said at the time, it made absolutely clear that Brussels was already thinking years down the line about full fiscal union.

    The second point of interest is the more relevant one for this discussion. The report came up with various criteria for economic convergence, but also found that up to 20% of the whole EEC GDP would need to be spent by Brussels in order to make any currency stable.

    At the time, the Commission budget represented around 0.5% of the EEC GDP, and from memory when I checked, it currently stands at around 0.9%. So the policy makers duly read this report and then junked it, knowing that taxing their citizens to hand over something like half of the resulting revenues to Brussels was impossible, yet they went ahead with the currency project anyway.

  29. TONY DEAN

    @”….ECB to provide liquidity as needed within the existing rules.”

    ECB has a number of schemes for providing Banks in EZ with “temporary” additional liquidity ( cash )

    It has medium term loans available at low interest rates.

    It has also said that it is prepared to buy sovereign bonds of certain EZ counrtries , in the bond market, -but it requires the sovereign in question to have agreed to certain EZ fiscal constraint arrangements,

    This is ECB’s way of doing what BoE was doing with it’s Asset Purchase ( QE) programme.

    THe purpose of both initiatives is to provide Banks with temporary increases in cash availability.

  30. I’m just waking up this morning to the full scale of the stupidity of the Troika. We’re now hearing that Cyprus is talking to Gazprom about selling off future rights to their newly discovered gas fields in return for a Russian bailout.

    Talk about strategic blunder. Allowing Russia to grab a chunk of what will be the key global resource in a few years time, all because you’ve got your Teutonic knickers in a twist about who pays for the bail out.

    As I said last night – these guys are seriously good at what they do…..

  31. Things are brightening up at home mind.

    Buckingham Palace was apparently increasingly concerned about the Queen’s workload and her recent health, and they’ve been trying to work out ways to substitute other royals for her to reduce her working hours.

    Step forward Atos. Apparently they’ve now completed their DLA assessment of Richard III and have rated him as fit for work.

  32. Cyprus off shore gas assets could be used in any deal with Russia, which is why now Cyprus has called the EU out, it could get quite messy from the EU stand point…good on Cyprus

  33. ALEC

    Much of what you say about the EZ’s fundamental flaws is correct-you & I have agreed on this for some time.

    BUt non of that negates Peter CAirns’ criticism of Cyprus.

    The EZ didn’t demand that it grow it’s banking sector to 8X it’s national GDP-allow its banks to become a tax avoidance haven for Russians & Ukranians , and then watch them lose a fortune on Greek sovereign loans.

    And it didn’t demand that Cyprus implement such a low tax regime , so reliant on financial services , that the tax base is totally incapable of withstanding a shock to the banking system.

    EZ’s regulators may be criticized for standing by & watching all this happen ( but then our own regulators did too!) -but the sovereign democratic responsibility for fiscal policy & banking regulation rests with the elected representatives of the people of Cyprus.

  34. Any lessons from Cyprus for a potentially independent Scotland? Both have actual or potential oil wealth, combined with a financial sector which is very large (if RBS goes to Scotland) in difficulty, and both are in, or envisage themselves as being in, a currency union.

  35. There is a sense in which the Russian Oligarchs will be the main beneficiaries of saving the Cypriot banks where they have so much of their money.

    If it is assumed that smaller depositors will tend to be
    Cypriots / UK expats etc, and larger depositors , Russian billionaires -then a deal which exempts smaller depositors could be seen as fair to locals-and simply the excercise of the principle of caveat emptor for those tax avoiding Russians.

    A German MP on R4 this morning hinted at such a viewpoint.

    All the same, given politics in Russia today, one imagines that Putin will try to shield his friends from financial loss.

    The huge deposits of Russians in Cypriot banks are recycled to investments in Russia & represent significant factors in the Russian economy.

    Perhaps Cyprus’ offshore gas find will be the final chip in this game of international poker.

    But since I understand that the drilling companies are Israeli & US owned, one can only imagine the geo-political ramifications.

  36. @colin – I don’t disagree at all with that. However, if Cyprus was doing bad things with it’s banking sector, that was Germany’s problem. They signed up to the deal, and they should know the consequences.

    As I said, it’s really less about assigning blame, but all about recognising the implications of what you have signed up to.

    I see this as part of a tradition of abuse that we in the UK have had our fair share of in the past. We are all lectured to be ‘good Europeans’, but when the proverbial hits the whizzy thing, all those good Europeans suddenly rediscover national self interest.

  37. @TINGEDFRINGE

    “It’ll be interesting to see if the budget can shift the polling from Con 30/31, Lab 41, Lib 11, UKIP 11.

    From the ‘speculation’ that we’ve seen so far, it looks like it won’t be a particularly exciting budget (with the exception of possible BoE inflation target announcements), but a ‘steady as she goes’ budget is probably what’s needed for the Cons, as far as public opinion goes.”

    ——————

    From press rumours, it seems that’s what a number of Tories are looking for: a “boring” budget.

    According to Larry Elliot at the Graun that means: No plan B, nor much further acceleration of austerity or shrinking of the state. Instead, the new, more growth-oriented policy at the Bank of England is going to be relied upon to provide much of the spur to growth, with the budget providing a Amish-mash of smaller measures…

    http://m.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/mar/17/budget-2013-what-direction-will-george-osborne-take

    …A bit of tax-cutting (raising the threshold to £10k, a bit more cutting with proceeds redirected toward infrastructure £2.5 billion), a further cut in corporation tax, action on fuel duty etc.

    He wrote the article 3 days ago but it seems these things are coming to pass from press announcements. Clearly these measures in the budget so far aren’t big enough changes to be normally expected to make much difference, so a lot of faith is being put into the BoE.

    Cable wanted to borrow 15Bn for infrastructure it seems. To give an idea of what that could be worth, the GDP of the economy is around 1.4 Trillion squids. One percent of that is £14Bn, roughly what Cable wants. However such government investment usually carries a multiplier of around x2.0 (I.e. the return on investment is twice what you put in in growth terms). So you might expect 2% growth for the investment.

    (The multiplier could be greater given various circumstances but x2 is a handy baseline figure). In contrast corporation tax cuts give a multiplier of only x0.5 for the same investment. But Osborne is only going to invest 2.5Bn and the money won’t come from borrowing but from cuts elsewhere. These cuts will have a negative effect on the economy but their multiplier is likely to be smaller. So we could wind up better off overall, but it’s small beer. And as NickP pointed out, you take the hit up front…

    Then, Elliot doesn’t mention Heseltine’s plan for regional development, much of which Osborne is adopting. But they are only acting in three areas where Hezzer wanted around seven and where he wanted around £14Bn apparently they are spending in the “low billions”. I dunno if some of that money comes from the already announced infrastructure plans.

    There’s talk of freeing councils to spend on housing. I suppose you could get a bit of growth in excess of one percent if you added up the infrastructure plus Hezzer plus councils’ housebuilding (if it happens) but then there are plenty of cuts to kick in to offset.

    At the moment it seems to be mostly down to the BoE or hoping to be pulled up by reviving economies elsewhere unless… there are some rabbits in the hat…

    That’s potential longer term VI impact via the economy, but of other measures… if fuel duty is merely frozen hard to see that having everyone rush to vote. Childcare discounts are seemingly favouring the better off. Upping the tax threshold hasn’t delivered many votes before. But what else is there to come? Can you get a boost from a sense of relief it didn’t all go to pot again?…

  38. @Charles – the SNP have already accepted (privately) that if they keep sterling, Westminster will allocate the budget totals.

  39. ALEC

    I think you are in danger of exempting EU sovereigns from the responsibility of the actions they take in pursuit of the democratic sovereignty which you defend so staunchly.

    You cannot blame Germany for everything,and exempt failed EZ economies from everything.

  40. Charles,

    Yes, an independent Scotland would be mad to use sterling. The parallels are obvious. The only sensible way forward would be to have their own currency.

    All,

    The consensus in the financial press this morning seems to be that Cyprus as an offshore banking centre is doomed. Therefore there is no point any more trying to rescue it. The focus is moving to capital controls to prevent it imploding too fast. PawelMorski again:

    http://pawelmorski.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/cyprus-fight-club-capital-controls/

    The interesting question is how big a mess this is going to be and how it impacts public opinion in other countries. The key questions seems to be whether Cyprus leaves the euro or stays.

  41. @Alec – So if the SNP go with Sterling or the EU for that matter does Scotland really get an increase in independence? Crucial financial decisions will be taken by people over whom they have no electoral control. Would that really be an improvement over Devo-Max?

  42. Colin

    I fear that the problem is a confusion of economics and morality.

    Cyprus didn’t develop an over-inflated banking sector outside the EZ. Because it couldn’t. But once inside the EZ, the markets had confidence that they were backed by the entire EZ. That’s the economics of the situation. It is now, frankly, an indulgence to play this as a morality tale.

    As Alec says, Germany wants it both ways. It berates countries for not having played the game the German way over the last decade. But it wasn’t prepared to take the steps to enforce this a decade ago. So NOW it is trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube by imposing deals on the errant countries that drive them into Depression-style slumps.

    And, Cyprus has now done what Greece or Ireland could have done before. It has realised its own power and faced Schaueble down. Schaueble is now faced with the stark economic reality that he is pushing the EZ into a horrifying gamble if he allows Cyprus to default and leave the EZ.

    For those who see the issue through the prism of morality, with sinners having to pay, that is deeply unfair. But that misses the moral aspect that Germany is reaping what it sowed in encouraging a continent to join a fundamentally flawed project.

    And in any case, it’s not about morality. It is about dirty, hard politics and economics.

    Cyprus has seen the Baltic states willingly embrace the German medicine and be rewarded by Depression-level economic collapse. It has seen Greece have the medicine forced on it and have a Depression-level slump. Cyprus is refusing to follow the same path and knows that it has a strong enough hand to call the bluff.

    What is required in the world of politics and economics is a way out that optimises the politico-economic outcome. An approach that threatens to tear the EZ apart and throws natural resources into the hands of Russia can hardly be considered optimal. Even if it is driven by moral rectitude.

  43. The former governor of the bank of Cyprus was pointing out that Luxembourg has the same basic structure as Cyprus, and I notice it was the Luxembourg finance minister that called last nights eurogroup meeting

  44. LEFTY

    I don’t see it that way.

    And I didn’t mention “morality”.

    It isn’t a question of morality.

    It is a question of responsibility & accountability.

    I have no doubt there are a number of players to be counted in the numbers of those truly responsible.

    But they most certainly include the Government(s) of Cyprus.

  45. Btw

    German bonds went to negative yields again yesterday, God knows how much money the Germans have saved in borrowing costs as a result of insanity in the piigs and of that wasn’t enough German banks that were looking very shaky are being bouyed up with fleeing deposits from club Med countries(ours as well) they were even sending out emails to Cypriot companies yesterday offering help with moving their deposits!! So these crisis aren’t bad for everyone

  46. Colin

    I agree entirely that the question is about accountability and responsibility.

    Trouble is, both of those concepts went out the window when the Euro was left as a half-finished bodge. At that point, the ONLY thing stopping countries taking advantage of the implicit support of the entire bloc was morality.

    Germany is effectively telling the debtor countries that they have behaved immorally and now need to take a penalty. Cyprus is saying, “And what happens to YOU if we don’t?”

  47. Insanity was supposed to be instability but it seems my autocorrect is more astute than I am

  48. It seems people are arguing about two different things.

    On the one side, some are concerned that Cyprus should have to take a haircut along with others, without which you have the “moral hazard” problem, in which others pay but not Cyprus.

    Against that you have others saying that, hey, Cyprus are in the EU so others have signed up to share the burdens of Cyprus. I don’t see that this washes. Others ARE acting to help Cyprus. If Cyprus don’t have to do anything themselves then you return to the moral hazard problem.

    The crux of the matter therefore, is the conditions being imposed on Cyprus. Expecting them to share the hit is reasonable, but the self-defeating nightmare of austerity is something else…

  49. Colin
    “I have no doubt there are a number of players to be counted in the numbers of those truly responsible.
    But they most certainly include the Government(s) of Cyprus.”

    I don’t disagree with this. But it is not important. This is what I mean about focussing on morality when what we should focus on is the economic solution.

    Of course, lessons should be learned for the future. New systems will be required that enforce moral probity. But allowing the questions about responsibility to cloud the question of what best to do NOW is a potential disaster.

  50. Carefrew. Moral hazard is for another day. This is realpolitik. Moral hazard was abandoned when the Euro was set up. The question now is, do you destroy the Euro by trying, retrospectively, to enforce a concept of moral hazard?

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