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Wednesday, 28 January, 2009

Sarah McDermott | 17:01 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Jeremy's presenting this evening. Here's what's coming up:

Britain's economy will be the hardest hit in the developed world in what is expected to be the "deepest recession since the second world war," the International Monetary Fund said today. Economics Editor Paul Mason examines why. Jeremy will be talking to a man who knows how bad it can get, the outgoing prime minister of Iceland and a man who should know what to do about it, Nobel prize wining economist, Joseph Stiglitz.

And Alex Salmond's budget has fallen. We hope that sending Michael Crick to Edinburgh didn't contribute to the chaos at Holyrood.

And how do you begin to rebuild a country's system of right and wrong after years of civil war? In the third in our series of films looking at international justice, we report from Liberia where the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is preparing to decide who will be pardoned and who will be punished.

And we'll also be bringing you our number of the day. It's not nine.



  • Comment number 1.

    Before I went on holiday after Easter in 2007, I watched the 6 O' Clock News on the BBC where I'm sure it was Emily Maitlis who told us cheerily that in 5 years' time the average house price would be 500K. I don't remember anyone, even Paul Mason, questioning that, apart from Vince Cable and Channel 4, with specific reference to Iceland, the land of fish rustlers not Malcolm Walker's frozen bazaars. I did too and moved as much into Euroland as I could.

    It's only now that people are saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

    Back then, Cable was looked upon benignly as a twinkle toed Cassandra.

    Alex "the Arc" Salmond was an economist and like all economists, didn't see it coming; thankfully he now has this albatross well and truly fastened around his neck as he plays at politics in the Cottars Howff of Holyrood- a building by the way, which originally was to cost 40million and ended up costing 450 million; stick that in yer "Arc of Prosperity", big man.

    So thanks once again, Emily.

    We'll be hardest hit because of; over-reliance on the financial sector and the housing market, inflated by easy credit which had no basis in reality, like CDSes and other derivatives and variants.

    The hedge funds grew out of all this; don't blame them; shorting has been around since the year dot.

    If blame is useful, blame the banks; they waded into the water way above their heads and I really don't understand why the so-called independent directors still have theirs (heads that is.)
    Maybe they're all in the same lodge as Alistair.

    What a mess; best to concentrate on how we re-shape now.

  • Comment number 2.

    Deepest recession since WW2? *shudders* I look forward to tonight's analysis of the economy, particularly with Joseph Stiglitz.

    Number of the day? Is Sesame Street going to get a slot on Newsnight? So instead of a summary of the day's trading on the FTSE/£ rates etc, we will have Big Bird/Oscar the Grouch/The Count doing the number of the day. :p ha ha ha ha

  • Comment number 3.

    Mistress76uk, tawse57? - Newsnight certainly has some interesting viewers!

  • Comment number 4.

    Please add consideration of the Data Bill - if you value your freedom.
    Wasn't Jack Straw involved in the Peasants' Revolt? How times have changed.

  • Comment number 5.

    "Laters. "

    What ?

  • Comment number 6.

    Mistress76uk (#2) "Number of the day? Is Sesame Street going to get a slot on Newsnight?"

    Stop oggling Jeremy and look at the visual aids and the listen to the conceptual walk-throughs! ;-)

  • Comment number 7.

    Dear all

    One way to reduce the volume of posts from JadedJean might be totally to ignore all posts from him/her. Perhaps s/he would get sick of talking to him/herself. Coventry is a boring place.

    I managed to post this in the wrong place, so I am reproducing it here.

    I did apologise to Coventrians (I'm a Coventry Kid myself, so I'm within rights.)

  • Comment number 8.

    #6 JJ Ooooooooh!

    I know I shouldn't after #7, I just couldn't resist it. I'm so childish!

  • Comment number 9.

    When does a boom and bust become a "Richard Mottram"?
    When we can expect a nearly 3% reduction in GDP in a year.

  • Comment number 10.

    #65 yesterday; all your zygotic questions answered.

    Q1; untrue.

    Q2; untrue.

    Q3; no.

    Q4; no.

    Your verbal bluster doesn't fool me; I just know you're Golda!

    Hasta luego, chica!

  • Comment number 11.


    13thMan (#7) Study this and this and this and try to appreciate that denial and politically correct censure/censorship is precisely why this has gone insufficiently reported upon, and why we are now in such a mess.

  • Comment number 12.

    I haven't giggled so much in weeks!Firstly Michael C's interview with Alex Salmond and his budget collapse, then Jeremy with Alex Salmond who confirmed he would resign if the revised budget got rejected. Utterly priceless!!!!!
    Excellent interview by Jeremy with Professor Stiglitz too. :o)

  • Comment number 13.


    kashibeyaz (#10) Are you sure you know what you are talking about (see the first 8 pages at least)??

    Even the DfES appears to have its ideolgues (see 'Getting It Right' which they have almost certainly got wrong). Also see the Achievement rankings ("Ethnicity and Education: The Evidence on Minority Ethnic Pupils aged 5 - 16". These data can be supplemented by the international (see PISA) data on ethnic and sex differences in aptitude and attainment if one looks for them. They are dramatic.

    The reality is that beliefs are unreliable intensional states. For many they are sets of false propositions which amount to sub-clinical delusions resistant to falsification because they are not truth-functional. The business of science is to test beliefs as hypotheses, treating them as conjectures, only holding onto the ones which parsimoniously explain most of the available empirical evidence (which requires one to know what that evidence comprises) and which improve our predictability and management of all which impinges on our sensory surfaces.

    Be sure to study the header link, bearing in mind what happened to James Watson recently. It happens quite a lot these days and your behaviour, along with others recently in this blog, is why it happens. Most of the population is presently still in the grip of a politically correct, Marxist, subversive delusion which is not helped by the media and some of our legislation (e.g. the RRAA) which has been enacted by often unwitting Trotskyite Marxists/Anarcho-Capitalists who want to see the end of what they see as a regulating state. These people are anarchists, many, unwittingly so, as they have little insight into their own behaviour or that of others.

  • Comment number 14.

    Does this prove Jeans point?

    I wonder if there are figures like these for 20 or 40 years ago, it would be interesting to know the pecentages who left school unable to read or write then.

  • Comment number 15.

    ecolizzy (#14) There you go. I may say more about this work at some time in the future.

  • Comment number 16.


    Interesting bit of news yesterday: human PHYSIOLOGICAL function works better with some worms in the gut. To me that is a shift towards a natural state. Our sterile modern environment is harmful.

    PSYCHOLOGICAL function begins with 'pairing' and runs through gestation, lactation, mothering and parental nurture.
    We have more-or less 'mechanised' the whole procedure in the interest of Mammon rather than Mankind. Perhaps we have sterilised the 'worms' out of our psyche also?

    Time for the worm to turn!

  • Comment number 17.


    "Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, both reassured and humiliated the western bankers. He reassured them with his account of how the supply of credit is rising again in China, which gives him confidence that the Chinese economy will grow by a more-than-respectable 8% in 2009. He embarrassed them with this manifestation of the strength of Chinese banks compared with their US, UK and eurozone peers (a strength that is the direct consequence of Chinese government policy).

    It's very irksome for the Americans in particular that the Chinese version of what they see as their business model is holding up so well. And as if to rub their noses in it, the Chinese premier confided that he re-read Adam Smith over the summer (note "re-read") to reassure himself that the founder of modern economics wasn't the dogmatic opponent of government intervention that liberal market ideologues contend."

    From Peston's Picks 29th jan 2009>

  • Comment number 18.

    #13; Yes, I am sure I know what I'm talking about.

    I am equally sure I know what you're talking about.

    There are no uneducable students; there are only teachers unwilling to find the way to educate; lazy, "bad" teachers rationalize their lack of enthusiasm or vocation by supporting or promulgating the verbal bluster you are so fond of.

    #12; I agree it was hilarious; but for all those who don't support the SNP, it must be mortifying. Did you see the inside of the Green MP's office and the look on Michael Crick's face when he took a look around?
    I was expecting Bilbo to pop up at any minute.

    450 million for a Hobbit theme park? British taxpayers' (i.e. mostly those who pay taxes in England) money, too. No wonder Alex likes his "arc of prosperity" - he knows its provenance.

  • Comment number 19.


    kashibeyaz (#18) "There are no uneducable students; there are only teachers unwilling to find the way to educate; lazy, "bad" teachers rationalize their lack of enthusiasm or vocation by supporting or promulgating the verbal bluster you are so fond of."

    You delude yourself. There is absolutely no reliable empirical evidence for what you assert. You need to visit some inner city schools and look at the SATs trends over the years.

    You simply do not understand what 'learning' comprises. You are posting naive, irrational, ill-educated fallacious preconceptions about behaviour which are the product of an ideology not sound knowledge of empirical research. You refer to your own solipsistic internal belief system which is what the over-confident, arrogant, and deluded are always prone to do. See 'intensional states'

    You should learn to identify and listen to those who know better than you do rather than arguing the indefensible as it just makes you look silly. Education is the process of selection and reinforcement (shaping) of innate behaviours. Most educators do not understand this until they have had years of experience in the job, by which time many become disillusioned. Those who believe otherwise are either inexperienced or a danger to their profession, students and the wider population - they are alchemists peddling snake oil.

  • Comment number 20.

    #17 JadedJean

    Calm down nobody is going to accept race "realism" except in your la la land.

    The Chinese were more sensible about debt (thats a policy not a system) but they are still going to have challenging problems with the unemployed who don't get much state aid. That could affect political stability but they sound confident.

    I agree with the Chinese on Adam Smith. So does Obama I believe.

    If the Chinese help stimulate the world economy I don't see the US or anybody else complaining.

    As "an anarchist and Trotskyite" (Lib Dem voter) who "paints Hitler as darkly as possible for party political reasons" you will always rate as a vile and hideous mind and have no need to reinforce that fact.

    The laughable thing is when you have clearly found a new "big word" and use it till you get bored or its obvious you don't understand it.

    There is no scientific basis for race "realism"; the Holocaust happened; Hitler was a monster. Genetic variation within a race is greater than the variation between races.

    You have a failed mind and failed policies and deep down you probably even know that but still motivate yourself from your hate filled prejudices.

    I only communicate to enlighten other readers what you are about.

  • Comment number 21.

    What recession?

    "Despite crippling losses, multibillion-dollar bailouts and the passing of some of the most prominent names in the business, employees at financial companies in New York, the now-diminished world capital of capital, collected an estimated $18.4 billion in bonuses for the year.

    That was the sixth-largest haul on record, according to a report released Wednesday by the New York State comptroller.

    While the payouts paled next to the riches of recent years, Wall Street workers still took home about as much as they did in 2004, when the Dow Jones industrial average was flying above 10,000, on its way to a record high.

    Some bankers took home millions last year even as their employers lost billions....""
    So, what else is new?And how has the former Poodle fared, I wonder....

    Peace and fair shares

  • Comment number 22.

    #7 13thMan

    You know I am torn and do partially agree with you as talking to such people does lend a credibility they don't deserve.

    Other people can look after themselves but then I have read the goose steppers talking to somebody whom it transpired had lost relatives in the holocaust and had no idea till I pointed out the ideas behind the vague and pretentious verbage (he was more than capable of dealing with their hideous ideas). Jaded_Jean went on to use the word "extinction".

    I doubt that people can invite somebody to a meeting via the posts but ...

    The other factor is what view will an ethnic minority Brit hold if they read the goose stepper rubbish on a respectable BBC site?

    There is always the possibility that somebody may believe them, like the Baby P batterer or that neo-Nazi paedophile and would be nail bomber jailed last year.

  • Comment number 23.


    Narcissism has long been considered an untreatable Personality Disorder (DSM-IV) like Anti Social Personality Disorder because those afflcited can not accept feedback from others which in any way suggests that they have flaws. Normal people can, even though it is sometimes grudgingly done. Good researchers in the sciences tend to seek out criticism. Narcissists on the other hand, persist in reinforcing their incorrigible, problematic behaviour, through fending off the very people whose information might otherwise help them change for the better.

    Here and here are two experienced academics with a view on what's been driving the current crisis. The first author has a hard time getting his books published these days. Those who would rather not know about this are rather like those not wanting to know they have an illness. The problem just gets worse.

  • Comment number 24.

    #22 and #7; I've wondered myself why the Moderators tolerate the eugenic poster.

    Maybe they follow Voltaire's maxim ; it does have the benefit of getting them out in the open, even though it is a blog-post. I'm sure, though, that Monsieur V would have been one of the first up the scaffold if Memsahib/Sahib and her coterie of equally silly posters ever held sway in the country/world (again).

    Rather than ignore JadedJean ; let's just not pay her/him TOO much attention; and wherever possible, have a good chuckle.

    Yes we can!

  • Comment number 25.


    thegangofone (#20) "There is no scientific basis for race "realism".


    An instantiation of my earlier post? They are incorrigible.

  • Comment number 26.

    #16 How true barrie! I read this article as well.

    And the worms get the last laugh and eat us all up in the end. ;-)

  • Comment number 27.

    kashibeyaz (#24) Recommended therapeutic reading:

    C Darwin "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" (1859)

    R Fisher "The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection" (1930)

    S Jones "EU law on eugenics attacks our freedom"

  • Comment number 28.

    "Humanitarian" eugenics now; well I NEVER heard of such a thing - but wait a minute , as I read, it reminds me of - see what you think.

    The aims stated on the website are; "good health, high intelligence and noble character" - and strength through joy, no doubt.

    Darwin has nix to do with your snake-oil, theories schmeries and you're fortunate you live in a country where you're allowed to babble your bluster.

    Don't make plans to visit Austria or Germany any time soon; your feet won't touch the ground, liebchen.

  • Comment number 29.

    IF THE CAP FITS . . . (#26)

    Nicely capped Lizzie! (:o)

  • Comment number 30.

    thegangofone (#20, #22) "There is always the possibility that somebody may believe them, like the Baby P batterer or that neo-Nazi paedophile and would be nail bomber jailed last year."

    Please tell us that you haven't really got 2 x MSc degrees. If you have, it further erodes my respect for our higher education system as you should not have.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    Spoil sports. I was having a chuckle with #24

  • Comment number 33.

    An interviewee on Radio 4, I didn't catch his name but it was a highbrow cultural discussion, said that there is no evidence that IQ in the UK has fallen and today, again on Radio 4, Rupert Sheldrake was speaking about IQ having risen.

    Now don't go throwing links at me, I know what I hear and I am able to critically evaluate sources, thanks.

  • Comment number 34.

    My personal views -


    Joseph Stiglitz , that's a interesting read. His CV is very impressive.

    I was glad to hear him say that more open economies are buffeted more.
    I am of a school of thought that one sided free trade does not work , it has to be two way trade and I don't believe we have had that, even within the EU.

    I would of liked to hear from him if he thought the CPI (the harmonized measure of inflation figure) performed as well as it was suppose to, during and in the lead up phases of the current economic problems ?
    I thought the CPI suffered from some lag (maybe even under reporting of inflation) when compared to the old RPI measure.

    Iceland PM

    He seemed to say it was global regulation fault , but he then said his one regret was to allow the banks to grow so big compared to the Icelandic economy as a whole.
    What does our Government think of that reasoning ?

    I thought he made his diplomatic dig at our Government rather well on the issue of how our Government sized Icelandic Banks assets within the UK. I expect we will hear more of that over the coming years.

    The Government

    At lest now they have listened to other parties and have a move joined up plan now.(loan guarantee etc).
    They should still call an election, as confidence is the key to any recovery , the best way to get that is by a mandate from the people.

    Overall I enjoyed your program , thanks.

  • Comment number 35.

    doctormisswest (#33) I've seen absolutely no evidence that you are capable of any such thing. You've also had plenty of people telling you how wonderful the economy was until recently.

    I am sure you will believe whatever you like and you won't let logic or evidence trouble you too much.



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