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A brief escape

Robert Peston | 09:13 UK time, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

As you may have noticed, I have escaped for a few days to re-charge, with great lungfuls of the delicious air of west Wales.

It's been quite a test of self-discipline to resist the temptation to publish thoughts on the rise in the Baltic Dry (and whether this means the Chinese manufacturing machine is back on line) and on whether the Royal Bank is building a sustainable bank or committing commercial suicide with its new approach to the payment of bonuses.

There should be plenty for us to discuss on my return, next week.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Good to have you back , although being Welsh myself I do not know how you tore yourself away

  • Comment number 2.

    Use the time to think about some down-to-earth stuff RP. You're carefully crafted stories about global economics and the 'great and the good' are being left behind by er, 'real' events.

    Everyone's moved on from high-finance stories now, even talking about manufacturing and export being important. Imagine that.

    GC

  • Comment number 3.

    Dont say too much about the delicious air in West Wales, Gordon will tax it and screw the quality if he thinks someone has something to enjoy !

    Had enough !

  • Comment number 4.

    Surely some acerbic comment on the Stanford debacle must be on the tip of your pen.

    Years ago just before the dot com bust, guys in Chicago were auctioning beanie babies outside Wigley Field for a reported $3000 a pop.

    Stanford's eleven was plainly money gone mad. Plenty more to come from the soccer giants etc. etc.

    When are RBS going to cut their spend on the 6 Nations?

  • Comment number 5.

    enjoy!

  • Comment number 6.

    We miss you!

  • Comment number 7.

    With your batteries re-charged, how about a seminal piece on Glenrothesgate?

  • Comment number 8.

    I am also looking forward to hear your thoughts on the RBS being taken to a small claims court by a former QC?

    I will read your book during your absence, so I do not suffer any serious withdrawal symptoms!

  • Comment number 9.

    will the banks be nationalised by the time you come back.it won't be long

  • Comment number 10.

    What timing... the Baltic Dry has just stopped rising. Get back to Wales man.

  • Comment number 11.

    Not only are the treasury and the banks making a enormous drain on taxpayers resources but they are making a massive withdrawal on the trust that we have invested in them. Not only are we indebted to the IMF but the emotional bank account of the nation is diving deeply into the red! So who’s going to bail us out when we need a huge injection of trust? That’s down to all of us. I’m writing a blog to help people develop a positive mental attitude towards the current economic challenges. “The Survivors Guide To The Credit Crunch” is at [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]


  • Comment number 12.

    thought you had been made redundant too !

  • Comment number 13.

    Well now you're back you can seize the opportunity and rubbish the glimmer of hope brought by the rise in the Baltic Dry Exchange, starting no doubt with a comment on where it is now compared to this time last year etc, etc.

    Wales loss is unfortunately our gain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Dear Bob,

    The BBC is reporting Darling's 'triumph' in limiting the RBS bonuses from £950m to only £340m - dutifully reported by the Beeb:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7895235.stm

    In truth, the £610m balance is still going to be paid as a 2008 bonus, although it has been deferred for political consumption:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/81d2f4b8-fd08-11dd-a103-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1

    To the Beeb: Get your finger out, and start reporting the *whole* story, rather than rewriting Government press release copy.

    See you in the pub.

  • Comment number 15.

    Ah I miss Wales.
    Be careful you don't get mildew!
    Have a good holiday because I suspect the crisis will be ongoing while you are away. Miss your posts though.

  • Comment number 16.

    Enjoy........ your well earned break, it's a relief to know you have not been gagged or sent for retraining.

  • Comment number 17.

    Bore Da, Robert, bach!

    I expect that will moderated out.

    The reason for the recovery in the Baltic Dry Index is that so many vessels have been mothballed. Such is the nature of recession.

    Is there are floor building? Possibly, but what else is out there that is going to sneek up on us? I don't think we have seen the last atrocity yet.

  • Comment number 18.

    Robert - you were appearing as "Clare Spencer" on Stephanomics until just after 9.00 am.

    Is there something we should know?

  • Comment number 19.

  • Comment number 20.

    Hmm, a week ago somebody said there would be a Stock Market Crash !

    Well, it looks like we have not so much a crash as a cardiac arrest.........

    When will Gov't outlaw spread betting and shortselling ?

    These activities will help break the already sickly British economy.....

    Anyway Mr Peston can tell us all about the Green Shoots when he gets back !!!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    You have fans who worry about you! We thought the BBC exec had gagged you?

  • Comment number 22.

    have a good break,

    I was just off the phone speaking to a colleague,
    for Darling not to say in the same message about the bonus, is one of the most preposterous things I have ever heard, its almost like he is trying to lose the next election on purpose.

    people are losing their jobs, the bright young things in the city , who still make a decent living, will take a hit not getting their bonus this year, but they still have wealth, and a job, for there to be any doubt that not paying them, and the charge being "oh they will leave for another job" still does not make sense in any way.

    So the only conclusion I am left with, is that Darling is not in charge of his own decisions, and emergency measures should be taken.


  • Comment number 23.

    We've missed you...also on TV.

    Come back soon ...please. Don't try this "a few days in the country" stuff: we know you have been sent to Wales as a late penalty for some of your revelations.

    More leaks prior to boardroom announcements are urgently required, to titillate us and rub their noses in it !

    A revelation during your absence:

    Yes, the RBS Board's 'totally independent' evaluators of the Moore allegations were no less than ... - the Bank's auditors !! And whoever could imagine that even someone the size of KPMG could afford (status, not cash wise) to uphold an employee against a bank board and expect to retain the audit ?!

    No one seems to have latched-on to this one yet - please feel free to air it if you want to.

    Pleased you are enjoyimng the whiffs of Welsh air .. but you are missed amidst the pongs of the City right now!

    Regards

    David Chapman

  • Comment number 24.

    I hope that you enjoy your family holiday Robert, and hopefully by admitting this so publicly it hasn't compromised your own safety.

    I must ask, however, are you the only person at the BBC that can make comments upon the issues currently running through the news?

    No strength in depth at the BBC?

  • Comment number 25.

    Thanks for the postcard. Good to know
    where you are. Was beginning to get worried. Thought you might be imprisoned in the Tower or the Top Floor of Broadcasting House. We
    would have had to have mounted a rescue mission.

  • Comment number 26.

    Darn! I thought that the lack of posting activity meant the credit crunch was over!

  • Comment number 27.

    Subway, McDonalds, KFC etc.

    The reported green shoots for unemployment.

    All franchises.

    How many are being bought with redundancy money?

    Anyone want to bet this is a bubble forming?

    Just an idea for investigation Mr Peston

  • Comment number 28.

    Good to hear from you!

  • Comment number 29.

    Robert,

    Enjoy the break. I envy you, being able to go to Wales just when you want to. I have a little further to travel home.

    I would love to be there with my parents, save that there are no jobs. The only decent job I could get after the 90's recession was in the orient. I'm still here. And the way things are going, I will not be alone.

  • Comment number 30.

    RBS-suicide ? mmm Yes indeed

    look at latest share price

    still want to pay bonuses

    who,morally,would want to bank with them ?

    Watch for finals 26th feb

    company is a disgrace

  • Comment number 31.

    Enjoy yourself!

    But you won't escape the recession. In the Tenby/Saundersfoot area we are losing businesses weekly. Properties - especially new ones - stand unsold and empty. Even my NHS dentist (an endangered species) reports that people are canceling treatment because they can't afford it - and his charges are as reasonable as you will get.

  • Comment number 32.

    "Plenty to discuss ..."

    o-oh yes: another whistle-blower saga, for starters

    This time its Lloyds TSB / Scottish Widows / FSA, ... all the usual suspects

  • Comment number 33.

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

  • Comment number 34.

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

  • Comment number 35.

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

  • Comment number 36.

    how could a reporter cause a run on a bank
    are you another sun type city slicker or what

  • Comment number 37.

    Robert (and everyone)

    Ambrose Evans Pritchard in the Telegraph today raised what seems to be the next big phase of the crisis, Eastern Europe debts held by Western Europe's banks; and the likelihood of defaults in ex Soviet satellites and even Russia itself.

    It all remind me of a conversation I had with an employee of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development on a plane in 1995. When I asked what he thought of the plans for the Euro he replied (and I quote) "if it goes ahead there will be war between France and Germany within 20 years". I was so shocked that I forgot to ask him to explain before we landed.

  • Comment number 38.

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

  • Comment number 39.

    and here is me thinking you were being temporay censored mr peston.

    although "escaping" to wales is just as big a punishment for me

    nothing against wales or welsh people but the country is boring ,nothing going for it except a retired boxer and a soon to reitire manchester united player.

    ive been forced to holiday in wales many times,forced to being the operative word.

    im sure im in the minority though.

    anyway,im sure mr peston will find it difficult to catch up with everything going on at the moment,this is why HE NEEDS A DEPUTY TO FILL IN.

  • Comment number 40.

    Time between last two posts: 114.5 hours

    Points fall in FTSE 100: -177 (-4.2%)

    This downward trend has continued since the last relatively minor post…

    You’re blog is propping up the entire economy. Tell that to the next person who says that your comments led to a panic on Northern Rock…

  • Comment number 41.

    Hope you have a good rest
    When you get back have a look at Lehman
    Capstone mortgages they are in a fire sale
    at the moment which will mean that peoples mortgages are being sold for 50p in the £1 from PWH this can only result in misery for people in arrears and FSA do nothing

  • Comment number 42.

    Orwell is back after 22 days incapacity (10 days in bed) lots of eggs !
    http://orwelldiaries.wordpress.com/

    Oh, Hi Robert.

  • Comment number 43.

    a holiday ?

    why do you want a holiday ?

    the financial world is in meltdown !

    which gang of people will replace you when you are away ?

  • Comment number 44.

    I suspect that, had I been as late as this with my out of office message when I was more gainfully employed, I would have had a right good slap!!!

    P.S. I thought you had been gagged as well

  • Comment number 45.

    Thought you had been locked up by the Zanu Labour thought police for daring to expose Darling and Co!

    Anyway Robert you might as well as turn of the lights before you leave the doomed wasteland once known as the British Economy.

    All you can hope to come back to ( if you ever do) is a mountain of debt, defaults and deflation!

    But ALL of this is the fault of other players in the global economy and nothing at all to do with 12 years of HMG!

  • Comment number 46.

    Good to have you back! It hasn't been the same without you.

    On the explosive issue of bonuses. Surely a bonus is paid for two reasons;

    1. you worked hard enough for it and are therefore an important employee the bank would like to keep.

    2. there is enough money in the pot to pay it.

    In the case of RBS, as the taxpayer has had to rescue it, there is no money in the pot, so bonuses can't be paid even if the employees had worked hard enough for it.

    Besides, if the bonuses aren't paid, where exactly are the employees going to go?

    As the bank was rescued from collapse isn't the fact they have a job their bonus?

  • Comment number 47.

    #37 roryharrison

    If he's as good as all the other Bankers it's more likely France and Germany will become one state!

    Why don't Bankers stick to Banking....

    We let them have a play at being dynamic and they made a mess of it

  • Comment number 48.

    Re the Bank Bonuses

    I think given the disastrous policies of the Directors and Senior Management of our Banks - Bonuses should not merely be zero for the current year but Bonuses from last year and/or the last few years should be paid back.

    Public apologies are all very well but not quite as meaningful.

  • Comment number 49.

    I bet there's a barned dot of old lankers who wish they were also hiding out in Wales too !

    Enjoy the break,in a months time you'll be glad you had it.There'll be plenty of fodder for you out there to blog about.

    Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?

  • Comment number 50.

    Dear Mr Peston

    Any chance of you stepping back from all the tactical frenzy that swirls about us daily and developing an answer to the question "Just how is the next decade going to look for us UK citizens, and what will, say, the next 3 years look like in particular?"

    A quick canter around the web and one finds some commentators arguing that we'll be on the up escalator all over again, starting 2010. The Brown/Darling duo love this idea and so appear to be forecasting it in to their plans. How nice.

    Then you get others, who seem to take a much more long-term, strategic view and relate the current mess - and how we may (or may not) return to life-as-we-knew-it - to the end of cheap energy (lots seem to do that). These people (James Kunstler being an arch proponent) argue that we're at the leading edge of an unprecedented re-ordering of mankind's way of life. Oooh er.

    Where do you stand on all this?

    Here's the latest from Mr Kunstler by the way (hoping that the moderators are sufficiently broad-minded to allow Mr Kunstler's Blog title to be seen by BBC readers!!):

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Happy holidays!

  • Comment number 51.

    You have been sent by the commons committe to languish in the dungeon of which Welsh Castle?

    Presumably if you say 'Sorry' you will be let off and can get back to doing your thing again- Just like the bankers

    GH2

  • Comment number 52.

    Looking forward to your return Robert....thought all was v quiet on the Western front!

  • Comment number 53.

    Robert,

    How can you take time off at a time like this???

    This is the event that all financial commentators have been waiting for, for years - some of them all their careers!

    While you're away, I shall summarise what you have missed.

    1) Stanford has been confirmed as a Madoff, also The 2nd in command at the Stanford Ponzi scheme is another example of someone 'with no previous financial experience'

    2) Gordon has put his foot in it again. The bankers bonus's is going to have to be retracted as there are many slimy lawyers waiting to bring cases under the Human rights legislation (and I thought that was for saving people from oppression - yet another example of a Bourgousie law in disguise)

    3) RBS did lie to their shareholders (allegedly) as they were technically insolvent when they persuaded shareholders to join in their rights issue.

    4) HBOS (allegedly) didn't pay any attention to risk after Paul Moore left - they're still sticking to their story that the replacement was a 'capable and determined character' - and the FSA and the auditors gave her the thumbs up - and we all know how right both those parties have proven to be!

    5) Evan Davies has become the new economic and business reporter for the BBC (only joking robert)

    6) The Government has given up trying to fix this Economy and instead are going to simply 'buy one off the shelf' by entering a higher purchase agreement at an APR of 36% because they think it will offer value for money.

    7) The BBC is accused of dumbing down their financial reports - however in their defence they did say this was prompted by ministers who complained that they "simply couldn't understand all this technical jargon as they are simple folk"

    Don't think you can hide out in Wales growing vegetables until this thing blows over - that's MY PLAN.

  • Comment number 54.

    Where in West Wales have you been? Coming from near there originally, I would certainly recommend it as an excellent place to momentarily forget the storms that we are currently encountering!

  • Comment number 55.

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

  • Comment number 56.

    I have noticed that the BBC seem to be under-reporting news of the Conservative party. Today, I specifically refer to the point that there is no mention of the latest poll giving the Conservatives a 20 point lead.

    Part of the economic solution is to get rid of Gordon Dithering Brown and his sidekick Chancellor and to get the Conservatives into power to get things sorted. It seems to be a general trend that Labour mess up and the Conservatives tidy things up after them, although probably more difficult this time.

  • Comment number 57.

    Talking of delicious air, I note with dismay that there has been a severe slow down in projects to create clean energy about which the only subsidies the government is increasing are in the form of lip service, neither the opposition nor journalists are jumping up and down yet it is this industry that should be expanded not contracted now both to give a Keynsian stimulus and to provide a sustainable future to the"new "capitalism of the future.

  • Comment number 58.

    Wales is a fine place but I hope you find the time to get out to the local pub and market day to find out how ordinary, regular folk are getting by (or not)

    Perhaps you should have gone to Cuba though as you could not only have got a tan (which I think unlikely in Wales in February) and gain some valuable insights into how the UK might need to adapt to a sustainable but poorer future:

    2 currencies, the convertible peso for tourists and peso for locals (so in the UK we could have the Pound and the Brown Poond)

    houses virtually worthless, unmaintained and occasionally fall over

    a lot of underemployment and zombie companies propped up by govt help

    everyone hitchhikes because they can't afford cars

    most people have garden allotments

    no-one gets a sodding bonus

    better climate, better dancers, happier people despite all the daily hardships

  • Comment number 59.

    Holidayin' in Wales? Looks like the exchange rate has taken a toll on Bob's normal holiday on the Riviera. Austerity measures have kicked in ;-))

  • Comment number 60.

    While you're down there, can you get my roof fixed?

  • Comment number 61.

    To No 24.

    Well it does seem that he's the only one able
    to add two and two together and come up with the answer four. So probably the answer to your question is - yes.

  • Comment number 62.

    roberto
    hope you are keeping well
    business as usual :
    busy doing nothing
    always out to lunch
    it's safe to return
    we've left all the
    real work for you
    to pick up on return

  • Comment number 63.

    Perhaps you Robert, or a knowledgeable colleague could research our ancient laws and find a law which could charge the top banking villains (who appeared to have lacked 'due diligence') with some criminal offence (fraud maybe, I'm sure there are many) and put them all in the 'nick'.
    Taking away their 'candy' won't have the necessary effect.

  • Comment number 64.

    Resuming the sports thread where we left off on the previous post, it's not just the sponsorship which I notice. A decent number of the less admirable members of the political and banking elite are also directors of football clubs. What happens if it all gets pulled, it begins to look as if FA is all that will be left.

  • Comment number 65.

    #50 - the answer depends on the fate of the 'Originate & Distribute' model. If you view this as incompatible with economic stability (as i do) then there should be no attempt to revive it.

    I suspect Brown in particular is committed to this model through his close relationship with Bernancke and Greenspan. The vague optimism he displays when questioned and the forecast for growth post 2009 seem to be based on a return to the pre-crunch type of economic model, with the addition (he hopes) of tighter regulation.

    The model is fundamentally flawed because it has (and will) encourage US investment bankers, consultants etc., to 'palm-off' riskto unsuspecting greedy (ie stupid) foreign banks, whilst taking the profits for themselves before it all collapses AGAIN.

    The system is shot through with corruption and Ponzi Scemes galore, as we are seeing now. The attempt to simply turn back the clock and hope for the best this time is rather pathetic.

    The phenomenal growth in shadow banking has been at the root of the boom over the last 15 years, and also its nemesis.

    My forecast (for what its worth) is a sharp depression followed by a long drawn-out period of stagnation.





  • Comment number 66.

    GB on his press conference just said the regulators did not know of the risks.

    A previous boss of the FSA brought risks up in 2002 and was promptly moved out.

    He should get some asbestos underwear!

    Thanks to the internet very many people know the truth.

    There has been the usual skew that this is a global (new word is international) problem.
    Yes it is but each nation is jointly and severally responsible.

    We failed.

    The fact that everyone else did does not absolve our banks or regulators.

  • Comment number 67.

    #47 thinkb4

    LOL........but of course France/Germany are planning to become one state when the European Constitution activates.

    A cynic would say that the Irish are in the best place (only ones likely) to get bailed out by the ECB in order to secure a "yes" vote on the Lisbon Treaty

  • Comment number 68.

    Whilst breathing in the clear fresh air can you please put finger to keyboard and please explain where all the money has gone. Companies and individuals who received loans on which they defaulted still received the money to pay for equipment or land- the seller of the land or equipment still received payment from which he paid himseld and employees who bought food etc. Countries that have defaulted must have spent the money on something! I realise that I am using the term money in a crude form but a company or individual or national bank must have benfited from others huge misfortune

  • Comment number 69.

    When we identify the bankers and regulators as the people who caused the current financial crises we are blaming the wrong people. The people responsible are the economists. It was they, the economists, who built the computer pricing models based on faultless mathematical logic that allows prices to be predicted. By exploiting this knowledge they became alchemists with the ability of turning toxic assets into gold. And, they were proved right, in the short term. The price of commodities, shares, properties, derivatives, etc all soared. The bankers and regulators would have been foolish and would have been severely criticised had they not taken part in this modern day El Dorado. The problem is that the economists forgot that price is not synonymous with value. When an asset is sold for a price greater than its value the sellers makes a profit. This process can continue through multiple sellers each making a profit as the price increases. It was these profits that fuelled the boom. However, when the music stops the last person in the chain makes all the loss as no value has been added in the selling process and the current price is greatly in excess of the value. It is these losses that is causing the current recession. The length and depth of the recession is pre-determined, as the losses have already been made. All government can do is tinker around the edges.

    The one thing is clear from the current crises is that the regularly systems have failed. The apparent solution is to have more regulation. Another explanation is that regulations will never work and that trying the same thing and expecting a different outcome is a definition of insanity. Maybe, what we need to do is to have a different process, one in which the financial institutions are made wholly accountable and responsible for their own actions and that they must sent up a robust and well funded systems to deal with any possible failures. This was the lesson learnt by manufacturing in the early 1960’s when it was realised that quality control was not the way to improve product quality but delegating the responsibility for quality to the people on the production line was.

    The current crises is different and more severe than all previous financial crises because modern communication systems allow financial institution to act globally whilst government only act nationally. This means that government is always playing catch-up. To complete Governments must start acting globally although one would despair of this ever happening when they cannot even solve the relatively simple problem posed in the world trade talks.

    It will take a long time for prices and value to be re-aligned and for the losses to work their way though the system. But, we need to learn and recognise that all financial crises are caused by the difference between price and value. Otherwise just like the person who eats too much needs to go periodically on a crash diet we will be continually be in a boom and bust cycle.

  • Comment number 70.

    I understand that Newcastle is very appealing at this time of year, too.

    I marvel at your self discipline, but am confident that you will be able to persuade yourself that you behaved responsibly.

  • Comment number 71.

    Ahhh Robert, wonderful Wales, you couldn't have chosen a better place to get away. Lovely people, great scenery and plenty of space to bunker down as the gloom spreads.

  • Comment number 72.

    He's rebuilding the Landsker Line.

  • Comment number 73.

    46 - It hasn't been the same without you

    Yes it has, Government lies over expenses and allowances, spinning over Bank bonuses, BBC not investigating the Government spin fully, more bad economic news, more global ponzi schemes, more unemployment, deeper recession, more State intervention, more debts for our children and grandchildren. Its been building up like this since 1997 and has just accelerated under this Labour mediocrity. Oh, one thing is different Blair gets a 1 million dollar prize for world leadership and Brown may be in line for a global financial ombudsman role. Is it me or this real life!!!!

  • Comment number 74.

    ROBERT - WE NEED YOU BACK

    Breaking news - rumours are that they want to make the architect of the UK recession a 'Global financial regulator'.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7896403.stm

    Please come back on stop this madness.

    It's as bad as suggesting that the joint architect of the Gulf war and the war in Afghanistan should be in charge of 'peace in the middle east'!

    ....oh, but they did din't they - and they gave him $1m for doing it.

    Someone please remind me why the rest of us have to obey the law whilst our great leaders can cause death and destruction around the world and be rewarded for it?

  • Comment number 75.

    re: post 45

    Don't believe the hype about deflation

    The BBC and many others would have people believe this will be the case, whilst governments here and abroad pursue massively inflationary/reflationary policies.

    The announcements on CPI and RPI earlier this week just mean that the rate that prices are increasing at has slowed, slightly.

    Thats not to suggest we could trust the integrity of either index - neither stand up to serious scrutiny and face many accusations of being merely political tools.

    Informed people suggest spectre of deflation is being dangled before us, so we don't notice that savers/pensioners etc. are being royally shafted.

    What i suspect we are headed into, at best, is a period of heavy inflation coupled with alternating periods of negative and low growth: japanese style stagflation - the worst of both worlds, as it has been called. There is a strong chance this will last 8-10 years or far, far longer - dependent on political/economic reform, technological and scientific advancement and the geographic location of such.

    We in Britain may have to accept a much lower position in the world, wealth-wise - here's hoping our moral and ethical position can rise in correlation.

    Disclaimer: As a young person with no savings, inflation is vastly preferable to deflation, to me on a personal level.

    PS. Mr Peston, i hope your holiday, and the timing of such, is not as is so as to negate the need for you to comment on the Crosby affair - many of your followers on this blog are waiting with baited breath to hear more from you on this key subject. I am particularly keen for you to distance yourself from Gordon Brown and James Crosby, so that I am assured that your loyalties lie in the correct place - with the british people and mankind in general - rather than with narrow power interests.

  • Comment number 76.

    Word from the Poodle's master across the pond.... Still can't get these *ankers to fetch, even after throwing every stick we can borrow...and, as for the others,

    "DETROIT — General Motors and Chrysler said Tuesday their request for federal aid ballooned to a staggering $39 billion _ only months after receiving billions in loans _ in new plans that envision massive job losses and intense restructuring to survive a deepening recession.

    General Motors Corp. presented a survival plan that calls for cutting a total of 47,000 jobs globally and closing five more U.S. factories, a move that represents the largest work force reduction announced by a U.S. company in the economic meltdown. Chrysler LLC said it will cut 3,000 more jobs and stop producing three vehicle models."
    Gies a wad an' we'll put more on the dole....

    What's a PM (Pet Monkey) to do?
  • Comment number 77.

    Andy-London wrote

    "Part of the economic solution is to get rid of Gordon Dithering Brown and his sidekick Chancellor and to get the Conservatives into power to get things sorted. It seems to be a general trend that Labour mess up and the Conservatives tidy things up after them, although probably more difficult this time."


    ha ha, is this a joke?
    Sure the Tories can solve the crisis, maybe they'll cut MIRAS to inflate the housing market tax or perhaps they'll dither about joining the ERM before deciding to join it at exactly the WRONG time - or maybe de-regulate the financial markets like they did before - yes, I think that's what we need right now.....

    There is no colour - neither Red nor Blue that can solve this mess.

    They've had their chance - both parties should fold as failures (and not get their bonus)

    I am still amazed how some people support political parties like football teams - sticking with them through thick and thin with mis-guidded loyalty - regardless of the results.

    Still - I suppose that's "simple politics for simple people"

  • Comment number 78.

    Is it a caravanning holiday ?

    Glad to hear you're spending your cash in the UK, to help the domestic economy, rather than holidaying abroad...

    Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, have a nice time.

  • Comment number 79.

    So the rumours that you are in hiding from the parlimentry select committee or that you have been given a kinghthood and placed in charge of putting the current mess right were unfounded...

    I susspect that means that mean that darling and clown are still in chage

  • Comment number 80.

    Robert! I was wowwied about you!

  • Comment number 81.

    #66. Toldyouitwould wrote:

    He should get some asbestos underwear!

    I dont thinkl GB wears any underware that way it can NEVER catch fire.

  • Comment number 82.

    @48, 46, and others who seem to think that there should be some kind of punishment for bankers:

    The UK owns large percentages of RBS and Lloyds Group.

    You want to have your taxpayers' investment in these banks paid back by them.

    You remove bonuses for all RBS/Lloyds bankers: all the good ones will to US or Swiss banks based in London who -are- still paying bonuses.

    Then you'll own two very large banks, minus all the employees who are any good at making money for them and their shareholders (the taxpayers).


    You should remember that, as taxpayers, you now own businesses, and you need to keep your talented staff if you ever want your invesment back.

    Childish, vitriolic, 'revenge'-based responses will just result in the loss of the majority of UK Government's investment.

  • Comment number 83.

    Have a good break.

    Good to see you are setting a good example of spending your money in the UK.

    Only if politicians and public servant present and past and do the same. I can think of at least one who made £millions.

  • Comment number 84.

    Crash strikes again:
    "Most people looking at Britain say we have taken the lead in the measures to prevent a global collapse."
    I quite agree. They can learn from us doing it the hard way.

  • Comment number 85.

    GB's just refused the Global Regulator job. I suspect he's accepted a better offer .

  • Comment number 86.

    So you’re on your hols in Wales and you still come on to write a brief topic.

    By your own admission you’re thinking about business, and looking at your blog.

    What a crazy fun filled life you lead Robert.

    Get your self to some isolated tropical island with no access to computers, TV and no newspapers.

    Just chill out on some isolated sandy beaches and forget about everything for a couple weeks.

  • Comment number 87.

    GB: The old orthodoxies will not serve us well in the future. We've got to think the previously unthinkable. We've got to do what was previously undoable.

    Sounds like he's got thoughts about some new kinkydoxies.

  • Comment number 88.

    #67 roryharrison:

    'A cynic would say that the Irish are in the best place (only ones likely) to get bailed out by the ECB in order to secure a "yes" vote on the Lisbon Treaty'

    +

    Interesting thought. Thanks


    How much money does the ECB have to bail out, In no particular order:


    Austria
    Belgium
    Greece
    Italy
    Spain
    Eire
    Ex-Soviet bloc countries


    I see that six EU countries including France (9.5 per cent) have exceeded the EU budget deficit limit of 3 per cent.

    They have until March to sort it. Not long enough.

    I see there will be a Summit in April.

    I do not think we can wait until then.




  • Comment number 89.

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

  • Comment number 90.

    Greenspan is advocating bank nationalisation?

    "Least bad option"?

    Heavens -

  • Comment number 91.

    "There should be plenty for us to discuss on my return, next week. "

    Hi, Robert, Enjoy the break while/if you can for there is always a lot to discuss when stage-managing perceptions and uncovering deep deceptions

    As the following is posted to the parties listed at the end [cc], which you can see also stars your good self, [and this quite excellent transparent Internet blog is far better than any email, which can be conveniently/inconveniently ignored or dismissed or as is maybe the case in Government, vetted by a minion for subjective decision for the addressed's attention] and after having watched the PM doing his Mr Bean/Has Been routine at todays press conference, announcing nothing worthy of note and therefore no real change to an easily corruptible Financial/Money/Fiscal/Control System, [call it what you will], perhaps this could be pursued, looking for the flaw, which could then be addressed to remove it.

    Quite patently obviously are the present "cosy arrangements"/Ponzi scams, Unfit for Future Purpose and if the Government cannot think to change things fundamentally, for what can only be a Lack of Intelligence and Initiative or Coersion to maintain the Status Quo hierarchy , then it will be provided to them for them to comment on [or to ignore, should that be their choice] However, it will be universally known that other viable options and alternatives to stop Collapse have been submitted for Systems BetaTesting and Trial Runs.

    "
    Adjusting the System to Eliminate Parasitic Destructive Inflation?
    By amanfromMars
    Posted Wednesday 18th February 2009 07:28 GMT

    "The Story Has Vanished From The BBC ... And people think the BBC is a free, fair and independent news service??" ......By RotaCyclic Posted Tuesday 17th February 2009 17:05 GMT

    Others would more reasonably suggest it is a Shadow of its Gay Former Self and a Proxy Tool Failing Governments with its Mandates and Foreign Programs. But then that is directly attributable to Spineless Direction from the Top of the Board Room Tree and its Bankrupt of Novel and innovative Intellectual Property, Creativity Department.

    "There is good news and bad news. The good news is that the "credit crunch"/slump is not terminal, and we will survive it, because... The bad news is that there will be a next "credit crunch"/slump, and it will be terminal, altho when it will occur is difficult to predict. However, we have seen enough of how the World is Being $aved today to be confident in this." ... By Luther Blissett Posted Tuesday 17th February 2009 17:14 GMT.

    I cannot fault the logic but would suggest that the bad news is current and therefore one does not need to wait on prediction.

    To all who would either post here on El Reg or just spend years just reading [yes, there are those too, apparently, who have no urge nor strong enough or sure enough opinions to share publicly for peer review ] now would be the perfect time to present to Government any viable sustainable mega-spending plans for any Public Service Initiative Projects which you might have, as Quantitive Easing/the Printing and Supply of Currency to Generate Economies and Industry gets under Way. Cutting out the Middleman/the Banks will also ensure that their Costs do not Burden one with unnecessary Taxation and Wealth Payment on a Service not required.

    It is surely quite enough for Currency Spend to Generate Industry and Economies, without the Banking Sector, expecting the Added and Unfunded Service of Interest Charged on a Principal Currency Spend and the Return of the Capital Spent from the Principal, whose Spend is Generating Industry/Work/Economies.......... for that would require one to be able to Invent and Print Money from Nothing or to ask Currency Suppliers for more than twice what one would Really need, in Order to Entertain a Sector which is making Nothing but merely employing members of the Population with either limited or undereducated skillsets.

    However, if that be necessarily so by Default Design of the System, then one should make the necessary adjustments to Currency Requirements made to Government and make them aware of the Inflated Provision/Excessive Third Party Borrowing Requirement. It does not though do the Banking Sector any favours, whenever their business Model is Based upon the SurReal Supply of Nothing, and yet for which they would think to be Paid with such Extreme Supplies of Currency.

    cc Vince Cable/Robert Peston/Mervyn King/Alistair Darling/UK PLC.

    http://theregister.co.uk/2009/02/17/gov_terror_rubbish/comments "

    The System is broken like Humpty Dumpty and it is an insult to us all, from those who should know better, to think that things will be fixed without a Completely New Currency Supply System rather than a Currency Control System, which relies on arbitrary subjective Third party decision making for Suitable Supply of Wealth for Spending ..... and that can be easily Refined for Finer Mentored and Monitored Constructive Performance Tuning with Currency Supply being by Electronic Credit Transfers thus to save on the Wear and Tear and Pitfalls of Cash.

    It is not rocket science, is it.

    "Money is like water, block its flow and it will stagnate." .... His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

  • Comment number 92.

    77

    Lots of people changed parties and voted in B liar and B ruin and now look where we are.

  • Comment number 93.

    Post Number 18.

    I noticed that too. Or rather I did as soon as I came here just now. Gulpfuls of Welsh air etc!

    It is called Quantitive (t)easing, you know. Idle speculation eh? Better than economics isn't it? You win but leave it now. Careless talk etc.

    Another web site testing that a piece of kit actually worked - recently and may I stress - FALSELY - reported the death of George W Bush.

    This falsehood I was told was visible for just a few seconds for the test BUT was picked up and reported.

    I think there is a story behind why that particular untrue story - George W - was chosen by that or those Web Page tester/s though. lol

  • Comment number 94.

    #81 wombateye
    '#66. Toldyouitwould wrote:

    He should get some asbestos underwear!

    I dont think GB wears any underware that way it can NEVER catch fire.'

    +


    So, is he one of those people who will be found to have been swimming naked when the tide goes out?

    (Ack: Mr Buffett)

  • Comment number 95.

    Moraymint (50),

    Jamea Howard Kunstler

    Nothing unsuitable or broken about that!

    Slainte!
    ed

  • Comment number 96.

    Have you taken your cagoule off yet?

    :)

  • Comment number 97.

    Do yourself a favour and find a nice surfing beach. A decent wetsuit will see you warm and the waves are best in winter.

  • Comment number 98.

    Is it possible to get a measure of what consumer spending should be assuming a 'reasonable' level of credit and compare that with actual figures for pre and post crunch ? Perhaps then we might have some idea as to where we are heading economically.
    Regards

  • Comment number 99.

    RP is past his sell by date and should remain in Whales.

    Skip across to Stephanie Flanders her blog and insight is far superior to that of the son of a leftie politician

  • Comment number 100.

    who cares about lisbon treaty ? hardly a priority or is it ?

    No doubt someone will use it to deflect us from harsh reality(if they think they can).........


    Once went to Wales....wasn't bad.Millenium stadium ok too.Perhaps our leading bankers can go there for their jollies.After all they serve "Brains Bitter" do they not ?

    Only a thought.........

 

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