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Monday 6th October, 2008

ADMIN USE ONLY | 17:59 UK time, Monday, 6 October 2008

Here's Kirsty with the latest on tonight's programme

Another Manic Monday...

As I write, markets are crashing around the world - the FTSE is down by more than 7 per cent - the biggest percentage fall in more than 20 years.

The reasons for today's crash seem to be the state of European banks and the incredibly chaotic response of EU leaders.

It is the first time that the European system has been tested since monetary union, and the results so far have been pretty wretched. So what can European leaders do now?

In the UK Alastair Darling has said that the Government will do whatever is necessary to stabilise the financial system, but what is the rescue plan being devised behind the scenes in Downing Street and the Treasury? Is a partial nationalisation of the whole banking sector in the offing? Our Economics Editor, Paul Mason, has the story.

Also tonight, it is not only the response to the financial crisis that is dividing Europe's leaders, the major European states all seem to have conflicting policies on energy and climate change - another fine mess? Mark Mardell has travelled to Spain, Italy and France to find out.

Also, after Newsnight Review's trip to Liverpool on Friday night, click here for a look at Newsnight Review's website for "Review Uncut" - an after hours debate about the impact of European Capital of Culture status on the city.

It was recorded after Friday's show especially for the website - and features singer Holly Johnson, film director Terence Davies, actor Ian Hart and poet Roger McGough talking about their hometown.

Tonight at 10.30pm.



  • Comment number 1.

    Having been a big supporter of the EU, I am dismayed by the shambles it has just created. The press releases about coordinated action clearly are a monumental fiction; when exactly the opposite has happened. Angela Merkel’s loose mouth was bad enough, but the 12 hours waiting for a correction was unforgivable. Then Alistair Darling’s great non-announcement added more fuel to the fire. If our leaders can’t agree why should the rest of us be reassured by their non-solutions.

    Mind you, all those highly paid financiers in the stock markets are even worse. We now know that lemmings don’t throw themselves off cliffs in a mass stampede; but financiers do!

    Will anyone even try to give us some reassurance?

  • Comment number 2.

    These are really dire days. Peace and international friendship are easy to promise and platitudes come freely. When financial depression strikes, the drawbridges close, and it is each country for itself. If heaven forbid another war comes, it will not necessarily be between communist and capitalist countries. There are no real communist countries left, and the capitalists are trying very hard to prove they are not really "in it for the money." With the nationlisation of banks, the international ethos will disappear, and we may find ourselves in a pre-World War One scenario. Sounds far-fetched, but with some of the characters now appearing on the political stage, figures we never thought to see back so soon, anything is possible.

  • Comment number 3.

    It would appear that I have been electronically excommunicated from pasting pre prepared comments, but perhaps the proposed guarantee on bank savings precipitated today's stock market crash ?

    Mining shares were the worst hit, not banks as the media would attempt to portray.

  • Comment number 4.

    It's nice to see that after thousands of years spent killing each other physically, we are now doing it financially. The EU is apparently incapable of working together on any issues which faintly evoke 'national interests': we looked foolish in our divided response to the Georgia situation and look just as foolish in our divided response the the fiscal crisis. Merkel harshly criticises Irish actions only to act unilaterally herself; apparently there's a difference, only no one else can see it. It is no surprise that self-interest trumps all in these situations, but the degree of (Continental) hypocrisy is appalling. It was interesting to hear the German ambassador continue to insist this was solely an 'Anglo-Saxon' (or Anglo-American) problem and our poor neighbours were haplessly dragged into it. Sadly, as your LSE contributors noted, this is not borne out by reality. At all. If history teaches us anything, it is always easier for people and politicians to blame someone else (or certain groups) for their problems. Clearly the practice persists.

    The EU is quite a model for the world. We are fortunate more people have not followed it.

  • Comment number 5.

    The German ambassador was excellent! And
    I loved his reply to one of the questions: 'I read the statement in the original - and I understood it immediately ..... perhaps it
    was a language problem?'

    As they say in the Goethe Institute in Glasgow: 'that's you getellt, Kirsty!'

    The Swiss banking specialist was also very cogent - and Alex Salmond was excellent
    tonight on Newsnight Scotland. Speaking
    from Aberdeen he had constructive ideas
    about how the Bank of England might be
    able to jump-start the 3-month term market
    and interesting on how both Sweden and Norway were handling their own situation.

    The new Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy
    was sadly completely out of his depth.

  • Comment number 6.

    I have just listened to 'Newsnight' and whilst I can appreciate your joy at the current numerical financial crisis as its makes good copy , please do not feed the doom merchants with incorrect info such as "the Dow fell 5.1 % today "( Kirsty's quote ) when it fell about half of the Footsie at only 3.58%.
    We will only come out of this mess with positive sentiment and it does not help when fictional figures in this numbers game are given airing on such a significant programme , listened to throughout the world. There is a way of representing the news , as I am sure you are aware, and the present manipulation of salient facts is not helping confidence to return. How about presenting it all a little more positively.- -you know it makes sense !!!

  • Comment number 7.

    Kirsty - shameless bullying of the German ambassador who is unusually well-informed about economics! Surely journalists are the interviewers, their guests the ones who know something. Remember, in Germany things are so much better organised.

  • Comment number 8.

    The German chancellor quite admirably promised to look after the 'little guys' in her country- the 'you and I' joe blog types - not to bail out corrupt banks and bankers as Gordon Brown and Bush want ordinary people to do. Some questions:
    1 Why couldn't Kirsty, the BBc and the treasury get it?
    2 And why did she brush off the very important point that was hard to hear above her voice, that certainly in Germany and France (I go there a lot) there is no mortgage or credit crunch as such. People there did not hog in that trough. They live well and within their means.
    3 And why was that dreadful Ruth Lee wheeled in when she is one of those who I have heard repeatedly over the years advocating and defending all the gross corrupt 'capitalist' practices?
    4 So why was Kirsty seemingly intent on blaming Europe equally? Is this BBC policy - helping Gordon B off the hook for his (alone in Europe) craven American, deregulated, free market policies, for reasons of the licence fee I suppose? (will that opinion be cencored)?
    5 Why is the BBC reporting all this so badly? All the reporters and presenters are using inaccessible, convoluted terms and language to dress up what quite simply is the biggest fraud ever-
    6 Why is there no alternative style coverage or programme with people like Rory Bremmer and Vince Cable brought in to explain in clear language this terrible fraud.
    7 And , why is there no interviewing of the CEOs of these failed institutions? I would like to know how much those guys have run off with and where they are all holed up? What is going on? The BBC are not telling us properly!
    8 Why are none of these guys in handcuffs?
    9 I wonder why we are not seeing or hearing the stories of what has been going on from those workers in the city - I want to know more of the inside story and the BBC are not telling us.
    10 I just wonder why there are no riots - the whole thing is so disgusting it defies any rational explanation.

  • Comment number 9.

    neilrobertson (#5) "The new Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy was sadly completely out of his depth."

    Surely not?

    He appears to be an accomplished politican

    What's more, he knows a thing or two about the EU Lisbon Treaty and solidarity.

  • Comment number 10.

    Never mind the EU , thats a just a distraction and just stating the obvious.

    The Government needs to offer a accreditation system for our banks, banks only get it if they open up their books (full discloser) and allow Government inspectors to assess their viability(credit rating).

    This could be repeated every month (in the current situation).

    The Government could bring in a law that instructs all banks to put this to their shareholder for a vote.

    This would bring some confidence to the markets, as banks would know who they could lend to or not.

    Shareholders would know that their investment are safe too.

    Banks that have run into problems and do not or can not join will need help, either restructuring or a bail out plan or a fire sale of debt (with first offers going to the borrowers themselves) till the bank can join the scheme.

    Since Northern Rock in late 2007 there has been uncertainty, both by the markets and on the high street, this has to be ended as soon possible.

    Someone needs to pull their finger out and start earning their pay grade !

  • Comment number 11.


    ivegotanasbo (#8) Ireland, Lisbon renegade, good with ('girlie') words eh?

    EU 27-1 'must try harder'?


  • Comment number 12.

    #9 I think the BBC's Sally Magnusson spoke for Scotland when she asked BBC Reporting
    Scotland's London correspondent on Friday:
    "Now, David, remind us: who is Jim Murphy?"

  • Comment number 13.

    But hey - watch Salmond. Moore and Murphy
    on Newsnight Scotland on the i-player and
    judge for yourselves. Here is the profile of
    the new Secretary of State for Scotland in
    this morning's Herald by Robbie Dinwoodie:

  • Comment number 14.

    1: Could this mark the beginning of the end of the European co-operation and the common euro dream?

    2: Does Brown know the future is bleak and is stratagizing a scorched-earth policy for the future Tory Govt to inherit?

    3: Is Mandleson gonna be a fall guy? Brown finally getting his revenge for Mandy's past machinations and girlie-like-bitchin and gossipy ways.

    4: Is the black policemen's association rascist?

    5: When the chips are down, by nature, do we all know which side we are on; illustrated by some European leaders just recently?

  • Comment number 15.

    Murphy also announced the date of the by-election in Glenrothes tonight on Newsnight Scotland (November 6) and started Labour's
    official campaign ........... before the writ has
    even been tabled in the House of Commons.

    In olden days such discourtesy to the House
    would not I suspect have been acceptable?
    The writ will be moved later on today he told Gordon Brewer when he will also be
    launching Labour's campaign in Fife. The
    Liberal MP Michael Moore was interviewed
    straight after Murphy so was then able to
    advertise the merits of his candidate in the by-election. But as Alex Salmond's input was recorded earlier none of the other challengers even got a mention ..........

    But such trickery is Jim Murphy's style.

  • Comment number 16.

    ivegotanasbo's comment says it all, really. There's excitable Kirsty Wark on Newsnight, shouting down the German ambassador because she's not hearing what she wants, and on the Today programme it's excitable Sarah Montague also talking up the doom and gloom without any obvious financial nous. Why are these women so excitable? Can't Peston or Crick tell them to get a grip and calm down, dears?

  • Comment number 17.

    Would one buy a used car from Ruth Lee? I believe the answer is 'no'. In all the interviews she has been seen in, she appears pleased with herself, hardly answering the questions directly, and is just full of wind. Kirsty, interviewing her is a perfect partner. With her grating, unclear voice and full of herself she is yet another media personality who lacks charm and empathy with most of the people being interviewed. Both women offend intelligence, sight and hearing with the manner of their presentation. Bad enough for home consumption, they shame Great Britain as representatives of our professional womenhood.

  • Comment number 18.

    why did Mark ignore the 2 way grid. the uk is the only country not to have one. In germany it provides more energy than the whole of the uk nuclear industry, creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, billions in income and lowers bills.

    the nuclear lobby own the uk govt?

  • Comment number 19.

    18 bookhimdano

    Obviously the government is in somebody's pocket.


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