So the prime minister is promising to clean up the financial system. He is calling for global action. He intervened directly, to facilitate the Lloyds takeover of HBOS.
Thus, his economic strategy and his political strategy have become aligned. The extraordinary economic events of the past few days have written the script for his conference next week and for a visit to New York which will follow it.
John Prescott read the script this morning when he declared that Brown was the man with the economic experience and the international status to see us through. In the short term, at least, Wall Street may well have saved Gordon, as I suggested earlier this week.
The long-term political consequences depend on a series of questions that simply cannot be answered yet:
- Will voters blame Labour for the events happening on their watch or can they be convinced that only a party of the left will "clean up" the City?
- Will economic fear lead voters to rate experience above newness and change? And, crucially:
- Will the fallout of this crisis have ended before the next election or will we still being feeling it?
Above all, this crisis is a reminder to political pundits of the sheer unpredictability of the future.