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Prospects: Monday, 17 March, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 17 Mar 08, 10:29 AM

From today's programme producer, Robert Morgan:

Good morning everyone,

There's a lot around today. The fallout from Bear Stearns is set to be big. How will the international markets respond? What will the Fed do with interest rates tomorrow? What effect will this have on us in the UK? Tracker mortgages were withdrawn over the weekend and a report today says up to 10,000 jobs could go in the banking industry.

We have an interview with Lord Butler off the back of the 10 Days to War series. We need to watch out for China's midnight deadline for demonstrators in Tibet to give themselves up. Kosovo is worth looking at too. Do come to the meeting with ideas on how to do these stories.

Playout thoughts weclome. See you in a minute.

Robert

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:40 PM on 17 Mar 2008,
  • John Gubert wrote:

The Bear saga highlights yet again the eerie foresight of the financial thriller "One step to Danger" by John Gubert. Luckily the US had deeper pockets than Liechtenstein would have had!

"By the end of the week the rumours had gained such momentum that United were forced to act. The announcement was sombre. United would make losses of one point four billion dollars for the year. They had lost eight hundred million in Asia as a result of the market volatility and six hundred million on unauthorised lending against securities.
Their share price slumped. The press queried if they could survive. The Liechtenstein authorities, for that was the head office of the holding company, issued a nervous statement. In the countries where United operated, everyone protested that they were not the regulator. It was Liechtenstein. And they did not know what was hitting them.
Ryder said laconically. "Now let's put the buggers into play."

  • 2.
  • At 03:40 PM on 17 Mar 2008,
  • Bill Bradbury wrote:

The current Financial debacle appears to be a head and heart situation for the UK.
Heart says let's not talk up a financial crash and a lack of confidence on the pound, Banks and City otherwise we will be in "s..t Street"

But Head says we are "heading for the last round-up" to quote a favourite American Hymn. "Experts" today are saying that everyone is deserting the Dollar AND the Pound, as they reckon we are in as much of a financial mess as America. This does not look good.

Nobody has queried the effect on our investments often linked to the Stock Exchange. So many who have invested their retirement money in such would they better be taking their money and running?? That would make Northern Rock look like a raid on a piggy bank.

I bet Brown wished he had not sold that gold when he did, now at over $100 an ounce.

Newsnight we need to be re-assured. Only Stephanie can allay my fears, the only economic pundit who tells it as it is.

  • 3.
  • At 05:10 PM on 17 Mar 2008,
  • Michael wrote:

Great article on Bear Stearns etc in today's Guardian by Larry Elliott:
https://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/mar/17/economics.useconomy

Mr. Elliott predicted the current crisis 10 year ago in his book "The age of insecurity"
Please get him on the programme!
(I am not related and have no personal or financial connection to Mr. Elliott).

Bring on Stephanie Flanders. I don't trust many financial reporters, but saint Steph is certainly high on my list.

The problem we have is not merely the stock market and US credit crunch. Over here we've the additional problems Prudent Gordon has created. The moronic sale of our bullion reserves. The enormous damage he did to our pensions - the best funded systems in the world until he raided them. He has spent billions of our treasure on schemes which enrich rich companies, often outside the UK, under PFI deals which never appeared on the balance sheet of UK PLC or the companies concerned. His 40% rule was always a farce - with PFI deals being given away with sweeteners, he was handing over our national assets for little return, and the only benefit was to him directly - they allowed him to "invest" in schools and hospitals, but only by mortgaging our futures and giving away vast quantities of assets. The behaviour of Gordon Brown has been utterly despicable. He believed that all would be well so long as he kept on topping up the cash. In essence he has been guilty of a pyramid-selling kind of scam. And we will be paying for his incompetence for many years to come.
Of course while we're all suffering from the lack of pensions, Gordon and Blair will be fine, though. They're both covered by our taxes for life, aren't they?
You couldn't make it up.

One last point - since we've all got to pay extra tax on booze because it's so dangerous, would it be possible for the bars in Westminster which are currently excise and VAT free zones, to be taxed at the same rates as the rest of the country? After all, if alcohol makes it dangerous for a man to operate heavy machinery or drive, surely it's just as dangerous for an alcoholic to decide on new laws which will erode civil liberties?

I can dream.

  • 5.
  • At 06:38 PM on 17 Mar 2008,
  • Bill Bradbury wrote:

Mike, I think if the "books" could be independently audited, what Brown did was "teeming and lading" which put simply is covering up one shortfall by using current money.

Eventually it catches up with you which could end in a jail sentence for misappropriating the Country's money.

However I suspect there would be of a lot of big business and "City Slickers" guilty as well? It makes one wonder.

Bring on Stephanie Flanders. I don't trust many financial reporters, but saint Steph is certainly high on my list.

The problem we have is not merely the stock market and US credit crunch. Over here we've the additional problems Prudent Gordon has created. The moronic sale of our bullion reserves. The enormous damage he did to our pensions - the best funded systems in the world until he raided them. He has spent billions of our treasure on schemes which enrich rich companies, often outside the UK, under PFI deals which never appeared on the balance sheet of UK PLC or the companies concerned. His 40% rule was always a farce - with PFI deals being given away with sweeteners, he was handing over our national assets for little return, and the only benefit was to him directly - they allowed him to "invest" in schools and hospitals, but only by mortgaging our futures and giving away vast quantities of assets. The behaviour of Gordon Brown has been utterly despicable. He believed that all would be well so long as he kept on topping up the cash. In essence he has been guilty of a pyramid-selling kind of scam. And we will be paying for his incompetence for many years to come.
Of course while we're all suffering from the lack of pensions, Gordon and Blair will be fine, though. They're both covered by our taxes for life, aren't they?
You couldn't make it up.

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