12 Oct 2008

Ken calls for nationalisation of Banks

Ken with his alliance with New Labour, my amigos in Latin America and the London Federation of Green Parties, has always been a source of fascination.

Who wants to have anything to do with the Party of the butchers who took us to war in Iraq and Afghanistan? I think there have been times when he has been too close to the City. Don’t get me started on China. And yet on a range of issues Ken has been the voice of the left, I balance everything against his strong opposition to incinerators. Rather more risky than Credit Default Swaps and coming to pollute a town near you soon, if Brown and Cameron get their way.

Any way in case you missed it in the Guardian which some of us are boycotting at present, here is his call for socialist banking:

£50bn of taxpayers’ money must not be committed to a battle to recapitalise banks which involves wholly unacceptable risk. Instead, news published in the Times on Friday evening showed the right way forward: “As the Treasury was set to reveal details of the British bail-out plan, sources at the IMF warned that, if this failed, then the only option would be the wholesale nationalisation of the British banking system.” This was adjusted in later editions to read “officials gathered in Washington were forced to contemplate the previously unthinkable: that Britain’s enfeebled banks may face outright nationalization.”

This nationalisation of a number of major British banks should be carried out immediately. Some banks, notably HSBC, are able to raise private capital, if they require, to strengthen their balance sheet and should be allowed to do so. A number of others led by Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS and possibly Lloyds TSB cannot – it is clear that the greatest financial strain now exists on the proposed takeover of HBOS by Lloyd’s TSB.

Bank nationalisation is working very well in some parts of the world.

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