October 20, 2011

The ‘Hints’ Dropped by our Central Banker, Mervyn King

Posted in Politics, The Global Economic Crisis tagged , , , , , , at 1:24 pm by David Gould

For those who don’t know, Central Bankers are an understated lot.  King’s former US counterpart, Alan Greenspan sent world markets into a tailspin in 1996 merely by mentioning “Irrational exuberance and unduly escalating stock prices.”

In such light, and surely exceeding his remit, Sir Mervyn’s quotes are compelling reading. Last week, he told the world:

This is the most serious financial crisis at least since the 1930s, if not ever.

So which is the scarier King, Stephen or Mervyn?

This week in Liverpool, The Telegraph reports:

All of the emergency stimulus measures employed to support European banks and the eurozone had simply “bought time” for world leaders to address that fundamental imbalance, Sir Mervyn said in a speech in Liverpool last night. “So far, that time has not been used to deal with the underlying imbalances, or the weaknesses in bank and sovereign balance sheets,” he said. “Time is running out.”

But what’s this imbalance?

“In the end,” he said, the only answer to debt problems was for countries to “adopt compatible policies so that they can credibly service their internal and external debts.” Western economies must also become more competitive, he said. Meanwhile, China and other emerging economies must increase their domestic consumption. Unless these imbalances were resolved, the West would suffer ever-larger debt crises, he warned.

So how does China spending their money rather than lending it cheaply to a heavily endebted West help us?

I also wonder if Mervin kept a diary as Labour’s spending on surveillance databases, aircraft carriers and £500 a month Housing Benefit played Russian Roulette with our economy?  What did he know?  Usually when people are prevented from saying things in public they vent more in private.