Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Brown brings back Mandelson

IMO: A shrewd move, but Brown has to make a few more smart enough moves to win the next election. In particular, he (a) has to actually resolve the UK banking problem well enough, and avoid harm to honest investors. Most sensible people would not have taken on Barings, like RBS did in the Amro deal, and 5% of the (even worse) Bank of China is so peculiar it is almost political. Alternatively, venture capital at RBS is too big for its boots and uncaring for shareholders. Politics aside, RBS is an interesting case for some kind of bank nationalisation and/or heavy criminal penalties (in China that would mean physical executions of bank officials). Brown also has to probably (b) sort out this ridiculous public-private-partnership nonsense. He really should have business in a vice like grip by now, and (in my view) he should not openly pander to financial criminals to get votes.UK Telegraph actually ran an article praising Mandelson, the so-called "Prince of Darkness" today. Extraordinary. We live in interesting times.

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