‘Inflation, extravagance, bankruptcy’ were, according to Gordon Brown speaking at the Davos World Economic Forum , the three words which condemned Britain to the Great Depression of the 1930s. They were scrawled by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer in response to a stimulus plan proposed by John Maynard Keynes.
Brown told the Davos Forum that he had found the scribbled response among documents in the Treasury archives.
The three words encapsulate the gist of today’s criticisms of Brown’s actions to stimulate the economy: re-capitalisation of the banks, ring-fencing banks’ bad debts, guarantees on inter-bank lending, and direct aid to industry.
Some people say the credit crunch was caused by governments keeping interest too ow for too long, by governments insisting that mortgage debt be offered to people who can’t afford it, and by governments failing to regulate fanciers with sufficient rigour.
That’s as maybe, but it can never be denied that the people who actually implemented the excesses that caused the collapse of the financial system were all from the private sector.
From whose tender mercies Big Brother, once presumed dead and buried, has arisen to save us.