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Shoot the messenger

By Hal Austin | Published Dec 09, 2011 | comments

The knives are out for Sir Mervyn King again. He is just in a loss-loss situation.

The FSA messed up on the Northern Rock case, yet some clever dicks thought it right to blame the governor, even though he had remained steadfast throughout the early period of the banking crisis.

Now she has warned the nation of dark clouds down the line, and the same people are coming out under cover of night to accuse him of talking down the markets. He just cannot win.

The truth is, and has been since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, that the banks have craftily shifted their debt on to the public balance sheet, while continuing to pay themselves hefty bonuses for failure.

Now Sir Mervyn has warned that the UK economy is still in dire straits and the chancellor’s Plan A, redesigned as Plan A plus, still looks as if it is not going to work.

But when he warned the nation about the “extraordinarily serious and threatening crisis”, he was simply doing his job.

It is in the interest of the politicians and market players to be cautious but not to the extent of being misleading.

Of course, the governor has a responsibility to reassure the markets, but at the same time he must be honest.

Instead of criticising Sir Mervyn, the City and Whitehall should be celebrating that we have such an independent-spirited governor at the Bank.

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