Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Union caused banking crisis?

An economic adviser to the Scottish Government, Professor John Kay, has said that an independent Scotland would (or should) have let HBOS and RBS go bust rather than "handing the responsibility for the mess to taxpayers":
Speaking on Radio 4's Analysis programme Kay said an independent Scottish government would have been presented with two options: "One is the governments of countries in which, say, RBS operates make a contribution to an overall bail-out, (but] why would Scottish taxpayers have responsibility for bailing out a bank merely because its headquarters was in Scotland?
I suppose the potential loss of jobs could be one reason offered, the knock-on effect (in terms of loss of confidence if nothing else) on the host economy another...but in all honesty I actually think he might have a valid point with regards to the UK government's bailing out of the two banks- it's just not one you expect in the modern age of political spin publicly from an advisor to a populist nationalist administration.

What's even stranger though is the reply from "a spokesperson for the First Minister" who, deliberately avoiding the main question, said:
"The bottom line is the banking crisis took place within the Union, and an independent Scotland would always be best placed and have the strongest interest in safeguarding our key industries."
Is he saying there that the banking crisis was caused by the Union? Is he saying an independent Scotland would have had a stronger "interest" in safeguarding a key industry like banking than the UK government, or actually Uk taxpayer did when coughing up the billions to keep the HBOS and RBS in business? Is he saying an independent Scotland would have been "better placed" than, for example, their previous posterboys Iceland and the Republic to resist a worldwide economic crisis?


Anonymous said...

Your not really getting this... Think of the answer you want to hear if your a member of the Scottish public and that's the answer he's given you. Easy.

O'Neill said...

Or think of an answer that will piss off most his fellow Scots who happen to be Unionist and/or the English...