Some things Osborne has said about the importance of Britain maintaining a AAA rating

February 23, 2013 9:22 am

A few months ago we produced a list of things that George Osborne has said about the UK’s AAA rating. Now that Moody’s have downgraded Britain from AAA to AA1, it’s worth reprising them – we wouldn’t want George to be able to wriggle out of this after all:

1. When Britain was first put on negative outlook by Standard and Poor’s in 2009 George Osborne (then in opposition) called for an early general election:

“It’s now clear that Britain’s economic reputation is on the line at the next general election, another reason for bringing the date forward and having that election now… For the first time since these ratings began in 1978, the outlook for British debt has been downgraded from stable to negative.”

2. In May last year George Osborne claimed that moving off negative outlook proved that Britain had “economic stability”:

“Our credit rating had been put on negative watch. Now, however, thanks to the policies of this coalition Government, Britain has economic stability again.”

3. George Osborne has said safeguarding the rating was his “first benchmark” and a “measure of success”. He has also warned that a credit rating downgrade would be “humiliating” and that it is “absolutely essential” that Britain does not have one:

“Our first benchmark is to cut the deficit more quickly to safeguard Britain’s credit rating. I know that we are taking a political gamble to set this up as a measure of success. Protecting the credit rating will not be easy… The pace of fiscal consolidation will be co-ordinated with monetary policy. And we will protect Britain’s credit rating and international reputation.” - 2 February 2010

“I have argued it with my opponents in difficult economic times, when I warned them last autumn that the cupboard was bare and the discretionary borrowing had to stop – and now Britain faces the humiliating possibility of losing its international credit rating.” – 11 August 2009

“Of course the British government needs to be able to get its debt away, and by the way it’s not just in the City, you need to get it away around the world and that’s where a lot of international investors in British, in gilts, and indeed, as I’ve talked about actually in the Times today, you know, one of the things I’m very keen on doing, and that’s putting it mildly, is to preserve Britain’s international credit rating. You know it’s absolutely essential we don’t have the downgrade that hangs over the country at the moment.” – 8 October 2009

“What investor is going to come to the UK when they fear a downgrade of our credit-rating and a collapse of confidence?” – 27 February 2010

  • TomFairfax

    Mark,
    You should have put some quotes in from a couple of weeks ago when only George seemed unaware that we were on course to have the rating downgraded, but was still going on about the importance of it not being downgraded. He’s been doing Ed Balls’ job for him.

    • http://twitter.com/FRANCISGERALDAL FRANCIS GERALD ALLEN

      Mark; I didn’t think you were so naive, of course he wasn’t unaware, he has all the facts and figures, advisors etc at his fingertips. Osbourne knows he can brass embarrassments like this out because he has the Mail, Telegraph, Times, Express, I.T.V. news etc shielding him. You can be certain that he wil lbe looking for more than £10b.in cuts and hidden tax rises in the up coming budget to compesate for the reduced mbile phone licence auction funds, and to placate Moody’s and Standard and Poor. The only good thing that may come out of this is that it may **** the Torie’s in Eastleigh on Thursday, and hopefully make it another nail in this vicious coalitions coffin.

  • TomFairfax

    Mark,
    You should have put some quotes in from a couple of weeks ago when only George seemed unaware that we were on course to have the rating downgraded, but was still going on about the importance of it not being downgraded. He’s been doing Ed Balls’ job for him.

  • TomFairfax

    Mark,
    You should have put some quotes in from a couple of weeks ago when only George seemed unaware that we were on course to have the rating downgraded, but was still going on about the importance of it not being downgraded. He’s been doing Ed Balls’ job for him.

  • NT86

    He’ll now either remain silent or downplay its importance. If Standard & Poor’s follow suit there’s really no justification having this utter hack as Chancellor. The same credit rating he cherished so much was his only lifeline to justify still being Chancellor. With that downgraded, any last scrap of competence is gone.

    • rekrab

      No, he’ll use it to cut deeper and further, expect more savage cuts on welfare and the NHS, while growth dumps along the bottom.

      • Dave Postles

        Right, Derek.

  • Dave Postles

    Stop Press: the budget will be presented late this year to make appropriate adjustments – 1 April.

    • Monkey_Bach

      April Fools Day! Eeek.

  • Monkey_Bach

    Osborne has been saying that the downgrade shows that the government should be even more determined about reducing the deficit as this is the be all and end all. The major factor as per Moody’s downgrading of Britain’s AAA status to AA1 was because A LACK OF GROWTH in the British economy had increased government borrowing. The gamble hasn’t worked and the country is tanking. So what now? More and deeper cuts to the poor? More and more generous tax cuts for the wealthy? How much more blood letting can Britannia tolerate before she haemorrhages to death? Eeek.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Britain has been running a deficit budget for 12 years, under both main parties, and at levels far exceeding that which might naturally be consumed by inflation and growth. When do you want that to stop?

      I don’t want my children and grandchildren of the future paying for the debts incurred by my generation on such wasteful nonsense that we are currently funding by buying debt. We should be spending less, and that means not paying for a lot of things that some people believe, wrongly in my opinion, are God-given rights. They are not, they are indulgences. Look around the rest of the world.

      In practical terms, that means, to me, stopping paying benefits so liberally to just about anyone, and concentrating them on those who really need them.

      And yes, Osborne’s tax cut for the very rich was stupid, but in the grand context, the money is a “drop in the ocean”.

      • Dave Postles

        Here’s a little anecdote. I told my brother that I do not use my bus pass because I am perfectly able to pay the fare and I should not be a drain in such circumstances. My brother told me not to act like an idiot, because the payment only subsidizes the private bus companies, whether I use the pass or pay myself. That’s it in a nutshell, really: some of these benefits to pensioners (winter fuel allowance, bus pass) are no more than the state supporting private business. So let’s start there by directing these payments only to those who really need them and stop the state supporting these private companies. No doubt the same obtains with private child care. I didn’t mind income tax at 35% provided it was invested in our public services, but these superfluous benefits on the supposition of universality are now only supporting private companies.
        Yes, and Trident and useless aircraft carriers are a travesty when people in the services are being made compulsorily redundant and many of whom will end up homeless and unemployed.

      • Alexwilliamz

        Nobody is against reducing the deficit in principle the question is when you do it. During a recession with low growth or make a commitment NOW that when tax receipts are up and growth or better economic figures make more sense you deal with the deficit issue then. Going back to that ridiculous anecdote about fixing roofs, it is probably not a good idea to repair a roof when it is raining as you will need to remove half of it to get the job done, and while you are about it you will probably fix it in a way which is unsatisfactory. Much better to cover it over until the conditions are right to fix it.
        Just because there is a problem – an increasing deficit for example does not mean that it follows that cutting spending immediately is the solution, as many have pointed out again and again and again.

        As for your comment on benefits it is almost moving into to daily mail type generalisations (just about anyone), if we continue to have this debate with this kind of extremist characterisation of all benefits as a justification to reform ALL benefits irrespective of whether they fall into the category that is being critiqued, we are not going to get any where and a lot of people are going to get hurt. Your description is dangerously close to deserving/undeserving poor arguments. At the same time these are benefits of citizenship not charity, perhaps we need a discussion about what people want from their citizenship and then make sure they pay for them. I believe the Labour party is about dignity for all, that means not allowing people to fall into desperate poverty, but it also means they should not be falling into dependency either.

        • MonkeyBot5000

          Your description is dangerously close to deserving/undeserving poor arguments.

          Not when his proposed cut off for receiving benefits is having an income equal to the national average. Given that the only average most MPs seem to understand is the mean (rather than the median), that cut off point would be higher than what 50% of the country earn.

          • Alexwilliamz

            Missed that bit, that would mean that just about anyone would get benefits. In reality I’m guessing the modal average would be the preferred one.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            How can you “miss that bit”, and then go on to make a comment full of innuendo if you have not read the argument properly? My text is properly constructed, the logic is linear, and it is properly paragraphed to break it into digestible chunks.

          • Alexwilliamz

            My apologies Jaime, I did read it within the context that you are basically implying that most of the people receiving benefits do not need them. You also seem to have fallen into the trap that the benefits you refer to are the main cause of the deficit when I am not sure that is the case. I was also accessing it via an iphone at the time and my brain may also have been filling in ‘some gaps’ as I can scan read. Can you clarify what you mean by average wage, would it not be better using a measure of household income. I think that is what tax credits were meant to do?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            What “context”, apart from in your mind? And the trap you refer to is imaginary, as I do not make that argument at all. I am not concerned with what device you are reading it, the words remain the same, and I cannot be held to account for your own brain filling in its’ own gaps.

            The average wage is the wage paid averagely among the working population. It is about £25,000. If you want me to get technical with means, modes and medians, I can. My argument is that if someone has a non-benefits income above the national average (simplistically measured), then they should not be paid a penny of benefits, of any kind, and much of the overall saving can be applied to raising the benefits of those genuinely in need. The only case I would consider an exception is in the case of disability, which can have extreme costs associated.

          • Alexwilliamz

            Which is why i apologised! Or did you miss that bit? The rest of that sentence was trying to answer your question ‘how can you miss that bit’.

            Ok not a context an assumption that all those people who receive benefits outside your umbrella do not need them. How have you come to that conclusion? Or was I wrong in making that assumption from what you wrote?

            The ‘trap’ followed from the fact that first you talked about deficit then you immediately went on about benefits as if this is the reason we have a deficit. You did not mention any other things that you felt needed dealing with so I think that is valid. As you know gvt spends lots of money on lots of things why do you point the finger at benefits. Personally the finger should be pointed equally at overpaying too many people employed by the state, whether in health, education or just general civil service, or even private contractors.
            I do not understand your belief that it should be tied to an average income, surely the point about benefits is that they provide sufficient income to support a recognised standard of living. Provided everyone is getting that then why pay more or less? Are these benefits meant to top you up to this 25K and not go over? Or are they going to be linked to a variety of different needs?

            Finally why is it linked to an individuals income, surely a household would be a better measure, otherwise it must be unfair. For example a single parent earning 25K gets nothing while a couple with both earning 15K each would be entitled to additional benefits? At least you have recognised that people with disability may require additional payments if you delve a little deeper how many more ‘deserving’ cases might come to light.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Alex,

            yes of course you apologised, it was wrong of me to not so acknowledge.

            I am not sure what you mean of my “umbrella”. My comments are addressed at the generality, not those I know.

            I do not believe we have a deficit because we have benefits, I merely believe that because we have a deficit, the cost of benefits should not be excluded from considerations as to how to deal with the deficit. Welfare spending makes such a large proportion of government spending that it is not possible to deal with a deficit by excluding welfare payments.

            What is wrong with tying it to average income? Think how ridiculous it is to give someone who earns more than most money paid for by those earning less than most. It is a simple benchmark.

            The last points are more complex. In Britain, our taxes are levied individually, but we choose to live severally. It would be a big change to make to a family tax system. And the current system has in its’ favour both the individual principle, which I like, but also allows for something like disability payments to be made to a child, irrespective of the situation of the parents.

          • Alexwilliamz

            Believe or not I think tying it to average income is potentially too generous in some cases! I think there are two types of benefits a) those to meet individual needs which are linked to what we would consider necessary to maintain the dignity we think should be part of being a citizen of the UK and b) Universal benefits we all may receive for varying reasons. While I am pretty sure you have in mind a system that supports a) you appear to be abolishing type b). I think this is a mistake as I think the idea of universality is a good concept within a society; we all put in and take out. Otherwise we end up with benefits as being seen as purely charitable, what if we then extend these principles to wider services? People earning more than say the 90th percentile can probably afford to pay for their own health care, education etc etc. Should they receive these wider ‘benefits’ of the welfare state? Surely the same arguments you are using could apply, think of how we could save even more money for the tax payer by removing 10% of the populations health and education costs from the system. Now obviously individual citizens can opt out of health care, education and even many of the benefits you talk about, hopefully many might do so out a civic regard to the public finances. It may be that we cut the value of some of the universal benefits and beef up some of the type a) benefits but I would be very concerned about what it says about the welfare state if we did away with universality altogether.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Defend the universality of winter fuel payments or child benefit payments, or bus passes? It cannot be logically done, except on the grounds of cost of administration, and even then there is nothing to stop the HMRC requiring repayment on self-assessment forms at the cost of some inked boxes to be filled in, and the recipient to add the benefit to the annual tax bill. Not very pretty, to receive and then pay back, but pretty cheap, and it begins to stop the nonsense.

            The welfare state is meant to be a safety net, not a lifestyle support.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

            Not true. Out-of-work benefits, yes, but the welfare state is far more than just those.
            The provision of health, education, and other public services are exactly the ‘lifestyle support’ you decry, which is probably why Labour doesn’t attract you.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Mike,

            you are correct, I do not mean “Welfare State” in the breadth that you describe, and which is commonly known as such. I meant “welfare budget” (without capital letters). An error by me.

          • Alexwilliamz

            Umm a recognition that all children are proto citízens and in rcginition of that we provide some money for each and everyone. In recognition of the citizens in old age with time available to them having access to public transport it might also keep traffic off the road if you want a utilitarian justification. Personally i think it would be great if public transport was free for all, but i can’t see people willing to pay for it. Winter fuel allowance i can’t justify as it is cleary targetting a specifc need so you can link that one to income or whatever.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Still a nonsense set of arguments. It is not the business of the state to subsidise**** any of the things you mention for the well off, and well off is by definition anyone with more income than the national average wage, however measured.

            **** with money taken from the poor, as well as other well off people. And the tax money taken from the rich is merely inefficiently recycled, with losses due to bureaucracy, if it is then returned to the rich. The tax monies taken from the poor are merely redistributed upwards, also inefficiently.

            Goodness, I wish people studied logic in this country.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Still a nonsense set of arguments. It is not the business of the state to subsidise**** any of the things you mention for the well off, and well off is by definition anyone with more income than the national average wage, however measured.

            **** with money taken from the poor, as well as other well off people. And the tax money taken from the rich is merely inefficiently recycled, with losses due to bureaucracy, if it is then returned to the rich. The tax monies taken from the poor are merely redistributed upwards, also inefficiently.

            Goodness, I wish people studied both theoretical and applied logic to at least GCSE level in this country. It would solve a lot of arguments if people knew how to think clearly and critically. There is a good debate to be had that the study and practice of logic is of more use to a society for the majority of people than the study of mathematics beyond a certain level of numeracy and everyday facility. What is the point of knowing how to take an equation and convert it to a matrix, when you cannot think clearly? What small percentage of people find it more useful in life to be able to solve a quadratic equation than to forensically identify the one salient line of argument in a text, or business plan, and to spot the obvious flaw?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Still a nonsense set of arguments. It is not the business of the state to subsidise**** any of the things you mention for the well off, and well off is by definition anyone with more income than the national average wage, however measured.

            **** with money taken from the poor, as well as other well off people. And the tax money taken from the rich is merely inefficiently recycled, with losses due to bureaucracy, if it is then returned to the rich. The tax monies taken from the poor are merely redistributed upwards, also inefficiently.

            Goodness, I wish people studied both theoretical and applied logic to at least GCSE level in this country. It would solve a lot of arguments if people knew how to think clearly and critically. There is a good debate to be had that the study and practice of logic is of more use to a society for the majority of people than the study of mathematics beyond a certain level of numeracy and everyday facility. What is the point of knowing how to take an equation and convert it to a matrix, when you cannot think clearly? What small percentage of people find it more useful in life to be able to solve a quadratic equation than to forensically identify the one salient line of argument in a text, or business plan, and to spot the obvious flaw?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Still a nonsense set of arguments. It is not the business of the state to subsidise**** any of the things you mention for the well off, and well off is by definition anyone with more income than the national average wage, however measured.

            **** with money taken from the poor, as well as other well off people. And the tax money taken from the rich is merely inefficiently recycled, with losses due to bureaucracy, if it is then returned to the rich. The tax monies taken from the poor are merely redistributed upwards, also inefficiently.

            Goodness, I wish people studied both theoretical and applied logic to at least GCSE level in this country. It would solve a lot of arguments if people knew how to think clearly and critically. There is a good debate to be had that the study and practice of logic is of more use to a society for the majority of people than the study of mathematics beyond a certain level of numeracy and everyday facility. What is the point of knowing how to take an equation and convert it to a matrix, when you cannot think clearly? What small percentage of people find it more useful in life to be able to solve a quadratic equation than to forensically identify the one salient line of argument in a text, or business plan, and to spot the obvious flaw?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Still a nonsense set of arguments. It is not the business of the state to subsidise**** any of the things you mention for the well off, and well off is by definition anyone with more income than the national average wage, however measured.

            **** with money taken from the poor, as well as other well off people. And the tax money taken from the rich is merely inefficiently recycled, with losses due to bureaucracy, if it is then returned to the rich. The tax monies taken from the poor are merely redistributed upwards, also inefficiently.

            Goodness, I wish people studied both theoretical and applied logic to at least GCSE level in this country. It would solve a lot of arguments if people knew how to think clearly and critically. There is a good debate to be had that the study and practice of logic is of more use to a society for the majority of people than the study of mathematics beyond a certain level of numeracy and everyday facility. What is the point of knowing how to take an equation and convert it to a matrix, when you cannot think clearly? What small percentage of people find it more useful in life to be able to solve a quadratic equation than to forensically identify the one salient line of argument in a text, or business plan, and to spot the obvious flaw?

          • Alexwilliamz

            Jaime sometimes you can come across as a priggish patronising bore and I think you have just done that. In what way is making claims based upon an appeal to universality through citizenship illogical. Just because you do not recognise the base premise and seek to reduce everything down to some kind of diminished conception of what the state/society might be does not make it so. Tell me what is you view of free health care for all? Is that also a nonsense argument? Is it because benefits are in the form of cash rather than a service that it suddenly becomes nonsensical to give something to someone they might not ‘need’? Why pay for bus passes for anyone or child allowance for any children?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            You have your argument the wrong way around. The appeal should not be to universality through the means of citizenship, but to citizenship, which rather broadens the range of means available to achieve that. Universality is not the intention. In the UK, it is a grossly expensive means to an ill-defined end, but an end defended by dinosaurs.

            My view of health care for all is that it is a right, but the means of paying for it – either from taxes at source, or paying for insurance with a base safety net paid by the state, or whatever is an active debate. Let me observe that very few other modern western countries have a similar construct as we do in the UK of an NHS, and yet most other modern and equivalent western societies have better health systems than we do in the UK, measured by any number of metrics. Very few other developed countries even have GPs****, instead employing expensively educated doctors as proper doctors, and not triaging agents who need an entirely different skillset which can be more cheaply delivered. There is nothing special about the NHS, and I say that as an NHS employee. It is just a funding mechanism, and not a very good one either. (There are also all sorts of monstrous bureaucracy problems with the NHS trying to be so all encompassing, and not many efficiencies). Try looking at healthcare outcomes in Spain, Canada, Norway, Australia, and so on. And yet citizens in those countries pay an equivalence to us, being taxed less and paying insurance. And they get better healthcare. What is not “to like” in that result?

            It is the outcomes that matter, not the inputs or the health bureaucracy. The accountancy gets in the way.

            **** It is often debated that GPs are in fact a product of Victorian times, when both travel to hospitals and appointment making was difficult, and the concept exported to the British Empire, in which distance in big colonies was a great factor. That is not the case in modern Britain. The greatest need for GPs now is in fact in developing countries, which still suffer from distance, travel, and communications difficulties. You or I do not need a GP to make us an appointment in a hospital these days in Britain. Witness A&E admissions, in which the GP is necessarily completely bypassed.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

            But the social democratic ideal IS universality as a signifier of social citizenship. It was central to the very idea of social citizenship promoted by Tawney
            It can also be argued that a major problem is not so much primary care, but the continuing domination of health care by the wasteful and interventionist hospital system, which seems to think it has some sort of right to use hi-tech medicine whenever it can. As well as seem to think that keeping people alive at all costs irrespective of life in years….

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Your first point is not agreed generally – it is not settled. See Gritzen and Tallenga (University of Bologna, 1996), and indeed more modern arguments where social democratic practitioners such as Blair and Brown adopt their principles in beginning to question universality) .

            It is secondary care that actually cures conditions. Primary care is merely a postbox. Do you want to get into real detail, or do you want to argue that your GP cures and sends away your cancer, and the cancer specialist or all of the very expensive and specialist interventions in hospital have no role at all?

            Where the NHS should be going, and this is an opinion widely shared in the secondary healthcare sector, is in largely cutting primary care and bringing what remains and is necessary “in-house”, and additionally bolstering secondary care as a first point of contact, and systematising and boosting tertiary care (social and holistic) in communities. Basically, sack the largely useless GPs, let people book direct to a general admissions function in hospitals, and recycle the GP surgeries as a socially useful tertiary care centre. Like most of the rest of the developed world that have health care systems that make sense.

            Of course, with your deep and intimate systems knowledge of how healthcare functions, you may choose to differ as to efficacy. Or otherwise stated, it is the onus on a sociology teacher with a political axe to grind to prove that this is not a better system than what we currently have.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

            In your opinion. I think that there is a lot to be said for maintaining some universal benefits – as it is well known that benefits exclusively for the poor tend to be poor benefits
            What the State chooses to do isn’t something which is unaffected by ideology. Your problem is that you reduce politics to economics. Its the other way round and until you grasp that, you will never have anything to say worth listening to

  • aracataca

    The downgrading of this country’s triple A status for the first time in its history is an absolute disaster. Moody’s have unambiguously said that this downgrade is a consequence of 0% growth in the economy and the likelihood of many more years of 0% growth. Look out for interest rate rises in the not too distant future and we know that if this shower continue with their current policies life will be very, very hard for the less fortunate sections of our society.Meanwhile the rich will still be partying with a reduction in the top rate of tax from 50% to 45% due in April. It’s time to provide a massive immediate stimulus to the economy to get it moving and for austerity to be abandoned.

  • trotters1957

    This will have no effect on the UK economy as similar downgrades haven’t affected the US or France.
    It just shows that this whole project has been about ripping out and destroying the state, nothing to do with debt, deficit or economics.
    Expect even more cuts

    • Dave Postles

      That’s just so true- it’s demonstrably evident by the very recent machinations in DfE and in HE in BIS by Gove and Willetts.

  • Brumanuensis

    To reiterate the point made by other posters, this is an economically worthless assessment by Moody’s. It will have no effect on the UK’s ability to borrow and deserves to be disregarded, just like the equally stupid and illogical decision to downgrade the US in August 2011 should have been disregarded.

    However, it is a first-rate humiliation for Osborne. He gambled; he lost; he pays the price.

  • MonkeyBot5000

    Isn’t it about time that someone rated the ratings agencies?

    It wouldn’t need to be predictive either as we already have the data on how different stocks/bonds have performed and how they were initially rated by the agencies. Someone just needs to calculate the average performance over 5 or 10 years (for example) for products with each rating.

    Use the rating (AAA, AA1, etc) as the x-axis, the average ROI as the y-axis and plot a separate series for each agency. You’d have a graph that showed, at a glance, how reliable the agencies were. There may be better measures to use than the average ROI to use for the y-axis, but the principle’s the same.

    Come on Mark, how about getting LL’s crack Excel team working on that?

    • JoblessDave

      The rating agencies may have lost public respect, but the principles on which they base their decisions are based largely mirror the views by investors the world over: in other words, just because losing our AAA rating doesn’t mean the end of the world, doesn’t mean we can completely ignore what they say and still expect to be able to borrow money from investors around the world to pay for the investment to generate the growth we need.

    • Dave Postles

      He would do even better to use LibreOffice Calc or, with more sophistication, gretl or R with R-commander – all free (libre et gratuit) rather than exporting funds to the USA.

      • MonkeyBot5000

        Excel Starter Edition is free.

        That’s why I use LibreOffice for my database and laying out spreadsheets and then open them in Excel to make the graphs look pretty and send them to other people.

        • Dave Postles

          ‘Excel Starter Edition is free.’
          I didn’t know that, but then I only use Linux.

          • MonkeyBot5000

            It’s got some features locked like changing split panes and a few advanced features, but I’m dealing with people who think numbers are for telephones and lottery tickets.

            Using a computer without Wine means they can’t have a glass of red when they’re shopping on eBay.

    • MonkeyBot5000

      @JoblessDave – It won’t let me reply until you’ve been moderated so:

      That’s true, but the rating attached to a stock is only as good as the agency that rates it.

      Since decisions involving staggering amounts of money are often made on the back of those ratings, it only makes sense that we should have some measure of how good the different agencies are at assessing investments.

  • Dave Postles

    What is he going to do about bonuses at RBS? What is apparently being proposed is a disgrace. This excuse about needing to retain investment bankers to improve the share price is specious, IMHO. They would, presumably, be lucky to be employed anywhere else. Uncle Hester should renounce his bonus again. The PAC should drag them all back and give them another haranguing. Have they learnt nothing?

  • Pingback: Bruising day for the pound after UK’s AAA downgrade – as it happened | JSW Financial Trading

Latest

  • Featured David Cameron only has himself to blame for his problems with UKIP

    David Cameron only has himself to blame for his problems with UKIP

    This week’s defection by Douglas Carswell to UKIP was a hammer blow for the Prime Minister’s authority.  David Cameron and the Tories are running scared of UKIP and are more divided than ever before. With Stuart Wheeler, the former Tory donor and now UKIP treasurer, declaring that at least two more MPs are “seriously considering” defecting, we know that the introspection and turmoil is set to continue. As the Tories’ identity crisis deepens, it becomes clearer and clearer that they cannot provide […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Rather than focusing on free schools, Labour should consider supporting home education

    Rather than focusing on free schools, Labour should consider supporting home education

    The Labour Party, since at least 2010 have gradually begun to present a coherent, cohesive education programme, to present to the electorate in time for the General Election in 2015. We’ve rightly focused on Michael Gove’s profligate waste of money on free schools. We’ve rightly focused on the Liberal Democrats’ breaking their pledge to vote against raising tuition fees. We’ve rightly focused on the other 50% of people who decide to not go to University and we’re now right to […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Attracting the anti-UKIP vote – why Clacton matters for Labour

    Attracting the anti-UKIP vote – why Clacton matters for Labour

    Make yourself a cuppa, pull up a comfy chair, and watch. Since Douglas Carswell’s surprise/no-surprise defection to UKIP yesterday and the forcing of a by-election in Clacton, there will be some in the party tempted to adopt this attitude. And not without good reason. Consider the previous by-election outings over the last year or so. In Eastleigh, a Liberal Democrat/Tory marginal, from nowhere, became a LD/UKIP marginal. The Conservatives were dumped into third place and our vote stagnated at just […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Deprived families being left behind by Boris Johnson’s transport cuts

    Deprived families being left behind by Boris Johnson’s transport cuts

    Throughout his time at City Hall Boris Johnson has expended a vast amount of hot air trying to claim he represents all of London, for many people though this just doesn’t ring true. That’s why it will come as no surprise that a new report I have published today has found that Londoners in deprived areas face disproportionately poor access to the capital’s transport system, and with population growth the gap is worsening. The report, ‘Tackling Poverty: One Bus Ride Away’, […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Scotland A strong Union needs English voices

    A strong Union needs English voices

    As the TV debates made clear, the future of the Union hangs on perceptions of the self interests of the Scottish people. Britain’s future as a country, identity or constitutional reality has played little role in the arguments north of the border. English voices and interests have been excluded; not just from the start of the referendum campaign but for almost as long as people have campaigned for devolution or independence. Of course, the referendum must be decided by Scottish […]

    Read more →