On a slightly different note, I heard perhaps the weakest defence of the "no-bailout" position yet today from Tim Congdon of Lombard Street Research. It was down there with Simon Heffer in the lameness stakes. Big props to me old mate "Foley" for finding this one - it was on the World at One, which I don't listen to much (normally having an afternoon nap around then).
Congdon essentially said that the government had stolen the banks from the shareholders. Effectively he accused the govt of creating the crisis to drive down bank share prices and then nationalising once prices fell below a certain threshold. The same accusations were levied at Tony Benn when he was Industry Secretary for the Labour Government in 1974 (not for banks but for other industries). It was b.s. then and it's b.s. now. Shareholders will actually gain a lot from this deal relative to what they would have had in the absence of the deal (which is little or nothing, as the banks would have gone bust, like Lehman Brothers). The Congdon interview will be available for the next few days from BBC iPlayer (World at One, 13 October - about 11 minutes in) but I couldn't find a permanent link on the web at the moment, unfortunately.
However, you can download some equally moronic commentary from Lombard Street's podcast page. There's 9 minutes of doggy-doo from a guy called Jamie Dannhauser (who looks about 17) which I couldn't find a direct link to, but it's called 'UK bank bailout - necessary help or dangerous govt interference?' Just guess which of those options Jamie puts his money on. The analysis is hackneyed 80s Thatcherite pro-deregulation, pro-private sector rubbish - exactly the kind of crap that got us into this mess.
See, that's why the arguments are so easy to win for the left at the moment - any time a right winger tries to argue with you, just point out the current economic crisis and the (Thatcherite and post-Thatcherite) policies that got us there. It's like shooting fish in a barrel at the moment out there. On Channel 4 news today, Labour left-winger John McDonnell totally annihilated an ex-director of Bradford and Bingley over the question of whether there should be democratic control of banking remuneration - because listening to a guy from Bradford and Bingley giving his opinions on the way out of the crisis is like getting advice from George Bush over how to stay popular in politics. They are busted flushes.
It won't always be this easy, but after 25 years when the neo-liberals seemed to be in the ascendancy most of the time, it's nice to watch these guys squirming around a bit.