Monday, 23 February 2009

Northern Rock - back from the dead

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, Northern Rock was ignominiously nationalized, with the government promising to downsize the bank and recover the massive loan injections into the balance sheet. Today, NRK is back; leading the fight to revitalize the UK mortgage market.

The government are ready to pump in billions of taxpayers money in order to get NRK back into the game. Bad assets will be hived off, hidden somewhere in the nether regions of the public accounts.

Two quick questions; is the objective here to stabilize house prices? If so, then why? Don't tell me it is to get us all spending again. I, for one, won't be going out and buying anything just because someone else can get a new mortgage.

It is time to save not spend. This new NRK bailout will have to be paid, sooner or later. This means higher taxes. Since we all know that taxes are going to go up; either as direct taxes on income and spending, or as inflation, it would be wise adjust spending downwards now.

Unlike the government, households do think about the future. As far as public finances are concerned, the future looks very bleak. Rather than forcing state owned banks to inject credit into an overvalued asset market, the government would be wiser to simply reduce their deficit.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is Britain, house prices is the key measure of economic success.

Anonymous said...

I can't pretend that I saw the depth of this slump but I was well aware that house prices had gone mad. Houses are for living in and when I became aware that people viewed them as pensions or easy money I began to get afraid. We run our home on a careful budget, we have no debts or mortgage (When interest rates got to 15% for a silly time in the 90's we decided to pay off that lead weight around our necks) When we need something we save up for it - no instant gratification but valued all the more.
I have never understood why a responsible Govt cannot act in a similar way.
What I now have to look forward to is rampant inflation once the quantative easing gets going!

Mick said...

Aw c'mon it's only 14 billion - a drop in the ocean compared to the other lunatic schemes we've "invested" in.

And if it manages to re-inflate a half-deflated bubble, then Darling should get a Nobel prize for rewriting the law of Gravity.

Odin's Raven said...

Their business is concentrated in a Labour heartland isn't it? He's desperate to retain his voter base at the expense of everyone else.

Anonymous said...

I read elsewhere that what the government wants is to return to 'business as usual' ASAP.

It is all mad of course but it the only paradigm they know.

Heaven help us!

Anonymous said...

Mmm. Methinks this could turn into a scheme to get people into debt and negative equity by going into the falling market too soon.

If that is the case, we have to ask why our economy is so focused on housing debt, and if the British would not be a freer people if there were not a fundamental shift in the ownership of landed property.

Presently building land is trickled out by an all-too-slow planning mechanism, to the advantage of large landowners - some of whose allotments go back to William the Conqueror and land enclosure in Tudor times and in the eighteenth century.

Debt to purchase land out of these land-banks is just a way of keeping the mass of the British down as wage-slaves - all for the sake of a tiny house, badly built in the usual Britsh way, most often, too.

And when the English finally get the few square yars of earth that was robbed from their ancestors back, they think they are rich, because of a notional, inflated asset value.

What a weird country!

B. in C.

Anonymous said...

Mmm. Methinks this could turn into a scheme to get people into debt and negative equity by going into the falling market too soon.

If that is the case, we have to ask why our economy is so focused on housing debt, and if the British would not be a freer people if there were not a fundamental shift in the ownership of landed property.

Presently building land is trickled out by an all-too-slow planning mechanism, to the advantage of large landowners - some of whose allotments go back to William the Conqueror and land enclosure in Tudor times and in the eighteenth century.

Debt to purchase land out of these land-banks is just a way of keeping the mass of the British down as wage-slaves - all for the sake of a tiny house, badly built in the usual Britsh way, most often, too.

And when the English finally get the few square yars of earth that was robbed from their ancestors back, they think they are rich, because of a notional, inflated asset value.

What a weird country!

B. in C.

Anonymous said...

Anon 19:28, yes, you are prudent and sensible.

So you, and those like you, are going to get royally shafted to pay for all this.

electro-kevin said...

"Presently building land is trickled out by an all-too-slow planning mechanism, to the advantage of large landowners - some of whose allotments go back to William the Conqueror and land enclosure in Tudor times and in the eighteenth century."

B in C

That's what made our land so green and pleasant.

There has to be a limit on building houses. So why not fix it now ? Clearly the issue is that we have far too many people living here, so let's sort that out first.

Anonymous said...

Mmm, lucky for the Duke of Westminster that he got to build on a lot of his before planning regulations came in. But it would have made a nice park for Lndoners....

B. in C.

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