Duncan’s Economic Blog

Ed Balls & Alistair Darling on Ireland

Posted in Uncategorized by duncanseconomicblog on September 23, 2010

I voted for Ed Balls, and whilst I hope he wins, it looks like we’ll be having a Miliband as leader. I think both of them would be excellent, so I’ll not be too upset either way.

The post of Shadow Chancellor will be crucial. Today Ed Balls gave us a preview of how he’d handle it. Compare and contrast the statements from Ed and Alistair Darling today.


“Today’s data showing that the Irish economy has fallen back into recession demonstrates very clearly the risks with the approach being followed here in the UK.

The coalition thinks that cuts, however big, will always support growth. In times like these this is plain wrong. Ireland has gone through major cuts and tax rises, but because growth has been hit getting the deficit down is harder not easier. The coalition is going down the same road, and their risky gamble risks hitting confidence, growth and jobs.”


“These figures are a stark warning to governments across Europe including our own. An austerity programme of deep cuts now, when our economic recovery is not secure, risks lower growth and higher unemployment.

“That is not a credible economic strategy because lower growth and fewer people in work and paying taxes ultimately leads to a bigger deficit not a smaller one.

“As I have argued, we must challenge the idea that the coalition’s ideological and reckless cuts are unavoidable and set out a credible alternative which puts jobs and growth first with a steadier deficit reduction than the counter-productive cuts the coalition is forcing through.”

“Demonstrates very clearly” versus “stark warning”.

“Risky gamble” versus “ideological and reckless”

Ed would take the fight to Osborne in an aggressive manner, just as he’s spent the Summer taking the fight to Gove.

Iain Martin thinks the Irish experience will prove a blessing for Labour. I think he’s right (and indeed have been pointing this out for the past year). Ireland can be our Greece – an example of what our opponents policies can lead to.


Banking Models

Posted in Uncategorized by duncanseconomicblog on September 23, 2010

Once upon a time, in Autumn 2004 whilst working at the Bank of England, I went on a 3 day course entitled “Analysing Banks’ Accounts” or some such.

We had an external trainer (who also did a lot work for investment banks, training their analysts) and learned about bank balance sheets, wholesale funding markets, the inter-bank market, etc, etc.

As a case study throughout the course we looked at Allied Irish Bank – an excellent example of the “new banking model” with innovative use of securitisation, an extremely efficient balance sheet and booming profits and loan growth.

Today Allied Irish Bank is on the verge on default.  

I wonder what case studies that course is using nowadays?