Anyone who questions the way the banks were saved is asked by the incredulous interviewer whether it was better to let the banking system fail. Well, the only response to this question is clearly no. This does not mean that there wasn’t a better way.
Did you know that on 15% of RBS’s balance sheet relates to UK commercial and consumer lending?
I recently pointed this out to the opposition Treasury spokesmen and have sent a note to the Economist. My email asked the simple question, if we want to ensure that UK commercial and consumer banking is saved then why not focus on the 15% that this represents not bail out the 85% that it doesn’t?
Corporate law and Government powers would have enabled the Government to let all banks that couldn’t survive go into administration. Of course this wouldn’t have been done without giving depositors 100% loss protection. Once in administration the Government would have nationalised the UK commercial and consumer banking operations and let the administrator and subsequently the liquidator sort out the rest.
This would have cost a fraction of the supposed £200bn that the IMF suggests that the bail-out will cost the Government. Why has this not been discussed? I can make a few guesses.