Erm, Polly?

The British ­government is almost alone among big EU countries to take a heavy hit. Nor is it a simple sweep to the right: Merkel and Sarkozy won by taking more ­radical social ­democratic action than Brown did, by nationalising the banks, with higher social protection for the ­unemployed and more state intervention, ­squeezing parties on their left by turning leftwards.

Not sure that I\’d call nationalising the banks \”social democratic\” really.

But what interests me more is that, umm, is there any evidence for this? I\’ve been rather heads down for the last few months and so I might have missed it. But have either of them nationalised the banks in any manner more than we have here? Pumping money into those going bust, purchasing shares etc?

9 thoughts on “Erm, Polly?”

  1. No, not in the least – although admittedly the French never got around to fully privatising the banks after last time they nationalised them.

    And Merkel has been following a much less expansionary policy, both fiscally and monetarily, than the US or UK – hence why their GDP’s fallen even more than ours.

  2. “hence why their GDP’s fallen even more than ours.”

    Nothing to do with Germany being a much more export-dependent economy than either the US or UK then?

  3. “hence why their GDP’s fallen even more than ours.”

    Only Germans buy BMWs, and they’ve stopped buying them because, err, of lack of fiscal stimulus because, err, of the, err.. sub-prime mortgage crisis that came out of America!

  4. A lot of German banks (the Landesbanken) are also state -owned and they have also had massive bail outs, whether bigger or smaller than ours is a moot point. I’m guessing the biggest bail-outs of all were under Obama, who bunged twice as much at them as even GWB.

  5. @2,3 – whereas our major export industries of financial and professional services are doing brilliantly… oh.

    Germany has faced the same falling demand as the US and the UK without doing anything about it, triggering a sharper fall in short-term GDP. A stimulus programme would have partly offset the decline in goods exports.

    Not having one might leave them better-off in the long run; if you’re a Hayek-ish economist then that’s exactly what you’ll believe. But that’s got no bearing on what I claimed – it just further highlights that Merkel’s lot are taking a *more* right-wing approach than the US and UK governments.

  6. David Miliband explained the government’s radical policy plans on the Today programme this morning:

    “If I had come on this programme last August and said ‘The best example of a radical new phase is the Labour Government to own two thirds of Lloyds Bank, that’s real radicalism’ you’d have said ‘you must be absolutely barking;”

    Read the rest at the Spectator.

  7. On another of her points: most governments took a hit. Our Polly simply doesn’t understand that there are 27 members of the EU not just 3. Sarkozy was one of the exceptions.

  8. “A stimulus programme would have partly offset the decline in goods exports.”

    What stimulus programme? 2.5% off VAT. Oooo, I’ll go out and buy a car, shall I? (a BMW, naturally).

    Anyway, let’s not argue the toss: reality is coming down the track fast enough, and it’s going to smash through the flimsy cardboard boxes of these arguments (as indeed has already happened with the political reality train and Polly’s cardboard boxes full of praise for Gordon’s genius).

  9. Since the stimulus program is so marvellous an idea, perhaps we could stimulate the economy by ‘investing’ civil service pensions!

    The vast rewards Broon insists it will yield will be enough to cover the pension schemes.

    And if it doesn’t work, then civil servants won’t have a pension. What a shame.

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