» Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Asked for more detail on the discussion concerning the economy, the PMS replied that it had been more of an update from the Prime Minster on where we were for example, with the implementation of measures to get banks lending again. As people would know, we were expecting some announcements from the US and others along similar lines to those seen in the UK. There was also a discussion of issues relating to bonuses, which was clearly a very live issue at the moment.

Asked whether Ed Balls had taken part in the discussion, the PMS confirmed that he had done. Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with Ed Balls that this was the worst financial crisis for a century, the PMS said that Ed Balls had been making two points. One was the unprecedented global nature of this crisis and the fact that it was affecting virtually every country in the world, which was different from what we had seen in previous global downturns and recessions of this nature. The same could be said for the speed with which it had affected every country. Secondly, it was also very heavily focussed on the financial sector.

Asked how the current downturn differed from the situation in 1929, the PMS replied that we could have a historical seminar on the subject if people liked, but the point that Ed Balls was trying to make was that the speed with which this had spread around the global economy and the nature of the crisis in the financial sector, due to the integrated nature of the financial system, was something that we had not seen the like of for many years.

Put that Ed Balls had also alluded to the fact that the crisis could have an effect on politics and a possible rise in fascism, the PMS said that Ed Balls had not mentioned fascism at all in anything that he had said. One of the lessons we had to learn from the 1930’s was that we should not retreat into protectionism at a time like this and this was something that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor today in Brussels had been emphasising very much.

Asked whether the Prime Minister had any concerns about the global downturn having an effect on politics, the PMS replied that what the Prime Minister was focussing on was making sure that we could get through this downturn fairly, that we could provide help to people and do it in an inclusive way that helped everyone in society get through this. That was the best way of addressing some of the concerns that people had raised.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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