RAPID responses

No light touch

[Re: From boom to bezzle: this banking scandal will run and run, Friday]
The chief big lie in this whole saga is the idea that banks faced light touch regulation. The Financial Services and Markets Act, 2000, was never ever light touch. Wrong touch, yes. Mis-touch, certainly. And definitely overweening and prescriptive, yes. Gordon Brown’s essentially corrupt tripartite regulatory system was all about proto-nationalising banking by regulation, to enable him to pursue his government’s credit expansion policy, which itself mirrored the US sub-prime funding scandal. It’s about time that the failed Financial Services Authority was investigated for its part in precipitating this horror.

Steve Jakins


Tax and spend

[Re: Barclays’ reputation is severely damaged, but it will not be alone, Friday]
Ken Okamura is right that the City’s reputation as a clean place to do business will be damaged by this scandal. But he should add to this the City’s lost reputation for being competitive. We’ve lost the 50p tax rate, but now we’re stuck with 45p. And don’t forget windfall taxes on success.

Henry Bryant

[Re: Coalition policy is damaging longer term productivity, Friday]
A good piece. Until the reader realises this is a Labour politician with exactly zero credibility to be criticising anyone else’s economic policies.

Nick O’Neill


Rachel Reeves comes out with more “too far too fast” Kool-Aid. Spending is up, borrowing is up. Real cuts are needed.

It becomes clearer by the day. Banks should have been allowed to go bust during the crisis. What a mess now.

Heads will have to roll at Barclays, and regulation and trust needs to be rebuilt.

The word I’ve seen most frequently in euro news is irreversible. Sounds right. This is a 65 year project that’s not going away.