Systemic failure

[Re: Crisis threatens UK’s entire politico-financial establishment, yesterday]

This crisis is not essentially about greed or malfeasance by commercial banks, but about the toxic environment created by decades of misconceived policies by governments, and enablors and abettors in central banks. The Barclays’ affair is potentially explosive, so let’s hope the media start asking the right questions. Before we can hope to get out this mess, it must be fully explained how we got into it.

Richard Arnopp

Any measure that can be manipulated will be manipulated if there is a reward attached. Libor is but the latest example.

Henk Bakker


Scottish socialism

[Re: Would a vote for Scottish independence be a boon for its businesses?, Tuesday]

The Scottish National Party argues that independence would allow Scotland to “utilise all the economic levers to provide the stable and supportive environment Scottish businesses demand.” But business conditions are most stable when governments don’t interfere with economic levers (like tax credits for research, or changing the regulatory environment). And the stability of a non-interventionist government is what businesses need to grow and promote consumer choice. Independence would swap light-handed control from Whitehall with heavy-handed control from Holyrood. Will Scotland also take its own share of the debt with it?

Andrew Bates



Bob Diamond: “I have an obligation to 140,000 people.” I’m sure shareholders will say he has an obligation to them.

The Libor problem isn’t banking, but how central banks screw up everyone except cronies.

After Fifa placed England fourth in the world, the Higgs Boson discovery isn’t the most astonishing news from Switzerland yesterday.

George Entwistle is to be the new BBC head, despite the shambles of the Jubilee river pageant coverage he was responsible for.