Rapid responses

Bank liabilities

[Re: A case of lies, damn lies and our rocketing national debt, Wednesday]

I’m always amazed how easily many swallow the idea that government debt and other commitments from “financial interventions” can be safely separated. By doing so, we hide the fact that the true debt figure increased from roughly £500bn to over £2.2 trillion under Gordon Brown. Financial interventions exposure may be coming down – at least as officially measured. But I take heed of the opinion of the Bank of England’s Andrew Haldane, who has highlighted several reasons why, even now, we are underestimating the true cost of bank bailouts during the financial crisis.

Peter Tedmond


British EU exit

[Re: As Boris Johnson calls for EU renegotiation, should Britain just stay in the single market?, Wednesday]

Yannick Naud has got it completely wrong. The idea that, if we left the EU, we would lose influence on how regulations are formulated doesn’t follow. We have very little already. And what influence we do have is diluted among the EU’s membership of 27. Our current situation is the worst of all options. We’re in the club, we raise objections, we’re ignored, and then we have to fulfil our obligations in any case. The Norwegian model may be less than ideal, but it’s considerably better to Britain’s current unhappy position.

David Peddy, managing director of Surgical Instrument Group Holdings



George Osborne is borrowing over £200bn more than he said he would two years ago. Now Britain may be downgraded.

Any UK downgrade is likely to have little effect on gilt yields. The credibility of government finances is key.

The Bank of England seems to have forgotten how to change interest rates. It’s been at 0.5 per cent since March 2009.

Why is Starbucks paying more tax than it needs to? This is haphazard moralising by the general public.