10 Dec 2009

Red wine and roast beef

It is hard to overstate what an extraordinary event the appearance of the joint Brown-Sarkozy article in the Wall Street Journal represents. It is a most remarkable development.

Two politicians, technically coming from opposite sides of the political spectrum, coming together to forge a significant and powerful attack on the global banking and energy speculating system.

Two leaders from two nations with economic and cultural clashes in their backgrounds that are amongst the most lampooned in Europe. Why, it’s only little more than a week since they were supposed to be at loggerheads over who had won what in the disbursement of high level posts in the EU.

Yet here they are, singing from the same hymn sheet on a day after the UK chancellor attempted the first serious tax hit on bank bonuses.

And make no mistake, this is a less than veiled acceptance by Mr Brown that the German attack on the Anglo-Saxon financial model was justified. So this will go down incredibly well in Berlin too.

This may also represent a rallying point for Democrats in America, disenchanted with the way the banking system there has used taxpayers’ money to recover and return to the opaque ways of remunerating itself to extreme levels from producing very little.

Bankers using taxpayers’ money to fatten their war chests and their wallets at the expense of NOT lending to those who actually DO make something, represents one of the continuing scourges of the post-crunch world.

In so many ways too, the Brown-Sarkozy alliance in all this flies in the face of so many media stereotypes.

The thought of energy-rich France, which profits so considerably from energy-strapped Britain’s needs, actually siding with us in the face of energy speculators also represents a fascinating first.

The article is likely to serve as an intriguing watershed which is likely to prove a reference point for a good bit of time to come.

It certainly renders today’s G8 meeting in Italy suddenly rather interesting. And if bankers think they can shunt their ill-gotten gaming activities elsewhere, it is beginning to look as if we may actually be seeing the seeds of an international action to block them.

Wellington and Napoleon must be spinning in their graves, let alone Harold and William the Conquerer!

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