I was interviewed by Evan Davies on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme together with Sir Howard Davies, former head of the FSA. The subject was the Eurozone crisis and in particular the plight of the Spanish banks. You can listen to the interview here and read the full transcript here;
A few points which did not come out in the interview are that when asked where we are with the Eurozone crisis one blindingly obvious but unspoken point is that it has not been solved. This would come as a surprise if you believed the outpouring of EU politicians, bureaucrats and commentators over the past two years where a seemingly endless (18 I think) series of EU summits and pronouncements have been greeted as solving the crisis. It clearly has not been solved. I mention this because you need to bear it in mind when you hear the next pronouncement on the subject.
We were followed on Today by an interview with the Chancellor George Osborne who was asked what the UK can do to protect itself from the Eurozone crisis. The answer of course is not much. Like many other questions which are posed about the possible “solutions” to the financial crisis it seems to presuppose that there must be some way of protecting ourselves from any fallout. There is not other than to ensure that we do not send any more money to Europe, directly or via the IMF, which can be wasted on the spurious “bail outs” which are really a case of sending good money after bad. But the other assumption in this question which I would query is that the collapse of the Euro must automatically be bad. History is littered with examples of currency unions and pegs which have been dissolved without fatal economic consequences to the participants. On the contrary, they are often better off when an economically unviable and/or poorly structured union is dissolved. I suspect pro Euro prejudice which leads to this question and in fact our economy may be in far more danger from attempts to prop it up than from its dissolution.