Spending review: Osborne gets the backing he needs

Posted on: 18 October 2010 by Gareth Hargreaves

Despite the furore, George Osborne's Spending Review has gained some major allies. As far as Big Business is concerned, the Chancellor is well worth writing a letter of support for.

Finally, some big names have come out in support of George Osborne’s Spending Review strategy. God – he must be relieved! It’s OK having all your cabinet colleagues supporting you (well, for as long as it suits them) but it must be nice to know that there is someone out there listening.

This morning, 35 business leaders from some of the largest companies in the UK signed a letter of support published in the Telegraph. In essence, the CEOs of companies such as BT, GlaxoSmithKline, Microsoft and M&S have said the plan will work, it will get us out of the mess we’re in and the private sector will then make up for the jobs lost in the public sector. Well there it is then – done and dusted! We’ll see as the plot unfolds - the good thing was none of the banks signed the letter. In that case it may well work!

US Mid-Terms 2010: Tough Times in America for Obama

President Obama is out on the hustings in the US, drumming up support for his handling of the economy since he took office. What he did was spend big time on job creation by putting money into large government infrastructure projects. Well it didn’t work too well – on some projects when the money ran out the job stopped, and on others... Well, they are so big they haven’t even started yet.

The net result is that employment figures in the US are in the doldrums and so is Obama’s reputation. If he doesn't get the votes then the end result will be the loss of his majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. If this happens, he will be a ‘lame duck president’ for the remainder of his term in office.

It’s interesting to note that Gordon Brown’s ‘Quantative Easing‘ – printing money – didn’t work either. The banks just stuffed the cash into their balance sheets and said ‘Get Lost!’ to anyone who wanted to borrow.
Meanwhile, Osborne’s medicine is going to be very bitter for most of us but it will work. Time will tell!

JP Morgan: Bankers, Bankers, Bankers!

More trouble on the horizon in the US – one of the illustrious investment banks on Wall Street, JP Morgan, is having a bit of embarrassment at the moment. The bank is being sued by investors who feel they have been hard done by. JPM ran an investment scheme where, if the investor made a profit, they took a nice slice, but if they made a loss, the investor carried it alone.

Now, for some strange reason, the investors feel that JPM should share the loss! How quaint – why should they do anything different than they’ve been doing for the past 100 years? Silly little investors – wake up and smell the roses. Or is it the manure?

Browne Report: Just Say No To University

Too late was the cry as she waved her wooden leg!  Popped up to see my grandson over the weekend to persuade him to stick it out in the Sixth Form. Failed – he’d already left that afternoon!

However, when I listened to him there was some logic; leave now, got to college for a year and then get an apprenticeship with a company that will put him through his degree. Net result – no more ‘boorish’ teachers, a new life, cash in the pocket and so what if it takes another year or so? At the end, he’ll still have his degree, a job and no £30,000 debt!

Hard to argue this one but, as I said to him ‘the devil is in the detail’. We’ll see....

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