Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Did he declare that ego in customs?

There was a Gordon Brown interview on American National Public Radio this morning, done live from the UK Embassy and linked to Brown's visit to Barack Obama today. The critical point was 5 minutes in where the interviewer pointed to the fact that Brown had been in charge of the economy for 10 years as chancellor during the time at which consumer and corporate debt was piling up. This was Brown's latest chance to show a little acceptance of responsibility.

Instead he seized on the imprecision of the reference to corporate debt: "our corporations were certainly not borrowing too much", which is disengenous because he knows quite well that the claim is only correct for non-financial corporations; as Martin Wolf has repeatedly pointed out, Britain's financial corporations were on a massive debt spree.

Brown then went on to repeat his claim that the real problem of the last ten years is that other countries hadn't done what "we" (i.e. he) had wanted to do in terms of international supervision of the financial sector.

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