Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cameron's IMF scare - likely? No.

Stephanie Flanders is the BBC's Economics Editor. She has now returned from maternity leave and permanently replaced Evan Davies who has now permanantised his position on Today.

Can I say: "Thank God!"?

At last, the BBC has a cool, sensible voice in its finance team. I have just had it with Robert Peston. (Knowledgeable, yes. Authoritative, yes. A pain in the neck, yes.)

As well as providing a clear, cool economics head to the BBC output, Stephanie Flanders also brightens up my day. Whenever I see her on the screen or read her writings on the web, my mind echoes with the strains of:

Mud Mud glorious Mud - nothing quite like it for cooling the blood
I'm a gnu—spelt G - N - U - I'm not a camel or a kangaroo
'Twas on the Monday morning the gasman came to call
Have you ever tried to have a **** on a train?
etc etc

Sorry about that. She's the daughter of the Flanders half of Flanders and Swann. (The last quote is from Armstrong and Miller's affectionate send-up of that famed singing duo - see real and send-up clips below.)

Any road up. Stephanie Flanders has written an excellent piece on whether or not we are likely to go bankrupt with the falling pound and all. (David Cameron has been saying that Brown is danger of driving us into the hands of the IMF as in the Seventies with Denis Healey).

Stephanie Flanders writes in great detail about the precise position with the banks etc and concludes that the answer is "no", we are not in danger of needing to go cap in hand to the IMF:

Indeed, you can take some heart from the fact that senior French officials have been publicly fuming about the fall in sterling. They're not worried about Britain going bust. They're worried about British exporters doing rather too well out of a weak currency.

So, we won't be calling the IMF any time soon. And good thing too, because I suspect we'd be put on hold. These days the IMF doesn't have nearly enough money to help us out. It's also being run by a Frenchman.

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