Oct. 8th, 2008

peterbirks: (Default)
Why do I get the feeling that Gordon Brown has called Alistair Darling in and said "OK, Alistair," (I somehow doubt that this dour Scottish pair call themselves "Al" and "Gordy" -- leave that to the Americans) "this is what you are going to do and this is what you are going to say. Don't worry, I'll write it in big letters and short words".

So I'm still here, waiting for the statement which last night Darling promised "before the markets open", under which UK PLC will take large stakes in UK Banks PLC. Given that UK PLC is resonsible for nearly half the GDP in the country, there's a certain balance in UK PLC owning nearly half of all the banks (but not mine! I'm with Smile).

Given the £100bn or so additional deficit that threatens if the current situation turns a recession into a full-blown depression, a £50bn investment in UK banks, on which the taxpayer will quite probably make a profit, looks sensible indeed.

I also expect that Gordon has had a word with Mervyn about interest rates. An "electric shock" 1% cut (rather than the anticipated 25 basis points) is might outsider bet. The great thing about this is that the official base rate is virtually irrelevant at the moment anyway, so you get good headlines and possibly a good boost in confidence, without actually changing very much.

And, if you refer to my post of April 18th 2008 you will see a prediction that RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin would go "in the medium term", (well, I got that bit right) and "when the fuss has died down" (hmm, not so accurate there). Word is that Goodwinn is now counting his time left in hours rather than days.

Update: Treasury release now out.
"At least £200 billion will be made available to banks under the Special Liquidity Scheme. Until markets stabilise, the Bank will continue to conduct auctions to lend sterling for three months, and also US dollars for one week, against extended collateral."

Also, £25bn to be made available now in preference share form, plus £25bn to be "made available". Amazingly, no reference here to warrants to buy ordinary equity. I suspect that the reason for this is that there are seven banks (and one mutual, Nationwide) involved and that it was impossible to hammer out the numbers for each of the seven listed operations in the time that the Treasury had.

But at first glance it doesn't look as good a deal for the taxpayer as it might have been.


A quiet night on the tables, -- 200 hands in an evening now seems like not playing at all. The games weren't that soft, I wasn't in that much of a mood for playing, and I picked up a couple of wins early on at both NoIQ and Party. I then felt obliged to put some hands in on the $100 ring games on Pacific -- get the soft money while it's still there. Fortunately my software seems to have settled down.

I'll probably carry on with the relative hit'n'run play until (a) I'm back above my all-time high, (b) I'm in the mood for a sustained session, or (c) I need to get some hands in to clear various rakeback/bonus requirements.


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