Home > Analysis, Economy, The Coalition > St Vincent of Cable has been losing the plot…

St Vincent of Cable has been losing the plot…

…just this past week (beginning 6/9/10). He has criticised the appointment of Bob Diamond as the CEO of Barclays and is planning on cutting science funding. These two issues beg me to question Vince Cable’s sanity or the influence of the Treasury. I admire Vince, I have a signed copy of his latest book, but I cannot abide his recent actions.

 Vince has, for a long-time, campaigned on breaking up the banks into retail and investment banks. I disagree fundamentally with this approach as it will threaten the banking sector, a large contributor to the economy, and force them the relocate out of the economy because Britain will no longer be competitive.

 It has been commented that Bob Diamond is not a well liked man in the industry, often abrasive, but he does produce results. Since joining Barclays he has transformed the investment arm, now known as Barclays Capital, so much so that it now accounts for 80% of Barclays’’ profits. Vince should not be worried about the universal structure of the banks as the two arms compliment each other. Anyway it will be the Treasury, not Vince Cable or the Banking Commission, which will decide the future of Britain’s banking sector.

 The other, more serious decision is the one to cut science funding. The government currently spends £4.3bn a year on scientific research but it is not enough, according to recent studies there is a funding shortfall of about £10bn, and to cut it would damage Britain’s global competitiveness. The State should guarantee funding in order to make scientific breakthroughs possible. Qualifying research attaches a price that may not be immediately noticeable. Breakthroughs often happen by accident and after years of ‘futile’ research. However on cannot judge how far the Treasury is forcing his hand to make the cuts.

 These two issues, I believe, have damaged the reputation of a once brilliant man.

  1. Peter Reynolds
    September 10, 2010 at 11:22


    Bob Diamond represents everything that is bad about banking. He is the last person we want in charge of any British bank.

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