The Euro Economy

Business Secretary Vince Cable is right to keep Osborne in check on the sale of bailed-out RBS. Osborne’s apparent desire to sell off the company quickly is rash; the nation will benefit from our politicians employing more wisdom than that.

Reports that Osborne was hoping to quickly sell off RBS fully warranted the reaction from Business Secretary Vince Cable, who encouraged the chancellor to consider other options.

Osborne was allegedly hoping to sell off the banking group to the highest bidder, at a loss from when Alistair Dowling bailed them out in 2008 under the Labour government.

Cable spoke on Sunday, commenting: “I don’t see the need for any haste.” He added, “There’s a lot to be said for the idea of using RBS to create a more competitive banking sector.”

It is true that such a move may well involve greater complications for the government from a legal perspective, yet Cable is surely right to try to hold Osborne back from throwing the bank away thoughtlessly. That would achieve less than nothing, dragging the situation between banks back to the same problems of 5 years ago.

Cable, on the contrary, is suggesting breaking up RBS and thereby creating greater competition between banks; this is in line with the Coalition’s goal to do exactly that, in order to drive us out of recession.

Reports of Osborne attempting to quickly sell off the company stink of a hasty desire to wash his hands of the problem before the next elections.

We can be grateful that, for the time being at least, not everyone in the cabinet is already overcome by this mind-set. It is, after all, our nation’s economy with which they are gambling.

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