Overboard, much? The interesting thing about the Bradford & Bingley bail-out is the difference of opinion between the screaming "Aaargh! The taxpayer foots the bill of billions for B&B bollocks thanks to bungling Brown!" headlines, and this rather sober analysis from the BBC's Robert Peston:
The most politically explosive aspect of Bradford and Bingley's nationalisation is how much risk of losses is being foisted on taxpayers.
The answer, surprisingly, is not much.
Because the bulk of any future losses will be born first by shareholders and providers of what's called subordinated debt.
Oh. But we're all gonna die!!!! Aren't we? Isn't the taxpayer going to fork out billions for the B&B bailout, as the Telegraph, Mail and others over the weekend confidently predicted?
For taxpayers to lose a penny Bradford and Bingley's future losses would have to be unthinkably huge.
The reason taxpayers are protected is that on Saturday the board of the Finanacial Services Authority ruled that B&B was unable to pass the test of being a viable bank, and therefore a claim was triggered on the insurance scheme for bank depositors, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Oh. You mean to say that we're not all gonna die and that this Communist Stalinisation won't in fact cripple the taxpayer forever and make hard-working families have to give up Jocasta's piano lessons? Is that what you're saying, BBC's Robert Peston?
But... what about the 'Debt Superbank of Doom coming to paedorape your kids' that I read about in the Mail? (OK it wasn't quite that, but you get the general idea. I would link to it, of course, but the Mail doesn't want anyone to link to their website without first getting written permission. And if they want me to do that, they can fuck right off.) What about the 'Middle class families earning as little as £100,000 a week may have to forego F&M hampers for every single one of their 85 children in boarding school' that I read about in the Telegraph? What I don't understand is... given the facts stated above, why all the panicking and scaremongering? There couldn't be a political agenda given that it's the Tory party conference and Labour have just closed the gap in the polls, could there? Surely not. It's not as if the Telegraph and Mail would wilfully mislead their readers into thinking that something was much more dangerous and damaging to the taxpayer than it really was, merely to attempt to put the boot into the Government, not that the Tories would do anything different, is it?