A few days ago, we heard that Brown and his badger-faced sockpuppet were comptemplating indulging in a bit of "quantitative easing". No, that doesn't mean that Gordon is going to remove his arm from Alistair's arsehole, nor that Darling is going to remove his tongue from Brown's—it means that the hapless duo are going to print more money.
Alistair Darling is considering printing more money in an attempt to ease the credit crunch.
As interest rates appear certain to fall to an historic low today, the Chancellor and Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, are looking at expanding the money supply by billions and using the extra cash to buy assets ranging from government or commercial debt to private equities.
And on December 5th, Guido reported that there was something odd in the Banking Bill.
Guido is suspicious about this seemingly innocuous amendment in the new Banking Bill:Banking Bill
Section 6 of the Bank Charter Act 1844 (Bank to produce weekly account) shall cease to have effect.
The 1844 Banking Bill ensured transparency in the operations of the Bank of England. It has been good enough for over 164 years.
As Guido reported yesterday, the Telegraph has now cottoned on to the story...
The Government is set to throw out the 165-year old law that obliges the Bank to publish a weekly account of its balance sheet – a move that will allow it theoretically to embark covertly on so-called quantitative easing. The Banking Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament, abolishes a key section of the law laid down by Robert Peel's Government in 1844 which originally granted the Bank the sole right to print UK money.
Debating the issue in the House of Lords recently, Lord James of Blackheath, a Conservative peer, said: "Remove [this] control and there is nothing to stop an unreported and unmonitored flooding of the money market by the undisciplined use of the printing presses.
"If we went down that path we would be following a road which starts in Weimar, goes on through Harare and must not end in Westminster and London. That is the great fear that the abolition of that section will bring about – but the Bill abolishes it."
So, our monocular PM and his freaky puppet start putting a Bill through that will—quietly, quietly—abolish one of the major controls that we have over the Bank of England...
... and then Blackadder and Baldrick announce that they are contemplating the printing of more cash.
Coincidence? I think not.
UPDATE: Chris Dillow thinks that I am spouting a load of wibble...
UPDATE: Capitalists at Work outline why Chris Dillow's points are not entirely pertinent. In other words, they disagree.