Crisis opening in 2007

What “quantitative easing” means

Martin Thomas

The Bank of England’s move in early March to a new monetary tactic — “quantitative easing” — came alongside much economic-disaster news.

The banks “bailed out” so lavishly last year still need more bailing out. Lloyds TSB, which was supposed to be a “strong” bank capable of saving HBOS by buying it out with Government aid, turns out to be as much a basket case as any other.

“Bankers” occupy the DWP

Twenty-five activists dressed as bankers staged an occupation at the Department for Work and Pensions on Monday 9 March.

Taking over the lobby of the Department for Work and Pensions’ Adelphi House they leafleted staff throughout the building. Carrying banners saying “Target the rich not the poor” and “Stop the Welfare Abolition Bill”, sat in front of the entry barriers and refused to leave.

Has New Labour moved left?

Rhodri Evans

Government economic policy has shifted drastically. But it is not a shift to the left. Today’s capitalism is, as the Financial Times writer Martin Wolf has put it, a machine for “privatising gains and socialising losses”. The change is that, in the crisis, the focus has shifted from the private gains (currently more meagre) to socialising big losses.