Vince Cable

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These masters of the universe must be tamed...

Sir John Vincent Cable |PC|MP (born 9 May 1943) is a British politician who is the Leader of the Liberal Democrats and the Member of Parliament for Twickenham. He was the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills from 2010 to 2015. He has been called 'The Sage of Twickenham'.


  • These masters of the universe must be tamed in the interests of the ordinary families whose jobs and livelihoods are being put at risk... The Tories won't say anything about the current crisis as they are completely in the pockets of the hedge funds.
  • The big, looming, monetary issue is "quantitative easing": that is, printing money. What happens is that the government borrows from the Bank of England, not from the markets. It expands the money supply to keep the economy going and also to counter deflation without simultaneously increasing government debt. The attractions are obvious, as are the dangers. The Robert Mugabe school of economics provides a salutary warning about uncontrolled monetary expansion in generating hyper-inflation. The road to Harare is not as long as we might hope. Monetary easing may prove to be necessary but will have to be managed with great skill and care: Too little easing and the crisis drags on – as in Japan. If there is too much, the authorities face the messy task of mopping-up liquidity by issuing bonds which add to the burden of borrowing or else we lurch back from deflation to inflation. So interest rates may soon become yesterday's story.
  • The destruction of the British building society movement – or much of it – in the two decades after the late 1980s … was one of the great acts of economic vandalism in modern times. And the commercial banks largely abandoned locally based relationship banking in the decade before the recent financial crisis. There is now no institutional structure in place to offer countercyclical lending, particularly small and medium sized businesses, in place of the banks.


  • We have to be careful of Vince Cable, he's extremely sharp and clever. In fact, he's almost as sharp and clever as he thinks he is.
    • An anonymous Conservative aid quoted on Newsnight.

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