Mervyn King’s stint on the Today programme yesterday was curious. It was much anticipated in some quarters. The reality then proved to be less revelatory than some might have hoped. I’m not sure what people were expecting – after years of buttoned-up discretion it was unlikely he was suddenly going to let all hang out. But some of the interpretation of King’s comments has been intriguingly partisan.
We are now only too familiar with the Coalition’s inclination to pin the blame for the financial crisis of 2007-08 on the last Labour government. But asked directly yesterday whether he thought Labour were to blame he stated:
I am not going to talk about individual parties’ culpability because I think the real problem was a shared intellectual view right across the entire political spectrum and shared across the financial markets that things were going pretty well.
There were imbalances – we knew things were unsustainable – but it was not entirely obvious where it would come unstuck – and I think that is something everyone shared, and the right thing is to make it better for the future.