Terry Smith gave a brilliant interview on banks and the Euro problems printed in today's Sunday Telegraph Business. He has 40 years experience of City banks and bankers so is better qualified than any of the so called expert economists to opine on these matters. He is a man of clear views and no waffle. I first came across him as the leading City banking analyst for Phillips and Drew in the days when banks made profits although in his book, Accounting for Growth, published 20 years ago he pointed out these 'bank profits' were not quit what they seemed. For telling this unpalatable truth he was sacked by UBS, stands for You've been sacked, who had taken over P&D. He is now chief exec of Tullet Prebon one of the two biggest money brokers in the City.
Here are a few samples of his punchy style.
On Vince Cable, Business Secretary, 'Should we not have someone who knows something about business in that job'. When the interviewer replied Cable had worked as an economist for Shell smith replied, " What's that got to do with business? Every organisation I've worked for has fired their economists in the end"
Hear, hear! I heard that story from a couple of City banks whose ex-employees are still feted by the media as economic experts.
On Libor, "The idea that you allow a load of banks to set rates by telling you what number they think it should be, you're going to have a problem" He then goes on to support what I did over10 years ago in the BoE, use traded rates! Makes me feel very good.
On John Vickers and his report etc, 'There is a grave desire to talk gobbledegook and somehow think this will solve the problem'. This of course a pithy and accurate description of the EU response to every crisis it has ever faced.
On calls for the UK to integrate further with the EU he describes such politicians as having entered a further stage of madness. I could not agree more.
It seems he did once think of joining UKIP but after a dinner with N Farage he thought better of it. No flies on Tel and no wish to be tied into UKIP fruit cakes. Better to be independent.