The Economy

Part of Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 1:49 pm on 22nd June 2011.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne The Chancellor of the Exchequer 1:49 pm, 22nd June 2011

Of course, I welcome the hon. Lady to her—[ Interruption. ] I will answer the question that she puts. I have merely observed in the past that being the Parliamentary Private Secretary to someone who never comes to Parliament is not a very onerous job, but that is good, because she can think up important questions to ask me.

Our judgment, with which the hon. Lady is entitled to disagree, is this: what was missing from the tripartite system was an ability to assess systemic risks throughout the economy. No one was looking at overall debt or leverage levels—

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Interruption.

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The shadow Chancellor says, “Rubbish”. When the Royal Bank of Scotland wanted to buy ABN AMRO after the credit markets had closed and after the run on Northern Rock, the regulatory system allowed RBS to do so. That is what went wrong, and if the right hon. Gentleman wants to go on defending the system that led to the biggest banking crisis in our entire history he can be my guest.