My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Shutt, for his comments. My noble friend Lord Desai is an economist of great repute, but on this occasion I believe his judgment was wrong.
We will not run risks with public finances. The Pre-Budget Report will set out how we are supporting the economy in the short term, while taking the necessary actions and decisions to ensure that public finances remain on a sustainable path in the medium term.
In conclusion, this is the first great financial crisis of the global age. Its effects are being felt throughout the world. Loans are harder to find and the cost of credit is higher, but we have taken actions to address these and other pressure points. There will be some lasting effects: rest assured, banking will be different in the future. The roles of government and regulators are being redefined, but new opportunities will emerge from this crisis, opportunities we should be confident the UK will seize and exploit with great success. I beg to move.
Moved, That this House takes note of the current economic situation.—(Lord Myners.)