Gordon Brown

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  • Sept.12.2018: 'The world is sleepwalking into a financial crisis' – Gordon Brown. Former PM delivers scathing analysis of how the problems of 2009 remain unresolved. A leaderless world is sleepwalking towards a repeat of its near meltdown in late 2008 and early 2009 because it has failed to remedy the causes of the financial crash of a decade ago, former prime minister Gordon Brown has warned. Brown said action against financial malpractice had not been tough enough and that banks would expect to be bailed out again in the event of a future crisis. “The penalties for wrong-doing have not been increased sufficiently. The fear that bankers will be imprisoned for bad behaviour is not there. " The crisis of 2008 had its roots in the US housing market, with the losses sustained on subprime mortgages cascading through the global financial system in the months leading up to the collapse of Lehmans. Brown said there would be a different cause next time. “It is very difficult to say what will trigger it [the next crisis] but we are at the latter end of the economic cycle where people take greater risks. There are problems in emerging markets.” Brown said one area of concern should be heavy commercial and industrial lending by lightly or unregulated shadow banks. “Countries have retreated into nationalist silos and that has brought us protectionism and populism. Problems that are global as well as national and local are not being addressed. Countries are at war with each other on trade, climate change and nuclear proliferation.” Brown was scathing about the austerity policies pursued by the coalition government that came to power after he lost the 2010 election. Larry Elliott, The Guardian.

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  • Free bus passes for pensioners: The idea, when Brown introduced them in 2006, was that it would encourage pensioners not to drive; it was part of his green agenda. There is also, of course, a road safety aspect - some of the elderly become unfit to drive but do not always realise it.