So, the new banking arrangements will be in place by 2019. That's quick, according to a tweet out there, all done before 8.30pm. Actually, it would be that quick if the banks were making money out of it. But as it is going to cost them £3.5bn a year, they're going to take the best part of a decade to do what's wanted.
The Chancellor said he's going to make sure that nothing is too big to fail ever again. He's putting our deposits out of reach of the investment bankers (the gamblers, swindlers and shysters) and making them find their own funny money to do their alchemical deals. But only by the next parliament – a sort of Neverland for politicians.
Nevertheless, Vince Cable sat with a look of morose satisfaction about him. He's helped reinstate the spirit of Glass-Steagall – the repeal of which heralded the last glorious burn of the biggest boom in history. A Liberal Democrat victory? Not with the Chancellor presenting it, championing it, owning it.
And with Ed Balls opposing it – if that's what he was doing.
Maybe he only sounded as though he was opposing it, but it's always like he's battering someone. When he speaks he sounds like a totalitarian army on the march. Relentless. Heavy. Utterly convinced.
But by some political perversity utterly unconvincing. The polls say that 60 per cent of people agree with what he says about the cuts being "too far and too fast" – but only 30 per cent believe he's the right person to lead Britain through the recesssion.
Most people agree with him but even more people don't want to be in the same room. He pointed out that the Tory leaders wanted lighter regulation and lower bank taxes right up to the moment of the crash. "Maybe he should show a little more humility," Balls said. "If he does I will commend him for that."
Oh yes, again and again. Commend him for his humility from Newsnight to breakfast TV. Is that what people distrust about Ed? Or the terrible tread of his self-justifying certainties?
He did ask a pertinent question – at least one that we dozing amateurs could understand. Would the EU allow George's extra banking requirements through?
Pertinent, if the EU lasts long enough to care – by 2019 it may all be over.Reuse content