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"This is the worst recession for over 100 years" - UK ex-Economic Secretary to the Treasury

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User ID: 537595
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02/09/2009 10:54 PM
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"This is the worst recession for over 100 years" - UK ex-Economic Secretary to the Treasury
[link to www.independent.co.uk]
'This is the worst recession for over 100 years'

Ed Balls, the PM's closest ally, warns that downturn is ferocious and says impact will last 15 years

By Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor, and Sean O'Grady, Economics Editor

Britain is facing its worst financial crisis for more than a century, surpassing even the Great Depression of the 1930s, one of Gordon Brown's most senior ministers and confidants has admitted.

In an extraordinary admission about the severity of the economic downturn, Ed Balls even predicted that its effects would still be felt 15 years from now. The Schools Secretary's comments carry added weight because he is a former chief economic adviser to the Treasury and regarded as one of the Prime Ministers's closest allies.

Mr Balls said yesterday: "The reality is that this is becoming the most serious global recession for, I'm sure, over 100 years, as it will turn out."

He warned that events worldwide were moving at a "speed, pace and ferocity which none of us have seen before" and banks were losing cash on a "scale that nobody believed possible".

The minister stunned his audience at a Labour conference in Yorkshire by forecasting that times could be tougher than in the depression of the 1930s, when male unemployment in some cities reached 70 per cent. He also appeared to hint that the recession could play into the hands of the far right.

"The economy is going to define our politics in this region and in Britain in the next year, the next five years, the next 10 and even the next 15 years," Mr Balls said. "These are seismic events that are going to change the political landscape. I think this is a financial crisis more extreme and more serious than that of the 1930s, and we all remember how the politics of that era were shaped by the economy."

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03/15/2009 04:02 AM

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Re: "This is the worst recession for over 100 years" - UK ex-Economic Secretary to the Treasury
I say burn all of your bridges while you still have control of the flame.
We are like flies crawling across the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel: We cannot see what angels and gods lie underneath the threshold of our perceptions. We do not live in reality; we live in our paradigms, our habituated perceptions, our illusions; the illusions we share through culture we call reality, but the true historical reality of our condition is invisible to us.”