Are Britain's banks too big to save?


Toby Baxendale – founder of the Cobden Centre – appeared on a BBC documentary last night. The programme, Britain's Banks – Too Big to Save? was by all accounts a very interesting take on the banking sector, and it's a very encouraging sign that Toby's Austrian position was featured so prominently.

There's a big debate on the right at the moment about the banks: naturally, most of us are sympathetic with private businesses, but people like Toby are making the argument that British banks are so closely interwound with the state that they can be better understood as semi-state bodies than private firms. If banks cannot make significant losses without being bailed out by the taxpayer, is it appropriate to think of them as creatures of capitalism or of the state? I honestly don't know, but it's a debate we need to have if we're to make the necessary structural changes to the regulatory system to avoid another Great Recession like the one we are (hopefully) crawling out of now.

UK residents can watch the programme here on the BBC iPlayer.