Of all the scary economic forecasts we’ve heard recently, perhaps the most chilling is the idea that we’re nine months behind America on the credit crunch. What would it mean for us? And what political effect might it have?
In tomorrow’s magazine, George Bridges, former campaigns director for Cameron, does for us what politicians do for themselves at election time. He has asked Experian, the credit rating agency, to trawl its vast database and list sub-prime penetration by constituency. Of the 200 worst affected seats, all but 14 are held by Labour. It is, as George puts it, "a punch in the financial solar plexus for those Brown has purported to champion."
We’re doing a first on Coffee House today, two pdf files (the first is here , and the second here ) showing some of the research used to produce the cover. This is not a list of actual debtors, no such list exists. But Experian’s business is identifying over-extended debtors and details how many households are in its sub-prime risk category. If you want to know where the unexploded sub-prime bombs are planted in Britain, this is the list you need. Given that Brown’s debt years have left us at the mercy of the credit crunch, he can do little more than hope they don’t detonate.