Oh, Darling, what hast thou done? There are few more pertinent, or more damning, examples of what the government’s soak-the-rich policies could mean for the country than the news that JP Morgan is having second thoughts about developing a £1.5 billion European HQ in Canary Wharf. Of course, the bank may still go ahead with it. But just imagine if they don’t: the work lost for construction workers and a thousand other contractors; the tax revenues lost for the public finances. The damage won’t just – or even mostly – be to the financial sector.
Thing is, I imagine that Number Ten will be fairly happy with the story. As the Ephraim Hardcastle column demonstrates today, Brown & Co. are going to quite peculiar lengths to distance themselves from the bankers. And the revelation that the chief executive of JP Morgan recently made an “angry phone call” to the Chancellor will only help that process along. But you hope that someone will feel some small pang of regret at what it would mean if JP Morgan acted on their warning.