The Big Tent just got a little bit bigger with the appointment of Stephen Green
as trade minister. As most of the papers point out, landing the HSBC boss is something of a coup for the coalition. David Cameron was struggling to fill the role, but he’s ended up with someone who
is widely credited with steering his bank through the worst of the financial storm. Even HSBC’s purchase of a dodgy sub-prime company in 2003 has done little to tarnish Green’s reputation.
Now that he’s in government, though, it’s worth pointing out that he is yet another minister who has warned of a double-dip recession. Here’s how the FT wrote up a speech of his in July:
"’We are three years into a crisis that is far from over,’ he said. ‘We have a long way to go in restoring public confidence in our industry and we continue to face volatility and
uncertainty in our economies and financial markets.’
He said we could see ‘further shocks to some Western nations’ as they come to terms with large national debt and face ‘unprecedented years of austerity’.
He acknowledged that it would take time for banks to adapt to what he called the ‘new normal’ – an era that will be defined by deficit reduction and anaemic growth."