10 March 2009

Brown: I take responsibility for what happened when I was Chancellor

From Politics Home

Gordon Brown, Prime Minister
You & Yours, Radio 4

The Prime Minister said he did not shy away from his responsibility for his actions as Chancellor, but insisted the financial crisis did not originate in Britain.

“I take responsibility for everything that happened during the period in which I was Chancellor, I don’t shy away from it,” he said.

However he added: “What I can’t say to people is the cause of the crisis is something that happened within Britain alone”.

He said that the problems in the credit market could only be solved if the international dimension was understood.

“If you don’t understand what the problem is you’ll never solve it,” he said.

Mr Brown also said that while there were problems with the regulation system, the scale of the crisis meant even ‘good’ banks had been affected in unexpected ways.

“I’ve said the regulatory system was not good enough. I’ve said it has to change,” he said, but added that the crisis “affected good banks as well as bad banks as they couldn’t escape being polluted by what was happening across the world”.

He said it would be difficult for a regulator to foresee that the crisis would “reverberate right across the world where nobody again trusted the banks”.

Mr Brown also defended the amount of government money put into the banks, saying it was not “money for nothing”.

“This is not money for nothing this is not something for nothing we have bought shares in the banks and have effectively got more control,” he said.

He also said that there was a “very good chance that the shares we have bought in the banks will be worth more in the year to come”.

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