MANCHESTER (Reuters) - Below are highlights from chancellor Alistair Darling’s speech to the Labour Party’s annual conference and from earlier television interviews.
“You know global capitalism has gone crazy when George Bush nationalises the commanding heights of the U.S. economy on Wall Street and the richest football club in the world is Manchester City.”
“Mistakes and problems in the mortgage markets in the United States have spready right across the world, weakening financial institutions and the financial system, spreading into the wider economy.”
“It’s clear we have to put in place measures to stop problems being repeated. It is clearer than ever markets can’t do this on their own.”
“We are putting in place, both here and in the United Kingdom and internationally, the tougher financial regulation no one can doubt that we need.
“That’s why I will introduce a new banking reform bill in the Commons in a fortnight. We are also going to put in place measures to give added protection to savers.”
“I have asked the chairman of the FSA to review urgently what we need to improve the system.”
“It’s not a question of light-touch regulation against heavy-handed regulation. It’s about effective regulation.”
“We need to look as well at the culture of huge bonuses which have distorted the way decisions are made...bonuses should encourage good long-term decisions, not short-term reckless ones.
“Just as no government on its own can combat global terrorism or tackle climate change, so no government alone can put in place the right supervisory safeguards in this global economy.”
“Enabling us now to let borrowing rise to support the economy and families when they need it most. Make no mistake, discipline in public finances is essential, being clear about our priorities.
“In the medium term, governments everywhere have to live within their means. So I will set out this autumn how I will continue to deliver sound public finances.”
“When we announced the measures to help people on energy we actually got the energy companies to contribute quite a significant sum. We are going to legislate to make that happen.
“But there are two objectives — one is yes to help people now become more energy efficient, (and) I also want those same companies to be investing in new power stations to reduce our dependence on oil and gas. That means they have to have some kind of certainty.
“I don’t want to destabilise the tax system, and actually, we have got out of the energy companies rather more than I suspect we might have got out with a windfall tax.”
“I think we need to make sure that the regulatory system we have is up to the mark and we also need to make sure that not only in this country do we do that, but also internationally, because the events of the last year or so have demonstrated that the institutions you are dealing with trade right across the world.”
“So we’ve got to make sure we’ve got better supervision, we’ve got to make sure we can spot these problems coming sooner and then take appropriate action to avoid getting ourselves into a situation like this again ...”
“They (the Financial Services Authority) are looking at the moment at a whole range of issues, the reward system, the bonus system is only one part of it. I think it’s best to let the Financial Services Authority look at those areas. I think action is needed but you need to avoid getting yourself into a situation where you take some sort of knee-jerk reaction and that just compounds the problem.”
“What we are dealing with at the moment is a situation where
right across the world, economies are being hit by the credit crunch, they are being hit by the effect of high oil prices which you can see at the pumps and our job is to navigate our way through that. I believe we can do that. It is right, at the present time, that we support the economy. It is right also that we take action to ensure that some of the things that have gone very wrong on the banking side are put right.”
“You want to make sure that when people are given incentives, they are incentives for the long-term good and that you don’t actually either inadvertently or carelessly incentivise people who destabilise the system.”
“One of the things that our Financial Services Authority...is looking at how can you make sure the bonus structure for example in banks actually rewards long-term stability and does not encourage to take risks.”
“I remain confident that we will get through it.”
“Although inflation is higher than I would like, we are starting to see signs that it may be coming down with the oil prices coming down...every country in the world is going through one of the biggest shocks to the system that we have seen.”
“At this time when the economy is slowing down, I don’t think there is anybody who is saying that this is the right time to take a lot of money out of the economy.
“My immediate priority now is to stabilise the economy, stabilise the financial system...it is important that all governments, no matter wherever they are, live within their means”
“When they (oil prices) come down, they (people) want to see the benefit of that.”