Project Merlin will be a conjuring trick
It is looking increasingly likely that tomorrow (Wednesday 8th February), the government will announce that Project Merlin has magiced up an agreement that the banks will dispense more money to the SME segments and particularly in the regions that the Government has identified as having been hit the most by the down turn in the economy. The Chancellor, as Chief Wizard, will proclaim this as a great victory for the Government over the evil bankers. However the reality is that the banks will only lend the money to the SMEs if it makes commercial sense (after all they wouldn’t want to be accused of irresponsible lending), they will lend in those deprived regions where, again it makes commercial sense and where they already have a presence anyway. In fact they won’t do anything that they wouldn’t have already done with the Government’s attempts to micro-manage them. And this will be claimed as the Government being tough on the bankers. I hoped that we left the age of spin when the previous Chief Wizard and his Blair Witch Project had left office, seems that by a sleight of hand that wasn’t the case.