The Observer on Special Purpose Vehicles

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I asked recently why no one was talking about the risks to ordinary people in the UK from the use of 'special purpose vehicles' (SPVs) by banks such as Northern Rock's Granite companies and HBOS's Grampian set up.

Well, now the Observer has. Which is great news because people have to know that the City might add value to the UK economy (and I don't dispute that) but equally, some of it what it does is simply harmful to their potential well-being.

I have little doubt that SPVs fall into the latter category. The reason is simple. These things change the balance of risk in banks so that the City's is reduced and that of depositors is increased.

That's unreasonable. First the City has the means to assess the risk and the depositor has not. Second, the government is now underwriting the depositor. This now means that by default the City taking risk with public money. I resent that, very much. No one wants to pay tax to bale out banks.