Cover of MoneyWeek issue no 486

Thanks a lot, Gordon

14 May 2010 / Issue 486

The challenge facing Cameron's coalition


  • Can a €750bn bailout fund save Europe?
  • Buy this cheap life assurer now
  • The King of Bling leaves Knightsbridge


Why I welcome the Lib-Cons

You’ll think this is ludicrously optimistic of me (particularly given my usual pessimism), but I think our new government – the Tory/Lib-Dem coalition – is the best one we could have hoped for. Why? Because it means that an intelligent combination of David Cameron and Nick Clegg (both basically lib-eral conservatives at heart) have a real chance of creating a genuinely sensible government.

I said on our blog last week that the hung parliament, along with the crisis in Europe, would provide them, should they choose to take it, with a fabulous opportunity to dump their most nutty policies under the cover of compromise. It looks like they are taking it.

Look how fast the Tory plan to raise the inheritance-tax threshold went out of the window. And look how closely it was followed by the mansion tax. Both were relatively silly policies chucked into manifestos to shut up party outliers. Both have been quickly dumped in the name of forging a stable government. That couldn’t have happened if the Tories had managed a straight majority. Expect pretty much all the other pointless policies promised during the election to go the same way.

But that doesn’t mean that I think there is going to be much good about the rest of the year…

• Read the full editor’s letter here:
I don’t envy the winners

Also in this week’s magazine:

• News: The Lib-Con coalition takes power
• News: Gold hits a new record high
• News: Credit-juiced China heads for a squeeze
• Markets: How computers prompted the markets’ ‘flash crash’
• Sector: Buy back into building
• Share tip of the week: A first-rate life insurer
• Turkey of the week: Pricey platinum producer
• Gamble of the week: A solid defence tech firm
• Strategy: Does diversification work?
• Personal view: Three out-of-favour defensive stocks
• Briefing: Do bail-outs ever work?
• City view: Sell out of the ‘bling economy’
• Cover story: Now for the hard decisions
• Personal Finance How to pick the best current account
• Personal finance: Tax advice of the week: Hire part-time staff
• Funds: How to use ETFs to play a China crash
• Entrepreneurs: How I made £1m from teaching
• Profile: Mohamed al Fayed sells his retail Mecca for £1.5bn
• Travel: Where to stay in Rome
• Toys: Citroën’s game-changing DS3
• Wine: Australian wine at its finest
• Property for sale: Converted properties
• Last word: Good money after bad