Comrade Corbyn

17 September 2015 / Issue 760

John Stepek looks at the four key ways Jeremy Corbyn’s victory as Labour leader could affect Britain. Read this week's cover story here.

• The refugee crisis isn’t about Syria – it’s about water
• The Bond villain you can profit from
• The Rip Van Winkle guide to investing

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Podcast – the Fed bottles it again

Merryn and John talk about the burning issues of the week – including how the Fed bottled it again on raising interest rates, plus how ‘silo thinking’ caused the financial crisis, and how it could cause the next.

Click on the image to the left to listen to the conversation, or right click here to download the MP3 file.

Merryn Somerset WebbEDITOR'S LETTER

Merryn Somerset Webb

Where I agree with Jeremy Corbyn

This was a week to cause sleepless nights. The refugee crisis got worse. Infighting and border closures across Europe made it look as if the short-lived age of free movement within the European Union has come to an end. We all thought far too much about possible movements in US interest rates. And Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour party. It’s all been rather exhausting.

Sadly, we suspect it’s going to get more so. The migration crisis is nearer its beginning than its end. That’s because, regardless of the media obsession with Syria, it isn’t really about Syria. And it isn’t about war either. Instead, says James Fergusson, it is all about water scarcity. That means it isn’t just displaced people from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen who want to come to our wet north. It’s all of sub-Saharan Africa too. And there isn’t anything we can do about that. This crisis will run and run, getting more politically fraught along the way. And it might well break the EU.

The eurozone’s long-term survival lies in it having the political will to turn a monetary union into a fiscal union. But if it can’t even keep its internal borders open for a month in a crisis, what chance does it have of completely merging the finances of its member states? Almost none. And if it can’t do that, what chance does it have of making it through the next financial crisis? We’d say none at all.

On the plus side, this may not be an issue for the UK. It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever again see a good case made for us to join the eurozone, and Corbyn’s election might have taken us a step closer to leaving the EU (he sees it, as he sees everything else, as some kind of banker-led capitalist conspiracy and his supporters may vote his way).

John Stepek looks at this and the other financial/economic consequences of Corbyn in this week’s issue. They mostly fall into the ‘awake at night’ category. But, as is our way, we’ve also tried to look on the bright side this week – to think about things we might agree with Corbyn on, and come to appreciate his lobbying on.

• Read the full editor’s letter here: Where I agree with Jeremy Corbyn