Moore also told the Independent, "Brown presided over a policy based on excessive consumer spending based on massively increasing property prices, which were caused by excessively easy credit which could only ultimately lead to disaster. But no, in Gordon's mind it was all caused by global events beyond his and anybody else's control."
The word from No. 10 Downing Street is that Brown has "no regrets" about the Lloyds/HBOS deal. Tory leader David Cameron now calls the merger "a bad decision," and others have cited the "no regrets" line as proof that Brown is out of touch and unable to admit mistakes.
It's easy to kick Brown, even if the Lloyds/HBOS merger -- and his boast at the time, "We have changed the competition law" -- may have kept the economy from sinking faster and deeper.
The moral of the story: No matter which party is in charge, leaders are likely to be too cozy with people who make big money. In the end, Brown would have been better served with a friend named Paul Moore than a colleague named Sir James. (President Obama, take note. Maybe you want to share your BlackBerry address with Markopolos and Moore.)
The other moral: Throughout the Bush years, Democratic critics spoke as if every problem would be dealt with smoothly under different leadership. But in the United Kingdom -- one of Our Betters in Europe, with European higher taxes and commitment to liberal regulation -- their very European Union oversaw the same credit craze that occurred under the bumbling, right-wing, go-it-alone Bush.