Tuesday, May 21, 2024

133 Vince Cable
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills - United Kingdom

Vince Cable is the UK's Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. He is seen as the representative of the left wing of the Liberal Democrat side of the UK Coalition Government. Originally a Liberal, he joined the Labour Party, then the Social Democrats, before they merged with the Liberal Party, to form the Liberal Democrats.

His perception as left leaning was underlined by the role he played in the negotiations prior to the the establishment of the new UK Government, being the go-between between the Liberal Democrats and Gordon Brown in discussions on the options for a Labour-LbDem Government.

He is an economist who has written extensively on the financial crisis, or at least the UK aspect of it, having authored one of the best selling British books on it. He has been vocal on a number of issues arising from the crisis, calling for bonuses to all bank employees to be frozen.

In his book 'The Storm', Cable writes "The trigger for the current global financial crisis was the US mortgage market and, indeed, the scale of improvident and unscrupulous lending on that side of the Atlantic dwarfs into insignificance the escapades of our own banks." In an interview about the book, Cable was asked whether he had warned about this and replied, "No, I didn’t. That’s quite true. ... But you’re quite right, and one of the problems of being a British MP is that you do tend to get rather parochial and I haven’t been to the States for years and years, so I wouldn’t claim to have any feel for what’s been going on there."

He has also been vocal over the bonus culture in the banking system. He has called for bonuses to all bank employees to be frozen, and speaking about the takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB in 2008, Cable labelled the hedge funds which profit from short-selling as "masters of the universe".