A Letter to Santa

After the recent round of conferences, I was thinking about the next major event of the year and realised it was about time I started work on my letter to Santa.

Santa and I have had a chequered relationship, by which I mean it was neglected by me for well over three decades.

However, in recent years I have been encouraged in supernatural belief by some of the policies adopted to counter the credit crisis - most notably the notion that regulation would solve the problems it had a hand in creating.  

Alongside this are the magical qualities of quantitative easing, where money appears out of nowhere to boost lending in the economy and then disappears again once the banks get hold of it.

Clearly, very clever people in very responsible jobs believe that toughening up regulation will stop banks blowing themselves up and that QE will create sustained economic growth, even when it is channelled through banks whose balance sheets are made all the hungrier from increased regulation.

So, I am happy to come out as a believer in Santa and that's that!

I didn't get very far with my own letter to Lapland, however, before I began musing about what certain other people might be asking for this year.

Richard Branson sprang immediately to mind - possibly because in last month's Lead Taker I set the record straight about Virgin buying up RBS branches.

Well, Sir Richard has already got a train set and indeed Northern Rock on the cheap (thank you tax payer), but I reckon he will be asking Santa to turn him into a proper banker in 2013.

The outgoing Lord Turner will almost certainly be asking for a bigger fireplace and mantelpiece as he will be expecting more Christmas cards once he has shaken the dust of the FSA off his heels. 

Then there's Grant Shapps. Personally, I find this chap fascinating and really annoying all at the same time, but he has obviously enjoyed being housing minister and is now rather out of his depth in his new role as chairman of the Conservative Party, so I reckon he will be asking Santa for his old job back.

Meanwhile, Stephen Hester of RBS will come up with a plea from the heart for people to stop bullying him and Mervyn King will be putting in an early request for Christmas 2014, as his 2012 present took a long time to arrive i.e. exiting the Bank of England. What a relief that must be!

Finally, there are my clients in the UK's amazingly cutting edge renewables sector who have a straightforward group request: they want Santa to get the banks to lend them some money so that they can continue the important task of reducing CO2 emissions and saving the planet.

Unfortunately, another group of would-be borrowers have already had their dream present embargoed - when Lloyds announced last month that it has pulled out of ex-pat mortgages, having previously lent to Britons living abroad who want to buy a property in the UK to move back to.

Well, on with my own letter to Santa... Strangely, it starts with what I don't want this festive season, which is a visit from the ghosts of Christmas past i.e. from 2007 and 2008.

Next comes a request for no more gaffes (hilarious though they may be) from our leaders and bankers - and no more "pork pies" either, for that matter.

Finally, I am asking Santa to stuff my stocking and those of the Lead Taker readership, with "a happy, more prosperous, less aggressively regulated turmoil of a year in 2013!"