The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

The Panama principle

Posted on August 30, 2014 by

This week it has been claimed that independence could leave homeowners facing a rise in mortgage rates. Strutt & Parker are a London-based high-value estate agent which proudly notes in a glossy promo video that the average sale value of the houses they market is £850,000. The company has regional Scottish branch offices in Inverness, Banchory, Perth and Edinburgh.


In a report backing “Better Together”, the firm allegedly (we can’t find the report published anywhere*) repeats a claim often made by the No campaign – that if an independent Scotland walked away from its share of the UK’s debt, interest rates would rise to the point where the average mortgage would cost an extra £5,200 a year.

The entire argument rests on it being indisputable that Scotland would end up with higher borrowing rates than the rUK, but that’s a claim that needs some scrutiny.

Firstly, the Scottish Government intends to enter into a currency union with the rUK. This would mean that mortgages would continue to be derived from the Bank of England (BoE) base rate, just as now, and as such be completely unaffected. In the event of that not happening, however, and Scotland were to use Sterling informally, the No camp argues that an additional risk and cost premium would be added for operating outside the BoE regulated zone.

We already know that the UK government has agreed to accept responsibility for all UK debt no matter what, so Scotland would be legally debt free. The No campaign talks of Scotland being punished for a “default” on the debt, but a default is where debts aren’t paid, and no such default would exist because the UK government would be paying all its creditors just as it is now.

So that leaves us with only the prospect of Scotland paying higher rates on borrowing because it was seen as a bad risk, and the key argument for that is that sterlingisation would leave Scotland without a lender of last resort. Alistair Darling is especially fond of sneering at such an arrangement by comparing it to that used in Panama, which is not only a small country but foreign, and therefore automatically not to be trusted.

The Panamanian economy uses the US Dollar without being in a formal currency union with the USA. Its economy has grown at an average rate of 9.16% a year since 2010, after an unusually poor 2009 when it grew at a rate of a mere 3.9%. (The UK’s current growth rate is 0.8%.) Its per-capita GDP has doubled in the last decade. 

Panama has over 78 banks operating within its borders and is currently experiencing a credit boom caused by extensive lending at reasonable rates, a situation that has led some international investors to question if Panama will become the next Singapore.

Of the 78 banks licensed in Panama, two are state-owned, 28 are international banks (allowed to accept foreign investment only), and 48 are general licensed banks. Panama banks are considered very safe bets due to the country’s financial watchdog, the Superintendent of Banking.

It is a financial system that, as noted by the Adam Smith Institute in its advice to Scotland to adopt sterlingisation, is the seventh most stable in the world:

“An independent Scotland could flourish either by using the pound sterling without the permission of the rUK (or by setting up a “ScotPound” pegged to sterling through a currency board, which would achieve a similar end). This ‘sterlingisation’ would emulate a number of Latin American countries that use the US Dollar without an official agreement with the US government.

Because Scottish banks would not have access to a currency-printing lender of last resort, they would have to make their own provisions for illiquidity, and would necessarily act more prudently.

“Scotland actually had this system of ‘free banking’ during the 18th and 19th centuries, during which time its economy boomed relative to England’s and its banks were remarkably secure. And Panama, which uses the US Dollar in this way, has the seventh most stable financial system in the world.”

The Superintendent of Banking strictly monitors all bank activity in Panama, and as a result banks don’t tend to fail. When a problem does arise, the Superintendent has the oversight, powers and authority to take action.

For instance, when the Stanford Bank in the West Indies island of Antigua went bust, the Panama subsidiary of Stanford was closed and had its assets frozen. The US authorities handling the case against Allen Stanford tried to seize the Panamanian assets, but the Panama Banking Superintendent wouldn’t allow it. After 18 months, Stanford in Panama was sold to a group that reopened as Balboa Bank (still in operation today) and all of the Stanford Panama clients had their funds returned.

So it’s clear that the level of risk that a bank is gauged to possess is dependent as much on the financial oversight of the banking sector in which that bank operates as it is on the availability of a lender of last resort. Given the UK’s track record, stringent regulation (like that of Panama) could actually reduce the risk and once again result in lower mortgages than our southern counterparts would enjoy.

A great deal of the No campaign relies on building fear that’s based on the general public’s ignorance of issues about which they have, in normal circumstances, no reason to be interested. While Alistair Darling never explicitly attacks Panama as an unstable banana republic worthy only of mockery, he knows that because it’s never in the news, people will infer it from his contemptuous and dismissive tone.

But in fact, ironically Panama operates its banking sector on exactly the same prudent principles for which Scotland’s banks were once famed and respected worldwide for centuries, before Fred Goodwin and his casino capitalists showed up.

While it’s a moot point – there WILL be a currency union, and sterlingisation won’t happen – there would be few better models than Panama on which to base a rebuilding of the security and reputation of the Scottish banking sector.

And as a theoretical WORST-case scenario, it’s a heck of a fallback option.



* Interestingly, the only published commentary we COULD find on the referendum from Strutt and Parker was a blog post on the company website last month:

“Predicting the future beyond 18 September 2014 is considerably more difficult and, whilst talented estate agents we may be, clairvoyants we certainly are not!

Our clients do look to us, however, to provide some sort of answer to the question of ‘what lies beyond?’ but the truth is that we, as property professionals, have no better idea than anyone else.”

The post went on to note that in the firm’s view, a No vote was the desirable outcome, as “with the brakes of caution removed” it would cause property prices to rocket. Readers can decide for themselves whether that would actually be a good thing or not.

[EDIT 11.28am: By a freaky coincidence, the report was actually released at 11am, the exact moment we published this post at. It’s heavily littered with qualifiers and disclaimers and says basically nothing.]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 31 08 14 21:10

    The Panama principle – Awakened State

  2. 15 09 14 23:05

    Currency – Part 2 of 2 | mythoughtsonindependence

133 to “The Panama principle”

  1. Croompenstein says:

    Great article Scott, wasn’t Flipper supposed to be our Superintendent of Banking… 🙂

  2. Roberto Esquierdo says:

    More fear stories

  3. goulashman says:

    Interesting that all this ‘important and vital’ warning is coming so late – after two years of opportunity since the serious debate began. Hysteria decries the truth of claim….?

  4. Marcia says:

    In the 2007 Holyrood campaign that was supposed to be a ‘tax bombshell’ of £5000 if the SNP won. It must have been quickly defused as nothing happened. Instead Council tax frozen etc. We have heard it all before. The No campaign must win a recycling award from the Greens soon.

  5. Albanach says:

    Good bit of reading! Perhaps a wee email to the Panamanian consulate in London to see how they feel about how Darling and BT are portraying them!

  6. macart763m says:

    So the next time Darling wags his finger and screams ‘you could be like Panama’… 😀

  7. jim watson says:

    It can easily be argued that Panama also has better hats, cigars and canals – so there!

  8. Cod says:

    Also, nobody seems to have called Darling on his outright lie that as a country with no lender of last resort, Panama cannot have a deficit. This despite the fact that Panama has run a deficit for every year for the last five, and this year the Panamanian government was considering new laws to raise the legal allowable deficit to rise, so as not to be in breach of the current rules.

    I was quite disappointed in Salmond not having details regarding Panama to hand, considering he had to know that Darling was going to bring it up – he could have totally destroyed Darling’s argument, and pointed out at the same time that Darling was either incompetent for not knowing this, or outright lying.

    “Panama may have to raise 2014 deficit limit – minister”:

    “Panama posts third straight budget deficit” (that was in 2012, they also recorded deficits in 2013 and 2014):

  9. yerkitbreeks says:

    Had Strutt & Parker to look over my house regarding a possible sale some months ago, and I must say that compared to other agents they were very negative over the Referendum.

    My answer was that if someone avoided buying my house simply because of a change in the democratic will of the Scottish people, I wouldn’t sell it to them anyway.

    For all potential house purchasers and buyers, the best thing would be for a fall in prices anyway.

  10. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    Strutt and Parker’s report – Lots of use of the naughty word COULD COULD COULD.

  11. JimnArlene says:

    Don’t see a down side, for Scotland, using the Panamanian model.

  12. Cod says:

    The other thing I was quite surprised that Salmond didn’t skewer Darling with was his utter nonsense claims of tyhe number of jobs which rely on Trident. No campaigners like to throw around figures in the thousands, variously between 4 and 8000.

    The true number of civilian jobs which directly rely on Trident is far lower. It’s 520. And that’s from the mouth of the Ministry of Defence, who should know.

    And that number has been known for more than two years, since a Freedom of Information request by CND, and a response from the MoD. So there’s no excuse for any senior Labour MP to be saying anything else. Which leaves only one conclusion – that any who do, are lying. Something which Salmond could have made clear during that second debate.

  13. Mike Mackay says:

    Beautifully researched and written.

    Illuminating, balanced and complete.

    Better than Ive seen from most professional economists (Stiglitz and ASI aside). Better than Ive seen from the Yes leadership in fact.

    Not condescending. And bloody obvious

  14. Since BT began to almost sneer at Panama, I have paid a wee bit more attention than before to that country.

    Interesting fact, one of the companies of which David Cameron’s father is a director is registered in Panama.

    It’s the old, old story: don’t do what we do, do what we tell you.

    Did I not see somewhere than a rather large oil and gas field has just been discovered off the coast of Darien?

    Darien is somewhere around Panama (my geography isn’t too good). Perhaps, with Darien coming good, it is a sign that this, also, is a time for an independent Scotland to come good.

  15. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Also, nobody seems to have called Darling on his outright lie that as a country with no lender of last resort, Panama cannot have a deficit.”

    Well, we did:

  16. Wee Jonny says:

    No, Flipper was the Stupidintenent Of Banking……….

  17. Tam Jardine says:

    I think the constant negative use of Panama in particular is a wee reminder of Darien- it also relies as Scott’s great article says on general ignorance of Panama and her economy.

    Wouldn’t It be great to get someone from the Panama government to come down hard on all this insulting crap? I know a couple of Wingers were trying to get a response but am unaware of any results.

  18. Thepnr says:


    Well you would because your a maverick. I suspect you wear a straw hat and smoke cigars too.

  19. Murray McCallum says:

    Another informative read Scott.

    “Panama banks are considered very safe bets due to the country’s financial watchdog, the Superintendent of Banking.”

    Beefing up our financial oversight – and doing it very publicly – is a no-brainer for me. As well as being sound, long term economics – providing a solid foundation for all types of customers – it sends the signal to the public that the tail will no longer wag the dog.

  20. CameronB Brodie says:

    The question of when interest rates should begin to rise has been much-discussed in recent weeks, and after five years of sitting at the rock-bottom level of 0.5 per cent, a gradual increase is expected from next year onwards. This has implications for the UK’s 8.4 million mortgagors, one in ten of whom risk being imprisoned by borrowing deals which are likely to make their repayments unaffordable when rates start to rise.

  21. wingman 2020 says:

    @ Jim Watson

    It can easily be argued that Panama also has better hats, cigars and canals – so there!”

    Surely not Jim… We have the Cringing Canal

    Its rather beautiful.

  22. Kenny says:

    Darling did explicitly attack Panama – “I don’t want to live in somewhere like Panam for six minutes, never mind six months.” He should be ashamed and I can’t decide whether I hope the Panamanian ambassador was watching and is willing to tell the UK government where to go or wasn’t watching because I’m so ashamed of my countryman insulting another country like that.

    Oh, and they struck oil in Darien, apparently. It’s poetic. 😀

  23. Graeme Doig says:

    Panamanian (really?) officials and politicians probably too busy running their ‘wee banana republic’ to bother about insults from a few non entities.
    More power to them.

  24. Karmanaut says:

    I wish AS had just said, ages ago, to the plan B question. “We would use the Scottish pound in a prudent free banking system like the one we had for hundreds of years before this high-risk high-reward philosophy took over.”

  25. heedtracker says:

    The biggest biggest BetterTogether fraud on Scotland is their teamGB saved “your” Scottish banks crapola. Its nearly their biggest lie going. How much did the US Federal bank bail out the Royal bank of Scotland for example and why?

    with facts like

    90% of RBS and HBoS UK employees were based in out-with Scotland so 90% of employers income tax was paid to Westminster, and not counted as Scottish or Scottish Government revenue.
    Likewise 90% of the banks national insurance contributions were paid to Westminster and not counted as Scottish.
    80% of the losses of RBS for example were generated from the banks London based operations.

  26. Thepnr says:

    Scott The main thing that surprise me was that the Adam Smith Institute published this report.

    I heard the author talking about it on the way to work one morning and asked myself “why are they doing this?”. I still haven’t figured that one out.

    For me at least, what it all boils down to in the end is that which way we choose to go with a our currency in the grand scheme of things will make little difference.

    We are a strong economy with well educated and talented people and will make it work. The most important thing for me is how we share that great wealth.

  27. Breeks says:

    Don’t forget it is this type of property valuation which spirals out of control and creates all manner of problems for people led to believe the value of their property will always go up. They are the reason that new stick built properties are / were grossly over valued. The value of a property is not what it is worth, it’s what these ‘professionals’ say it’s worth in collusion with the greedy banks who are lending you the money.

  28. Capella says:

    Panama’s province of Darien did indeed find 900m barrels estimated oil

  29. caz-m says:

    Darling and Co. falling apart at the seems.

    Bad week for Scottish Labour/Better Together/Vote Naw,

    Salmond increases YES vote.
    Darling, slapped all over Kelvingrove studio.
    Alexander, backs Ad patronising women, and told he is a F**kin liar on radio phone-in.
    Murphy hit with egg while shouting at YES campaigners.
    Galloway out of action with broken jaw.
    Lamont finally admits we can use the Pound.

    And even bias polls are finally showing that we are almost over the line.

    What’s not to like about Scottish Independence Referendums.

    Keep it going lads and lassies, right up to 18th September.

  30. ScottieDog says:

    Don’t forget darling and his government gave the banks carte Blanche to create as much money as they wanted which they piled into mortgage lending. The result was a 300 percent increase in house prices over labours term with the inevitable bursting of the bubble at the end.

    It’s called a Ponzi scheme.

  31. heedtracker says:
    Nearly a trillion dollars paid to English and British banks, by the Bank of America for a completely out of control City of London and all under the Chancellorships of Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, yet we have to listen Crash stand up in the House of Commons and announce he’s saved the world.

    “The data reveals that British-based banks accounted for $1 trillion (£640bn) of the money the Fed issued to prop up the financial sector.

    Barclays took the biggest chunk of bailout money, borrowing $863bn from the Fed. Almost half of the money came in overnight loans thought the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, a programme intended to help banks dealing in US Treasuries.

    Barclays has since paid all of its loans, which came about because of Barclay’s $1.75 purchase of Lehman Brothers.

    Royal Bank of Scotland borrowed $446bn, Bank of Scotland $181bn, Abbey National $19bn and HSBC less than $10bn. The figures show each institution’s total borrowing, not the amount they had outstanding at any one point.”

  32. P.R.D. says:


    Scots constitutional values, strange how its all come back to the bricks and mortar bankruptcy of the aspirational ‘property owning democracy’.

  33. Davy says:

    Its funny, according to Strutt & Parker a country with no legal debt and having over one trillion barrels of oil reserves would be more likely too have its morgages rise, rather than a country with a 1.4 trillion debt which would not.

    BOLLOXS, nobody is that stupid.

    The odds at ladbrokes for YES have dropped from 9.2 to 7.2 this week, but you can still get 7.1 for a YES win over 55%, guess what I put £50 quid on. I think the NO odds dropped from 1.8 to 1.4, but I may be mistaken.

  34. Clootie says:

    A reminder – BT stories do not have to be true (they seldom are).
    As with all propaganda the target is not the informed or the well read. The target is the masses who they ASSUME still get their information from the BBC/MSM. That is the main mistake BT have made in the Referendum Debate.

    As they say ” never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”

    Amazing how many people still refuse information and then complain about the lack of information!

  35. Robert Louis says:

    Well written Scott. An excellent piece as usual. Yet another anti independence ‘better together’ lie exposed.

    This is the kind of article a REAL Scottish press would be producing, instead of just churning better together press releases. I cannot think of ANY so – called ‘journalist’ in Scotland who has even lightly questioned the rubbish from Alistair Darling about Panama.

    I’d love to know what the Government of Panama would think if they knew the way in which the anti independence campaign in Scotland, plus their UK Government chums were slagging off Panama.

    I suppose from the Labour parties perspective, Panama is ‘foreign’, so by their own logic it must be bad, no matter what.

  36. Robert Louis says:


    So, at last, after three hundred odd years, Darien has come back to bit London on the bum.

    For those who didn’t see it first time around Scott has also written an excellent account of the Darien affair, and the run up to the treaty of union – well worth a read.

  37. heedtracker says:

    If BetterTogetherists come a chapping at your door, ask them what regulations are in place to prevent the City of London destroying the economy again. Its a short answer, none.

    Or ask UKOK unionists, why not make the super rich City boys personally liable for our “Scottish” banks. They take the profits but we, the sucka taxpayer take the loss. Lets change that, if we win.

  38. Papadox says:

    Listening to Darling on the recording, he sounds like a demented budgie with a cat on its tale. He just spews out unadulterated nonsense which he knows are complete lies and tries to prevent the questioner getting a word in so his verbal diarrhoea can’t be challenged. He is a very nasty piece of work. A excellent example of SLAB politicians at Westminster. No redeeming features just bile and self preservation. Vote yes!

  39. yerkitbreeks, “For all potential house purchasers and buyers, the best thing would be for a fall in prices anyway”

    If you think for a minute, lower house prices would also benefit home-owners who would like to trade up for a bigger house – if prices were lower across the board, they would need less cash (or less borrowing) to make up the difference.

    Who actually benefits from high house prices? How does it make sense for one of the essentials of life to keep going up in price?

  40. You and My Comb says:


    I came across this the other day. The federal reserve dished out loans to uk banks of approximately 1500bn$. You can find the table on page 131 of the report linked in the article. These are 0% loans that haven’t been paid back. My brother who is an ex banker didn’t believe me until I showed him the document.

  41. faolie says:

    Great article Scott, well done – again. Like others here, I’d be mightily pissed off if were Panamanian living here and surprised that we haven’t heard anything from them.

    It’s a pity that the Panamanian ambassador hasn’t issued a press release telling BT that their economy is just fine thanks – unlike yours.

  42. Croompenstein says:

    Flipper was also disrespectful to Ireland and Iceland and Ireland isn’t meant to be foreign. These countries do seem to be keeping their counsel on this but I would assume that when the result is announced on the 19th these 2 countries along with Panama will be among the first to recognise the sovereign will of the Scottish people and Scotland as a sovereign nation in waiting.

  43. manandboy says:

    caz-m says:
    30 August, 2014 at 11:57 am
    Darling and Co. falling apart at the seems.
    There’s more:-

    Cameron humiliated as CBI chief attacks EU vote plan

    In a major embarrassment, the Prime Minister had to look on as Sir Mike Rake, the president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) accused him of causing uncertainty and “real concern” for businesses.

    Sir Mike said the UK’s continued membership of the EU was “crucial” to business, which would suffer badly if the country voted to leave.

    The dressing down came last night as they attended CBI Scotland’s annual dinner at the Hilton hotel in Glasgow. About 200 independence supporters and demonstrators gathered outside, heckling guests and shouting “Tories out”.

    As guest of honour, Mr Cameron was seated next to Sir Mike. But the CBI president’s comments undermined the Prime Minister’s message that “certainty, stability and predictability” were among the “great advantages” of being part of the UK.

    In another blow to Mr Cameron’s hopes of boosting the No campaign, his visit came as Eurosceptic Tory backbencher Douglas Carswell defected to the UK Independence Party (Ukip).

    The move, which will mean a difficult by-election in Clacton, Essex, for the Conservatives, left the Prime Minister defending his plan to hold an in/out EU referendum in 2017 if his party wins a majority at the next General Election.

  44. Suzanne K says:

    Having read the report on your edit , I have a couple of questions.
    1. Is it not ironic that Scottish, Welsh and Northern house prices never actually reach the median line, yet all those in the Home Counties and London exceed it?! Are we supposed to be grateful for ‘bringing up the rear?
    2. I thought Scotland had its own Help to Buy scheme, so surely that could continue if required?
    3. Is anyone else slightly concerned that more million £ properties have been sold in Scotland during June/July ’14 than the whole of 2013?!
    4. Having read the earlier S&P report, I thought it stated they would award Scotland. ‘Its highest rating’? That clearly doesn’t equate to one A?

  45. Kenny says:

    To be fair, when the Adam Smith Institute report was published (which was weird, because I’d read about it elsewhere at least a week or so earlier), both Scotland 2014 and Scotland Tonight covered it. One of them spoke to a minister in Panama about it and was pretty good. Unfortunately, a bad line and somewhat hesitant English probably didn’t boost the cause. I’m still pretty amazed that no-one in the Yes campaign seems to have picked up on Darling’s nasty line. I think something along the lines of “we owe Panama a debt for the Darien misadventure, not the belligerent dismissal of that proud nation by a former holder of one of the Great Offices of State. Mr. Darling should apologise for his inaccurate and arrogant remarks. In the meantime, we have been in touch with the Panamian government to offer any assistance we can in developing their new-found oil resources. We soon hope to join them amongst the elite world group of small, independent, democratic, energy-rich nations.”

  46. jules says:

    This is only part of it. Scotland would have a better credit rating (not a worse one) in the event of the ‘Panama option’.

    My former colleague (a fund manager, who knows his stuff) explains it much better than I could here:

  47. heedtracker says:

    @ You and My Comb, “socialism for the rich” is a neat summary too for incredibly reckless banking. Where did they borrow it all from and how much is QE printed money?

    What these estate agents cum macro economic sooth sayers fail to mention, is that house prices in Edinburgh in particular have risen precisely because of Holyrood and the establishment of based there.

    But why let Rule Britannia bettertogether tub thumping get in the way of why stuff actually happens n shit.

  48. cearc says:

    The value of your house rarely goes up only the price.

    It is only ever worth a similar house in a similar neighbourhood.

    The ‘my house has gone up by… therefore it is was a great investment’. Was part of the thatcherite con.

    Even if you ‘downsize’ your surplus probably doesn’t exceed the interest that you paid on the mortgage.

  49. Grouse Beater says:

    Strutt & Parker, Knight Frank are snobs of the first order hoping to sucker a client looking for status property.

    Like Grouse Whisky – distilled in Perthshire, a good many customers will boycott them or buying their goods. These companies and others like them are truly idiotic when it comes to long-term customer relations.

  50. notRichardWilson says:

    Stumbled over a forum where I think 2 Irish were posting.
    They couldn’t get over how smart Mr Salmond is and how he is already negotiating with rUK. By making a big deal about currency union rUK think that’s what the main negotiations will be about.

    The 2 guys think this is just a ploy and secretly Salmond wants to walk away with a currency pegged to the pound but with no 100 billion debt, no nukes and not a stain on Scotland’s character, as he tried everything he could to get a currency union.

    Only two guys talking…

  51. manandboy says:

    One certain conclusion of the Referendum debate

    must surely be, that Westminster,

    the ‘Mother of all Parliaments’,

    is now a confirmed prostitute.

    Or whore – as some might call it.

    Politicians – the new prostitutes,

    selling themselves to any business that comes calling,

    but particularly to healthcare companies.

    How apt.

  52. Brian Mchugh says:

    Strutt & Parker? …who?

    …Im guessing their opinion (whoever they are?), is irrelevant to 99.99% of the Scottish population.

  53. Chic McGregor says:

    Also Ireland, which actually has a higher TED as %age GDP than even the UK and after an IMF bail out, have after 1 year back on the market, LOWER bond rates than the UK.

    Why? Because their higher GDP is based much more on genuine wealth creation rather than on the scam industry. Much more robust, much more responsive, much more sustainable and a much better prospect.

  54. BigRik says:

    The Panamanians may well have complained and issued a press release… but would the MSM report it?? I think it is the currency speculators who have most to fear , if WM tries to stick to it’s bluff , the pound will HAVE to be re-valued… downwards.

  55. faolie says:

    Sent a wee email to the Panamanian Ambassador

    Dear Ms Delgado

    It’s no doubt not escaped your notice that the No campaign in the Scottish independence debate has started to refer to Panama when discussing an independent Scotland’s use of the pound outside of a formal currency union with the rest of the UK should it become independent.

    Better Together (the official No campaign) and in particular ex-chancellor of the exchequer, Alistair Darling, sneer at this option and say in open debate that if an independent Scotland used the pound in this way, then Scotland would be ‘like Panama’, implying that somehow this is a very bad thing and an example of something to be avoided at all costs.

    Yet apart from the implied insult to your country and its banking arrangements, Better Together ignore Panama’s stable banks and an economy that has been growing at over 9% a year since 2010, rather better than the UK’s miserable rate of 0.8%.

    Anyway, the reason for the email is to apologise to you and your country for these quite dreadful and unnecessary insinuations. Your silence since these insults started has been surprising (to many of us on the Yes side) but dignifying.

    I hope that when Scotland does regain its independence, Panama is one of the first countries to open an embassy in Edinburgh. You will be welcomed.

  56. les Wilson says:

    I have looked at Panama several times, it is a fast growing prosperous country, it is a desirable place to live and not too difficult to get your own passport.

    Having read a number of comments from people who now live there, who all seem to be enthusiastic. Many people going there for many different reasons. It is far from the “banana republic”, that is at least inferred by Darling.

    As Stu points out there very very many worse places to take tips from. During an interview with one of Panama’s top people I am sure it was Sarah Smith, where the guy advised Scotland to do as they do. Smith’s face was like a slapped arse, when commenting, ” seems Panama is doing OK then”.
    Not what she really wanted to say.

  57. Auld Rock says:

    Things can’t be that bad in Panama, did I not hear that they are investing $billions in widening and increasing the capacity of the Canal. On a historical note, a lot of people condemned the Darien Scheme and which was eventually brought down by “Good Old King Billy”, you know the same one who those Bittertogether followers are so keen to support. The concept of the scheme was to establish an overland trade route to the Pacific as they did not have the engineering equipment to build a canal at that time. A dream that wasn’t realised for another 216 years when the Canal opened in 1914.

    Auld Rock

  58. galamcennalath says:

    Excellent article. Sounds like Panama is actually a best of both worlds situation!

    Are there any NBTT fears left to be debunked?

  59. les Wilson says:

    Scott, I apologise, this was of course your article, not Stu’s, and a good one.

  60. notRichardWilson says:

    David Cameron said that the outer reaches of the Shetlands were vital in defeating the Nazi menace.

  61. TD says:

    Estate agents like rising house prices because their commission, as a percentage of the selling price, rises with the prices. People who own houses like rising house prices because they feel more wealthy – even although it is not really wealth that they can use. UK politicians like rising house prices because they can bask in the reflected glory of that feeling of greater affluence. The people who don’t like rising house prices are those at the bottom of the housing ladder who cannot afford to buy and who are forced to rent instead. The poor take the hit again.

    Given that that so many people have a vested interest in keeping house prices artificilly high, we should not be surprised when our supposedly market-oriented UK government introduces Help to Buy, a blatant attempt to meddle in the market. It forces prices up – thus satisfying all those groups who want prices to rise. Their other tactic is to control the supply of houses – i.e. make it difficult to build new ones. This is what we are seeing and again – who suffers? Not the multi-millionaire mansion dwelling rich. It is the poor who cannot get decent housing.

    In an independent Scotland, we will have control of the famous economic levers to stop all this nonsense. Our population density is not a problem and we can address the housing shortage in the only way that has a chance of working i.e. build more houses. Forget Help to Buy and other distortions of the market. It is really just a supply and demand problem. We do not have to put up with policies designed to get Westminster governments re-elected. Vote Yes.

  62. Grouse Beater says:

    On a historical note, a lot of people condemned the Darien Scheme

    A sea of oil is under Darien. The question for Panama is, how much to exploit.

  63. faolie says:

    Grouse Beater: A sea of oil is under Darien. The question for Panama is, how much to exploit.

    Wrong question. The question for Panama is who to get to exploit it on their behalf, and hope that whoever does gives them some of the revenue.

    I mean, Panama? Surely too wee to exploit massive oil fields.

  64. G H Graham says:

    It is quite reckless for Unionists to infer that banks should always be bailed out by the Bank of England, no matter what.

    It was Gordon “end of boom & bust” Brown & Alistair “Flipper” Darling who were in charge when RBS & others were encouraged by the Financial Services Authority & The Treasury to hold a quantity of debt that far exceeded their assets.

    And when the securities, against which the debt was issued, evaporated as the value of US CDOs crashed, these banks quickly ended up insolvent.

    The consequential bailouts put the country into the worst recession in modern times & saddled generations of taxpayers with a mountain of public debt (currently £1.3 trillion & growing by £2 billion per week) that may never get paid down.

    Imagine if that principle were allowed for invidual retail bank account holders; don’t worry if you end up bankrupt, your friendly bank manager will just stuff some money in your bank account & you can carry on as before.

    Within weeks, the account holder would be back at the bank asking for another bailout. Soon, the system would collapse when the bank runs out of money.

    I prefer the Panama model in which a bank is so tightly regulated that it must retain a debt to asset ratio that never puts the bank’s (i.e. customers’) deposits at risk.

  65. Cod says:

    @Rev. Stuart Campbell

    Well, of course WoS did. Although not in as much detail as I did – after all, one year could be a blip, five years and a call to raise the lawful limit is a trend.

    But I was more referring to those in the media, or even the yes Campaign, or Salmond and the SNP themselves. Mind you, Salmond or others from the SNP, or the official Yes campaign may well have mentioned it but been given no printspace or airtime I suppose. Wouldn’t be the first time in this whole affair.

  66. Sandra Wilson says:

    Great article. My story today is not connected. In St Andrews this morning two nice chaps manning the stall. Two women debating (well one talking loudly over the top of the other and she would be the “No” voter). What amazed me (and it shouldn’t really given the nonsense that has gone on in the last while) was she was arguing that Scotland was a region of the UK and not a country and needed the UK to survive. She went on to shout that she knew people who were leaving Scotland in the event of a yes success. Generally I admit I am on a short fuse anyway but I tolerated her shouting nonsense for at least two minutes before I waded in and calmly gave her a history lesson. This is, in my experience, typical of many of the inhabitants of this town. Middle class “I’m all right Jackers”. What about child poverty? What about food banks? I feel nothing but shame when I see a large sign in the supermarket window asking for donations for food banks. How on earth can these people turn a blind eye to this. If this woman is a typical no voter in this town, ignorant of history of our great country, and uncaring for those with less privileges than she enjoys then God help us. Better together. “Aye Right”. Best of both worlds. “Aye Right”.

  67. Cod says:

    Also, OT, but I just had to share this in case anyone hasn’t already seen it – I got sore sides laughing at it. Cheers Greg Moodie, you’re a star 😀

  68. Grouse Beater says:

    The question for Panama is who to get to exploit it on their behalf,

    I accept the angle you take, butI was wondering if they are in closed conference debating how hellish a curse is the oil discovered.

  69. Marcia says:


    In the 2007 Holrood election the SNP found it difficult to get press coverage. They issued plenty press releases but few got printed. Some were condensed by the papers to a paragraph if we were lucky. Still, we won.

  70. P.R.D. says:


    Brave any politician that attempts to cold turkey Scots mortgage dependency and the one-upmanship of indentured home ownership.

    The ‘property owning democracy’ is in a bad investment league way beyond the Darien Scheme.

  71. Allan28 says:

    This is a bit O/T but if there has been a follow up to Iain Gray’s assertions regarding Corporation Tax in The Republic of Ireland earlier this week I have missed it.

    According to the Scotsman ( )he said that Microsoft and Google ‘don’t employ people there, they simply use it as a conduit in order to pay less tax.’

    Based on the Microsoft and RTE websites they seem to employ around 3,400.

    Regardless of any views on Corporation Tax (although surely it is the collection policy that is deficient) this was yet another lie made solely on the basis that it would be too difficult for Scots to check up on the position in another country.

  72. CameronB Brodie says:

    I had a chat with an SNP MP, who suggest exactly the same thing applies now. He suggested that it is no use waiting for the media to become impartial, as it will never happen. It is up to us on the streets, in the workplace, etc. and one to one conversations.

    Talking of conversations in the workplace. Is it legal for employers to ban staff from discussing indyref? I would have thought that was an infringement of human rights.

  73. Grouse Beater says:

    Unionism’s latest line of attack is to suggest the debate is rending Scotland asunder, barracades erected, street fighting street, families at each other’s throats, gerbil eating gerbil, if all true implying they have had nothing to do with it, and anyhow, chasing democratic rights is distruptive to society and an unwanted obsession.

  74. fred blogger says:

    it’s more uplifting words from jim sillars.

  75. goulashman says:

    Sorry to be off topic, but I feel the following is too important not to be seen by us all. This article appears in the Guardian and can be viewed now on the Guardian website:

    NHS bosses held regular summits with firms competing for contracts worth £1bn
    Critics warn of more privatisation as emails show giant US health insurer UnitedHealth chairs group of companies

  76. 01010111 says:

    It’s a shame that there has been a lack of MSM analysis of the risks the other way.

    One of those risks must be the size of the UK debt mountain.

    Net Government Debt as %age of GDP 2012

    UK 82.785
    Panama 38.796
    Norway -165.508 (yes that’s really a minus sign)

    Or how about a list of countries on the planet with a greater debt to gdp ratio than the UK

    Gross Government Debt as %age of GDP 2012

    Antigua and Barbuda
    Cape Verde

  77. rob young says:

    O/T had a random phone call from ipsos/mori today, not registered with them in anyway but answered the questions, how likely are you to vote, if the vote was tomorrow, are you voting yes or no. how closely do you feel you follow politics, all on a scale of 1-10.

    told em yes vote and 10 to voting and 10 if it was tomorrow.

  78. liz says:

    O/T but just back from campaigning in Clarkston – Jim Murphy’s constituency – with Women for Indy – ages from teenagers to pensioners.

    Had a great morning – lots of folk stopping to ask questions, take leaflets etc.

    You could spot a No voter at 10 paces as they seemed to have a scowl and an angry look and one great wit said – do you want some eggs.

    The best one was when a man and his ?daughter -walked past and we politely asked did they want any info – he said No in an angry voice and his ?daughter quietly put her hand out for leaflets without him seeing.

    Handed out lots of WBBs.

  79. liz says:

    PS meant to say – lots of cars beeping support.

  80. Clootie says:


    I was at a recent event in the NE with Craig Murray as a speaker(outstanding speaker in my opinion)

    I thought I would share one of his quips. After noting the large number of No Thanks signs on the journey up he commented “An awful lot of fields voting NO up here”

    His follow up was also an important point. “Perhaps not the best move for BT to draw attention to the land ownership in Scotland”
    These are not hardworking farmers being discussed!

    If you get the chance go and listen to one of his talks/observations/insights.

  81. Eric D says:

    Darling’s obvious lack of knowledge of international economics and banking systems explains how he managed to ‘miss’ the inevitable consequences of London’s casino banking stupidity.
    He doesn’t even understand that it wasn’t he who ‘saved the nation’ – it was the Bank of England – and they did it by …..borrowing billions and putting us into debt to the tune £1.3 TRILLION (and rising).
    If that’s what calls ‘success’….
    He helps to create a crisis – and then expects praise for ‘solving’ it !!
    The Chief Const. of L&B Police did something very similar by juggling crime statistics and reporting systems.
    Darling was a Regional Councillor in Edinburgh at the same time, and knew the CC very well. Significant ?
    Then again, unlike Salmond and Swinney – Darling’s a lawyer – and they’re economists.

  82. heedtracker says:

    Saturday’s Times front page is a keeper if you’re doing that, collecting maniac Rule Britannia vote NO stuff.

    “YES vote is threat to freedom”

    and just when you thought they couldn’t sink any lower too.

  83. CameronB Brodie says:

    He helps to create a crisis – and then expects praise for ‘solving’ it !!

    Sounds like a student of Hegel. 🙂

  84. kendomacaroonbar says:

    O/T Please spread far and wide; the best wee blue movie ever ! (Search YouTube for WEE BLUE BOOK)

  85. JWil says:

    The astute way Panama runs it’s affairs contrasts dramatically with the way the UK economy is being run, where no action is taken to control rash decisions or corruption, and indeed there are no laws against corrupt organisations or the people who have the power to cripple the UK economy, as we have witnessed over the last several years.

    The consequences of this laissez-faire system of government are such that it is the majority of the population who suffer while the politicians and the elite of the British establishment can sleep easy in their beds.

  86. CameronB Brodie says:

    Excellent work, will it be going on TV?

  87. kendomacaroonbar says:


    I doubt it very much 🙂 I’m not registered, so need to try and make this as close to viral as can be… hence the “Wee Blue Movie” tag..

    And thanks to those who contribute to my current indiegogo fundraiser (still on ) it helps to contribute towards the cost of video and printing etc.

  88. CameronB Brodie says:

    Banks are stable in Panama because they hold sufficient capital reserves to cover lending. Simples, but not for UK plc., of course.

  89. Quentin Quale says:

    Kendomacaroonbar – splendid work, sir. Duly forwarded to many people and asking them to do same.

  90. CameronB Brodie says:

    They hold these high reserves because there is no central bank to act as ‘lender of last resort’.

  91. Many thanx again to Scott Minto :- a revelation.

    It is intriguing that the muppets who wrecked the economy, Krash and Darkling, have to rubbish all the Cures that they tacitly ignored but which actually Worked, like the Panamanian System.

    “Plan A” is a ready position and easy cure.

    Last week or the week before the “KAISER REPORT” saw Max Kaiser invite two young Scottish graduates from Ayrshire on RT – to explain their multi-level encryption system that EXCLUDES hackers, thieves, bankers etc from ever invading their system.

    Straight port to port transactions and communications. !!

    With a Panamanian type “Superintendent of Banking” – AND – A solid encryption process for Scotland, we may at last have “Sound Money”.

    None of which was ever available under Krash and Darkling.

  92. Franariod says:

    A formal currency agreement will happen but in the future Scotland will pull out because of the instability of the city of London.

  93. fred blogger says:

    darling also cited iceland, but it’s economy is now soaring.
    i think, irelands economy is also back on the up.
    “Although Iceland has a small population of 317,000, supporting one of the smallest currencies in the world, its resources are mighty in comparison. One in 84 fish caught around the world is caught by Icelandic trawlers in the nation’s rich north Atlantic waters. Meanwhile, glacial meltwater powers the nations hydro power stations and, together with geothermal generators, produce electricity five times the requirements of the local population.”
    “The truth though is stark – the No campaign has effectively run out of steam and has nothing more to say. Contrast its descent into farce with the energy and drive of Yes and it’s clear that the move for independence is accelerating as we near the 18th of September finish line.”

  94. Elizabeth says:

    Is Alistair Darling actually accusing the Scottish government of intimidation? (An article on STVNews titled “David Cameron ‘nervous’ about Scottish independence referendum”

    “…..Meanwhile, Better Together leader Alistair Darling has spoken about the “inexcusable” scenario whereby people in business, arts and culture are afraid to speak out.

    “What’s happened increasingly over the last two and a half years, time and time again, I have had people in business – and not just in business, people in the arts and culture – saying, ‘I would love to speak out but I don’t want to do so because it might affect my business or it might affect my job, my career’.

    “This is becoming a huge problem,” he told the Daily Telegraph. He added: “I have had people in business saying ‘I don’t want to speak out because I have got contracts with the Scottish Government’.

    “I’ve got one guy who was going to give us a donation and he rang up and said, ‘Sorry, I have just been rung up by someone in the Scottish Government’ – he didn’t say who – ‘and they said if you ever want a contract from us again you will think twice about it’. His board thought twice about it and he didn’t do it. “It is inexcusable.”…..”

    @STVNews: David Cameron ‘nervous’ about Scottish independence referendum

  95. The Man in the Jar says:

    Wheres everyone getting these WBBs from?

    Apart from fifty scrounged from Gerry Parker (Thanks Gerry) I haven’t seen any sign of them.

    Yes Uddingston and Bothwell desperately trying to source some. The fifty didn’t go far with a population area including approximately 15,000 voters.

  96. heedtracker says:

    And stop scaremongerising over England’s NON privatisation of the NHS.

  97. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    But Rev Stu,
    with tight banking regulation and restrictions would that not mean that the bankers would not get their bonuses for speculating wildly on foreign hedge funds and ponzi schemes?

    How would our economy work if the trickle down to Strathclyde from that vast wealth in Croydon that the bankers accrued from their bonuses was to stop?

    Also would that mean we would not have to leave Europe as we could sign up to the onerous banking restrictions that are meant to prevent another 2007 banking disaster ever happening again?

    Mmm – Panama or City of London?

  98. heedtracker says:

    What’s Panama’s public health sector like? From vote no or else sweaties Guardian

    “UH’s lobbyist, Dr Chris Exeter, who in 2011 briefly worked on non-health matters for Low Associates, a lobbying firm run by Sally Low, the wife of former health secretary Andrew Lansley, helps to co-ordinate the meetings of the group, whose other members are the big blue-chip consultancies KPMG, Capita, McKinsey, EY and PWC. All the group’s meetings, which began in May 2013, are unminuted.”

    So their privatisation of English Higher and Further education goes on apace, NHS sell off of the multi billion tasty bits and sucka tax payer takes all and every risk, should everything go tits up! which never happens in the USA or teamGB private sector.

  99. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    @fred blogger

    good to see Iceland on the Up. They had a novel solution to the banking crisis – they just put all the crooked bankers in jail. Seems to have worked a treat for them.

    UK just keep giving their bankers more and more bonuses. Good Eh!

    And they wonder why we want Independence for our country?

  100. Robert Kerr says:

    O/T but cheering.

    Friday nights supping was educational. My friend Joe the “International Socialist” amased us all with his cognitive dissonance. For someone who writes letters to the Herald and is well versed in things he really lost it.

    All nationalist parties are fascists. I corrected his Scottish Nationalist Party to Scottish National Party and quipped “Freudian Slip” He ranted on about Salmond leading us to perdition. Jim Murphy egg doing was anti-democratic. I replied ” No it is the way it used to be. Hustings are fun”.

    I asked him why he supported the Monarchy did he believe in the “Divine Right of Kings?”.
    No he is a republican. So why is he on the same side as the O.O.? No answer.

    He denied that the No campaign is funded by Tory monies.

    Conversation degenerated to historic things like the murder of the Red Comyn in the church and Bruce’s excommunication.

    All this came about when Joe ventured that Yes would win. Then he is moving his money to Barclays Bank. I suggested he should thing seriously about moving out of Sterling altogether.

    We are still friends and next week he shall be presented with the WBB and challenged to find any lies therein.

  101. heedtracker says:

    Not having a lender of last resort is the best thing that can happen to Scotland. All it means is that any and all bankers can plonk a brass plate on swish Charlotte Square office front and that’s that, Scottish tax payers are then liable for every single bankster games these dudes can come up with.

    It’s like, listening yesterday to a unionist in the pub going ah well y’see, Scotland will have no lender of etc and when asked what it means? you lose all your money if your bank goes under. How much have you got in your account bud? 12 quid.

  102. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    @The Man in the Jar
    We are bit short of them too in Edinburgh but there are over 200,000 coming out this week.
    I am not sure how they are being distributed?

    Handed two WBB out this morning – another three undecided/no move to Yes.

  103. Col The Viking says:


    I can personally confirm through direct professional dealings that Microsoft, Ebay, Pfizer and a host of other big name companies (debates at the benefits / drawbacks of big corporates aside) do definitely employ significant numbers of people in Eire as we work on a number of contracts for said organisations!

    and, during their darkest time of the financial crisis they never exactly came crawling back, begging the UK to absorb them in a Union again – they took responsibility, raised taxes, cut services generally took it all on the chin……..lessons for us all!

  104. heedtracker says:

    Crash Gordon was so angry at Iceland refusing to cover their own City shysters about 1500 miles south in. London, he placed Iceland on international terror state status. Wonder if their are still on Goggies list of terror. Crash wasn’t insane at all was he.

    It’s so unfair that we’re reigned over by loonies.

  105. heedtracker says:

    “Mr Grimsson told Sky News: “The Gordon Brown government decided, to its eternal shame, to put the Icelandic government on a list of terrorist states and terrorist phenomena. We were there together with al Qaeda and the Taliban on that list.
    “We have not forgotten that in Iceland.”
    Mr Grimson added: “Gordon Brown will be long remembered in my country for centuries to come, long after he has been completely forgotten in Britain.”

    He’s still making his presence felt in his north British region too Mr President.

  106. JWil says:

    I wonder if the unionist parties main gripe with a currency union is not particularly that Scotland may default on any agreement, but they themselves would be constrained by agreed borrowing limits and could not therefore do what they always do to win elections, pour borrowed money into waving carrots at the population.

  107. fred blogger says:

    it is a real shame that they find truth so intimidating, still that is the cry of the bully.
    blame the truth rather than facing the reality of it!

  108. Phil Lawrence says:

    I live in poor, wee, fragile Estonia and mortgage interest rates have been lower than the UK since even the pre-Euro era of the Eesti kroon.

  109. Paula Rose says:

    Gosh – I’ve been out all day convincing the wee Naw voters that they are deluded and then expected to come here and find no comments since early am – BUT YOU”VE ALL BEEN FIDDLING! Time is of the essence honeys.

  110. handclapping says:

    Paula dear, some of us cannot. This is all we can do 🙁

  111. Paula Rose says:

    handclapping darling, I know dear, my admonishments are not directed to you and many others, but if you would like some…

  112. john king says:

    Kendomacaroonbar @ 2.53
    Absolutely superb Ken,
    If I saw that on the telly I would think a polished advert,
    totally brilliant! 🙂

  113. goulashman says:

    The Jarrow NHS March appearing nowhere on the BBC or in MSM – deserves our best support

  114. ScottieDog says:

    It’s not so much the uk national debt figure in itself that is an issue it’s how it is made up. If it consisted of underwriting grassroots industry and quality jobs then there is a decent payback through tax revenue etc and also a valuable export industry. However a third of ours is bank bailouts.

    The most worrying thing however and it never gets much mention is the PRIVATE DEBT:GDP ratio which stands at more than 200% and climbing. This is what caused the current recession and yet the government are using precisely the same tool to grow the economy all over again. The jokes on the tax payer as usual as we fund help to buy schemes which adds fuel to the fire. Complete short-termism by the Tories. When the bubble bursts, and it will – with falling salaries and austerity, increasing energy and food prices etc, we will be made to foot the bill again.

  115. Croompenstein says:

    @kendo @johnking – Seconded, absolutely superb Ken

  116. Carol Jardine says:

    Went out at 11am to spend a couple of hours helping to man a YES stall in Leith. We were swamped with folk looking for window posters, car posters, badges. Actually anything that declared support for YES. We cleared up at 5.30pm. What a day!
    PS For those who may not know, Leith is traditionally Labour.

    My feet hurt, but I’m happy 🙂

  117. Paula Rose says:

    Carol honey and others – Forfar was buzzing with Yes delight today, throughout Angus I am hearing delightful news.

  118. heedtracker says:

    I like firing off everything Yes around all the ref voters I know Paula Rose. Facebook is fantastic for delvering stuff with each like going to all Facebook friends, videos are popular and satire too it’s definitely changed one No mind hopefully or at least pulled it all away from BBC rule Britannia grot, and it’s great to mix up Yes ideas and possibilities for a Scottish future wirh all kinds of things going on way beyond the UK.

  119. Blair paterson says:

    I would have thought that if we get independence we will not need embassies abroad ,they are just jobs for the boys and an needless waste of money that could be spent in better ways I mean we now have skipe where you can talk face to face so please no embassies. Vote yes

  120. faolie says:

    Kendo, great video. Posted on the wee blue book facebook page

  121. Paula Rose says:

    Hold on dears – I want to be an Ambassador for my country, telling dictators to take a hike, helping everyone be the best they can be, forming good contacts with other democracies and most of all doing our utmost to undo the damage of empire building.

  122. kendomacaroonbar says:


    There is another video – the subway teaser you could upload also 🙂

  123. dadsarmy says:

    Reports like yours genuinely anger me Scott, well almost. I knew all this myself from my own research apart from the role of the The Superintendent of Banking in Panama, though I presumed a similar function for the ideal setup in Independent Scotland.

    For a sound system of banking such as exists in Panama to be derided by Better Together, preying on the connotations that the word “Panama” will bring of Banana Republic as opposed to the democracy it’s been since 1989, and South American debt defaulters such as Argentina, is practically sinful. By neccessity without a central bank, these banks would by neccessity, operate on a sound fiscal basis, and thereby have built-in integrity, something nearly absent in the UK banking system.

    But it can’t be presumed Scotland can move to such a system overnight without loss. Jobs, capital flight, GDP, all the things BT cudgel us with. So what would be needed is a transitional transfer, and the best way to achieve this is in a voluntary fashion. Some sort of symbol would be needed, and opted-in banks could display the “Scottish Seal” once in the system and totally approved by the “Superintendent of Banking”.

    Over perhaps a 5 year period, Banks and financial companies could then either opt-in, or ship out. There would be many others would move in to take their place.

  124. faolie says:

    Kendo, subway teaser? On YouTube?

  125. Leslie Ross says:

    Nere is an extract from an interesting website that lets you compare economic and financial statistics from different countries:

    Have a look at the comparison of UK and Panamanian interest rates since 2002 – you may be surprised at the results.

    This is now bookmarked on my iPad to have instant rebuttals at hand!

  126. Indeed Panama has been having deficits for 5 to 6 years straight, and then returns to a superavit.

    The constant rule since restoration of democracy in 1990 has been positive GDP growth between 5% and 15%, unemployment between 4% and 12%. Since Panama relies in financial and logistical services, rather than exporting of manufacturing goods, some forms of income do not show up in deficit stats. How do you count the sale of beach home to a foreign tourist as an export?

    Although sterling may circulate in Scotland through purchases of individuals (like Dollars are brought into Panama by foreign tourists and buyers), a big difference between sterlingisation and dollarisation is that the latter relies on the US Fed, which is bigger than the Bank of England. This small difference may render sterlingisation less efficient for Scotland than dollarisation. Until the Euro demands the same economic sanity from its newer EU members and has a single monetary policy instead of 2 dozen policies, the euro is bad for Scotland. And Scotland has oil, which is a “currency” in itself can be a blessing like in Norway or a curse like Venezuela.

    The No field has to rid itself of the Darien Company defeat syndrome like the US brushed off the Vietnam syndrome and analyze the advantages not having a lender of last resort (aka rescue squad for bad bankers) and use of a stronger currency. Of course, currency is only a small aspect of the independence or self-rule question – which Scots have to decide on their own.

  127. Tom says:

    I wonder how the property experts would explain the astonishing rise in house prices in Shetland this year? I would have thought that house prices would be going the other way if the oil really was running out.

  128. Further on aircraft carrier cul-de-sac –

    In his 2011 MOD Statement to the Commons,Hammond told the House that “we will build a brand new RAF Base in Northern Ireland and fully equip it” end quote.

    This after we knew that RAF Leuchars is to be CLOSED in Dec 2014 (this year) and AFTER we knew there will be zero jet fighters on the (ferries) carriers.

    Scots are PAYING TAX to build and equip a new RAF Base in Ulster, losing thousands of jobs in Fife, and paying to award our kids jobs – to Ulster. FFS.

    And the OO in Scotland will March in 13 days time in Embra to award more Scottish jobs and taxes to Ulster.? FFS.

    RAF Akrotiri on the EU Nation State of Cyprus and our 2 x Army Bases on Cyprus employs more than 8,000 Civilian Cypriots – AND Provides MOD PENSIONS to Retired Cypriots from Scottish taxes.FFS.

  129. FFS GUYS –

    WE are paying tax in Scotland to MUG OURSELVES.
    Retired MOD Civilian Cypriots are not worried about the MOD Pensions we pay for – paid in Euros on Cyprus.
    All the other RAF, Royal Navy and British Army Bases across the planet – what Cost.?


  130. Sorry guys for running off at the mouth “off topic” but I was posting a reply – partly here and elsewhere – to a post by heedtracker.
    Again, my humble apologies to all.

  131. clochoderic says:

    Surprised that no-one has yet mentioned my all-time favourite palindrome:


  132. dadsarmy says:

    An interesting article about currency is at:

    @Leslie Ross – great link, thanks for that.

    @Mypanamalawyer – interesting post.

  133. Stevie boy says:

    We should call Wastemonger’s bluff and tell them to keep the Bank of England and keep all the debt that THEY run up anyway (despite wasting Scotland’s oil).

    We have tried to be reasonable and they haven’t so sod them. That would serve them right for all their scaremongering tactics.

    Watch it backfire on them!! That would shut them up.

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top