In keeping with the current festive theme – including mince pies being out of date by the 1 December – the recent decision by the Bank of England to stop Funding For Lending will resonate with every parent who is being blackmailed at every given opportunity by their offspring to purchase the latest must-have gizmo for the aforementioned little darlings’ Christmas present. They want it, they have to have it, if they don’t get it that will be the reason why they fail all their GCSE’s in years to come/get pregnant by one of the local n’er -do-wells/take drugs etc etc. On receipt of the said gift that Santa’s little elves (I wonder if they are on zero hour contracts?), have slaved to get to the base of the tree, it is played with for all of 5 minutes before being discarded only to reappear in a local charity shop/shopping auction site before the Christmas tree has lost all of its needles. Having the bitter memories of past Christmases to call upon, parents are now wise to the entreaties of the younger members of their family and now issue the warning that if they aren’t going to play with it, the elves will lug it elsewhere. Mark Carney, has adopted a similar approach with the high street banks, in particular those owned by the state (i.e. you and I). The headlines claimed that the money tree was fenced off to prevent the creation of the illusive housing bubble and that it was for the befit of the country. No it wasn’t. Mr Carney took it away because the demanding children – the banks – didn’t play with it. Instead of lending it out to those who wanted mortgages or small business loans, they either sat on it to ensure a healthy glow emanated from their balance sheets or they loaned it to fellow banks. Perhaps it is to be taken as a sign of encouragement that the Bank of England is influencing the behaviour of the high street banks and the tail is no longer wagging the dog to such an extent.