Does George Osborne know what he is doing? The Independent reports:
The multibillion privatisation of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will be announced by George Osborne next week, following the forced departure of the bank's chief executive Stephen Hester yesterday evening.
Mr Hester will leave the bank later this year, clearing the way for his successor to oversee a "British Gas style" public sell-off.
The Chancellor is expected to announce further details of the privatisation in a speech next week. Treasury sources suggested he would not announce a timetable for the sale but it is likely to take place before the next general election and will aimed at the general public.
Aye, well. At last night's close, RBS shares were listed at a price of 325.6 pence, a long way short of the 500 pence needed to ensure that the government's sell-off does not incur a heavy loss. And sacking the chief executive is unlikely to improve the share price.
Update: Within half an hour of the market opening, the price of RBS shares has dropped below 300 pence.