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Friday, November 30, 2007

Uncomfortable Times

Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, issued a warning in terms that only a seasoned Bank of England could, that the economy is heading for a very rough patch.

He was addressing the Treasury Select Committee and warned of "rather uncomfortable" times ahead, with a "big risk" that the credit squeeze could intensify.

Whilst these warnings if used by mere mortals may not seem to be that dire, to emanate from the mouth of the Governor they are very serious indeed.

As I have noted earlier, it is fear that is the key feature of this "crisis". King said that "sheer uncertainty", and fear of what lies ahead was driving wholesale interest rates back up to levels seen at the height of the summer credit crises.

Mr King said:

"In recent months, the near-term outlook for both inflation and growth has become less benign.

For the UK, the consequences of are difficult to assess and are likely to be evident first in the housing and commercial property markets

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets next Thursday. The question is will they lower interest rates?

There are many debt burdened consumers and mortgage holders who are hoping for an early Christmas present from the MPC.

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