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Thursday, December 18, 2008

National Lending Scheme

Alistair Darling, exasperated by the banks' refusal to resume lending, is (according to The Times) considering a national lending scheme.

Under the scheme the government would guarantee new lending to businesses, on the condition that it is genuine new lending and not an attempt by the banks to reschedule old loans/debt.

Ironically figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show an unexpected rise of 1.5% in retail sales in the UK last month. Needless to say, the veracity of the figures are being called into question.

Like it or not, unless there are further pro active measures taken by the government and Bank of England, the recession will worsen significantly. Three key measures should be taken instantaneously:

1 Cut interest rates to zero.

2 Initiate a national lending scheme.

3 Initiate a policy of quantitative easing (akin to dropping money from a helicopter), whereby the Bank of England buys debt using government bonds.

These measures will draw a firm line under the rapidly failing economy, and provide the bedrock from which to grow again.

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