As the pound falls, so does the mood in Britain

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An island nation that bulked up on debt and lived beyond its means. A plunging currency. And a financial system edging toward nationalization.

With the pound at a seven-year low and still falling, and the British banking system requiring ever-larger rounds of government support, it is no wonder that observers in recent days have pronounced this city "Reykjavik-on-Thames."

While that judgment seems exaggerated, there are uncomfortable echoes of Iceland's financial downfall in Britain's trajectory. And for ordinary consumers, who enjoyed a long boom that transformed the drab United Kingdom of old into Cool Britannia, fears are growing that Britain could return to the economic stagnation of the 1970s.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

5 Comments
Posted January 22, 2009 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Terry Tee wrote:

Where do we go from here?  It certainly gives a new perspective on the Thatcher years, when our industrial and manufacturing base was allowed to shrink to virtual nothingness.  We are now a nation of financial institutions and tourism.  The financial institutions of course, are now severely damaged by their insane creation of financial instruments that no one understood (if only we have Warren Buffett in charge ... )  That leaves tourism.  Welcome to Theme Park Britain, where, remember, your US dollars and Euros will go further than ever.  Finally, sadly, we are without a widespread basic Christian faith.  As many commentators on this site have noted, the British nation is now largely religiously indifferent.  Watching the inauguration I found myself thinking that this same faith is part of what gives the US its resilience.

But still:  there are people of prayer here.  There are many gifts of grace.  As always, the lessons of hubris are hard to learn, but repentance always leads to new life.  The Good Shepherd leads us still, if only more would hear his voice!

January 22, 1:06 pm | [comment link]
2. magnolia wrote:

i have long thought that Britain defers too much, follows too much and are too interested in the US.
on inaugeration day, the telegraph online was filled with stories covering it; goodness knows we certainly don’t reciprocate with our news coverage.  as well they seem to have taken our (supposed) invention of political correctness to a new level. what is up with that?
what happened the the great empire? they colonized this country, not the other way round. i’m ninth generation american, my first ancestor was a british subject and i am very proud of that, britain should take pride in their accomplishments and start being leaders again. stop being such wusses. however this is only my perception and i could be totally off base…

January 22, 1:24 pm | [comment link]
3. Gretta wrote:

A non-substantive comment - I swear I thought the headline said, “As the pounds fall…..”

My first thought was - if British folks are losing weight, wouldn’t that make them happy?  LOL!  Guess I’d better read more carefully…

January 22, 7:48 pm | [comment link]
4. magnolia wrote:

you are ‘spot on’ hopper!

January 23, 6:20 pm | [comment link]
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