The Pound's value against the dollar tumbled yesterday when a leading credit ratings agency suggested that Britain might lose its cherished AAA status because it was the "potentially most at risk" of the major economies. Fitch Ratings said the UK's sovereign credit rating was most at risk among the advanced economies because the country required "the largest budget adjustment".
Britain is set to rack up one of the biggest budget deficits in the world next year, measured against the size of the economy. Heading towards a national debt of £2.3 billion and leading towards massive cuts in health and education, services and huge rises in taxes.
Millions have lost their jobs whilst millions of others have seen their salaries, wages cut or frozen.
All of the above is the cost each and every one of us is paying and will continue to pay for at least a decade or more to come.
True and sustainable economic recovery will not come until house prices return to their normal healthy level - ie 30% lower than current prices. We then need Bankers and Estate Agents to be heavily regulated and controlled to stop the harm that they do to all of us!
The threat of a downgrading of UK gilts has been around since the credit crisis started. The fiscal and monetary stimuli were necessary to prevent recession turning into recession. However, the UK is fast running out of time. A faltering return to what the economists call "growth" is to be expected in this quarter (given the possibility that the VAT reduction is not extended into next next) should ensure some growth; if not the UK is in big trouble.
Will any government be able reduce the budget deficit from 12 % to 3% in just 4 years, as the European Commission proposes? I think not. A downgrading of UK gilts is a year or so away, followed by higher yields on those gilts, and thus lower prices, for currently issued stock.
I still believe a disproportionally large amount of the money "printed" by the Bank of England has enable foreign holders of gilts to make for the exit. They have a currency exposure as well as a yield exposure to consider.
Definitely no time to be in UK bonds, that party is over
The CBI is pissing in the wind. The present government have run out of ideas.
Panic cuts in public spending are never a good idea. And cutting backing on public spending too soon would likely threaten any recovery which may only be getting under way by the end of 2010.
We need to ask some searching questions and come up with answers. Why are we renewing Trident? Why are we sending our troops to far corners of the world fighting hopeless wars? Why are so many people on benefit? Do we really need ID cards? Are we making sure that everyone pays their fair share of tax? These are just some of the questions the incoming chancellor must ask.
We've run a Mickey Mouse economy for too long. We need to promote industries of the future, not just pander to the City of London. Our economy is unbalanced and there are many areas of the country where our potential is under used because old industries have gone and not been replaced by enough new industry to make a difference.
There's a lack of realism at the top of business and industry. We've had a big wake up call in the past couple of years but old bad habits die hard. We need a new industrial revolution. We have great residual talent as a nation but we are not using it wisely. Until we do, we're in deep trouble.