Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rocky Road Ahead for US Taxpayer

An object lesson for the US taxpayer is being played out in the subprime crisis fallout in the UK. The naive among us can still be found, on blogs and elsewhere, insisting that the measures being put in place by Governments and Central Banks will not cost the ordinary citizen. Developments in Britain are now showing the utter fallacy of this position.

It appears that Northern Rock, the British bank which suffered a run earlier this year in fallout from the funny money routine may saddle the UK government with "a bill in excess of £25bn" and calls are being made for the bank to be taken into public ownership. Since the latter action is unthinkable in the US, the alternative is easy enough to figure out.

"But now plans to sell the bank are running into a wall of opposition from politicians who are outraged that a sale could involve an open-ended commitment to provide government support to a buyer. 'Why should taxpayers' money be used to help Richard Branson, or whoever eventually acquires Northern Rock?' asked Vince Cable, shadow chancellor for the Liberal Democrats [a UK political Party]."

An insight into prospects for the easing up of credit pipelines worldwide can be gleaned from the comments of a City [of London] analyst: "No one will touch Northern Rock unless the Treasury continues to stand behind it; on its own, the Rock is not viable." Substitute the names of certain major US institutions and there you have it.

The full article is available at the Guardian website.


Catherine said...

Hi! I work at a foreclosures site. Bail or no bail, it is still a case of "Between the devil and the deep blue sea..." or damn-if-you-do damn-if-you-don't. No solution no matter how small comes for free. There is always a tag price. And most often people will pay the price.

D.D.Grant said...

I agree with what you say. However the question is when will "most often" reach a limit. History teaches also that people will only take so much. I suspect such a point is on the horizon as long as arrogance and contempt for ordinary people continues to be the standard of those with power.

Thanks for the comment and the link to your very useful site.