There are many apocalypse scenarios. Peter Oborne suggests national bankruptcy in today’s Daily Mail. Another option is an IMF bailout, though it’s beginning to look doubtful that even the IMF would have enough money to bail out not just Britain but its disgracefully over-leveraged banking system. Third option is a national bailout: begging directly from Beijing or Riyadh – and just imagine the political implications of that. The fourth is to destroy the value of sterling (and, ergo, our debt) by printing money (i.e. quantitative easing). This means sending the pound hellwards, transferring wealth from savers to borrowers.
I won’t predict where we’ll go from here. But my gut feeling is the same of anyone who would have heard Alistair Darling stuttering and stammering on the radio this morning, while admitting he doesn’t even have a rough idea how much the bailout will cost (and that his regulation was so lax he didn’t even know how many overseas loans the banks were exposed to). The situation is now out of control. We are falling from that tall building. Brown’s falling, too. And despite all the assurances, no one is quite sure how we will land.
P.S. Before CoffeeHousers point it out, yes, technically Lois was falling from a helicopter which was caught on a skyscraper. As a reminder, here it is – 4:18 in: