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How Safe Is Britain’s Proud Pound? – Speculators Eye Next Prey

Britain may soon turn into a nation for the government, from the government and by the government.

Will there be a private sector in the future?

Will there be a private sector in the future?

budgetary and debt problems facing Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain have reinforced (British) conviction that staying out of the euro zone was the right decision. Unlike Berlin, London is not under pressure to come to the aid of Athens.

But speculators have taken aim at the British pound – a favored target. Market pressure on the British currency is not likely to disappear overnight.
Alarm on the Markets
Markets were alarmed … that a close election could make it difficult for parliament to pass a strict package of savings measures. Such political concerns are temporary. More permanent, however, are the fundamental debt and budgetary problems that have fuelled the British currency’s downward trend since October 2008.
The problems start with the size of the country’s budget deficit. With a budget deficit of 13 percent of GDP this year — Greece’s is 12.7 percent — Britain is by far the deficit champion of the G-20 states. Britain has so far avoided an Athens-style crisis primarily (because) unlike Greece, which is facing the need to immediately refinance €20 billion in debt, most British debt won’t come due until 14 years from now..

Mass consumer debt in Britain is whitewashed in a similar manner. With an average personal debt of 170 percent of annual income, British households are even further indebted than the Americans. And interest rates kept artificially low by the Bank of England are still feeding this bubble. Sooner or later, a rise in interest rates is inevitable — at which point domestic demand could take a nose dive. (via Speculators Eye Next Prey: How Safe Is Britain’s Proud Pound? – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International. Parts excised, punctuation provided).

If everyone is part of the Government, who will you tax?

If everyone is part of the Government, who will you tax?

Safe for now

In the short run, Britain may be safe. Redemption 14 years away, debt designated in GBP and issued out of London. With the unraveling of the Bretton Woods, London’s reign at the cross-roads of the world capital markets, may be thin and short-lived. A seemingly probable scenario is an increase in interest rates will increase defaults by British households unwinding British banks.

But in the meantime, Britain will need to place additional debt to tide over the next 10 years. Britain (and the world) will see another cycle of recession, inflation and economic dislocation. The main difficulty for Britain will be placement of new debt when the new crises hit the world. Considering the frequency of financial crises, Asian Crisis (1997), the Tech Meltdown (2000), The Great Recession (2008), Britain will face a fresh crises soon.

Will there be takers for British debt then?

Population Break up of UK  |  Source - ons.gov.uk

Population Break up of UK | Source - ons.gov.uk

Debt and demographics

The other element in this equation is the size of the British public sector. The British public sector with “6.1 million people on the state payroll, (and) an increase of about 900,000 in 13 years.”

From a population of some 60 million. And a working population of some 30 million. From a working population of some 30 million, the British Public Sector (significantly) funded by the Government) employs some 6 million.

Britain and Europe - One huge public sector nation!

Britain and Europe - One huge public sector nation!

The coming storm

For every four private sector employee, there is one public-sector employee. If India were to follow this model, the Indian tax payer would be burdened with 10 crore public-sector employees.

Add another 2.5 million unemployed, who are also taken care of by the State. Add another 8.0 million inactive people (largely students) who are subsidized. a working population of some 29-30 million supports 15-17 million people from the public sector, unemployed, inactive. Add to this difficult situation, an aging British population. A perfect recipe for an economic disaster. Most promises of public sector cutbacks are met with disbelief and incredulity.

This may soon turn Britain into a nation from the Government, for the Government and by the Government.


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