Monday, 27 April 2009

Guarantees and asset purchases - is there a way out?

The UK's financial system has become nothing more than an appendage of the state.

Take, for example, commercial bank debt issuance. Since the government began guaranteeing commercial bank debt back in September last year, virtually all UK bank fixed rate senior debt issuance has received a public guarantee.

As for the Bank of England, it gave away its independence long ago. Its primary role these days is buying up UK government debt. Since the Bank of England to introduce the Asset Purchase Scheme, it has mostly bought UK government paper.

At 26 March, purchases totaled £15 billion, of which just £128 million comprised of corporate bonds; while £1.9 billion was of commercial paper. The rest, some £13 billion comprised of gilts.

How will the UK government wind down this massive state aid for the financial system. How will the commercial banks survive without those guarantees? How will the bond market survive with those massive purchases from the Bank of England?

I very much doubt whether the geniuses that thought up these schemes spent much time thinking about exit strategies.

1 comment:

Josh said...

It is a state owned financial system now.