What are fast business loans in the UK

Great Britain

Yvonne Esterházy

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Great Britain and Ireland correspondent for WirtschaftsWoche in London, 1 Mansel Road, London SW19 4AA, England / UK. [email protected]

2011 will be a difficult year for the UK as the UK has to submit to draconian austerity as a result of the financial crisis and the bailout of the banking system.


Prime Minister David Cameron, elegant in tails and bow ties, came to the venerable Guildhall - the prestigious City Hall of London - in mid-November to reaffirm Great Britain's claim to global leadership. "There is no reason why the rise of new economic powers should lead to a loss of British influence in the world," emphasized the conservative head of government in front of the assembled crème of the British banking world. However, his country must get the economy going again and get the large budget deficit under control in order to maintain its international credibility, Cameron warned his audience.

Three years after the pictures of frightened customers of the shortly thereafter nationalized mortgage bank Northern Rock went around the world in September 2007, queuing on the street to withdraw their savings and thus visually symbolizing the beginning of the financial crisis in Great Britain, the citizens and UK women citizens settling the bill for the excesses of their banks. Under the Labor government, which was voted out in May 2010, the institutes on the island were saved from ruin with taxpayers' money equivalent to just under a trillion euros. In hardly any other large industrialized country had national debt risen as drastically as in Great Britain during the financial crisis. Within four years it shot from 47 to 82 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the budget deficit climbed to eleven percent of GDP.

There are traumatic events in the collective subconscious of every economic nation that shape the way future generations think and act. For Great Britain this is the currency crisis of 1976, when the then Labor Prime Minister Harold Wilson had to ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a billion-dollar injection for the pound. Even today, the penitential walk to Washington in Great Britain is considered a political low point for the former world power. The second major economic humiliation of Great Britain was the forced withdrawal of the pound from the European Monetary System (EMS) on September 16, 1992. The British had joined the EMS two years earlier at an inflated rate. Speculators then bet against the pound. On the instructions of Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, the Bank of England had to raise interest rates from 10 to 15 percent within a few hours on this Black Wednesday before the government capitulated the evening before the overwhelming power of the attacks of the investor Georges Soros and other speculators. Something like that should never happen again. That explains the pace and determination with which today's government is trying to narrow the budget gap plagued by the financial markets. The dramatic situation in neighboring Ireland shows how quickly a country can come to the edge of the abyss.

The British are now preparing for the toughest austerity measures since World War II. "Even the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, hadn't tried anything comparable," said Ben Page of the polling institute Ipsos MORI, alluding to the legendary Conservative Prime Minister who ruled Great Britain from 1979 to 1990 and turned it inside out in her eleven-year term. Thatcher, however, could do whatever she wanted in parliament with an absolute majority.