Britain Set To Announce New Bank Rescue Plan

Britain will most likely unveil its latest scheme to rescue its banks and by extension its economy tomorrow morning. Early indications are that they are tending towards the same set of solutions as it appears the new Obama administration will pursue.

Specifically, the aim is to jack up bank lending to consumers. Reuters is reporting this evening that the plan looks something like this:

The multi-pronged plan is aimed at getting banks lending again to credit-starved consumers and companies.

“The essential problem is the resumption of lending,” Prime Minister Gordon Brown told reporters on a trip to Egypt ahead of figures this week that are expected to confirm the British economy is now in recession for the first time since 1992. 

In the United States, President-elect Barack Obama is also trying to figure out how the second half of a $700 billion bailout package can be administered so credit will flow again, as the debt crunch and weakening economies drive businesses to the wall across the world. 

Brown is playing for high political stakes. He was applauded for his initial response to the financial crisis, but a poll published on Sunday showed his party falling further behind the opposition Conservatives, with the next general election due by mid-2010. 

Britain had already pumped 37 billion pounds ($55 billion) into its banks in October. 

Under Brown’s latest plan, lenders would have to identify their riskiest assets which they could then insure with the government for a fee. 

They would still be liable for initial losses but could at least put in a ceiling, boosting confidence.

It’s not worth getting wrought up about this until the final plans is officially announced. Suffice it to say, that government of the U.K. seems to be drinking the same Kool-Aid as the Fed. Having seen both economies implode through the improvident use of consumer credit, they seem to feel that the solution is to resurrect that regime.

More tomorrow on this subject.

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