Most of us have to accept we are going to lose from this financial crisis.
Here in the UK the financial losses are going to be large. All homeowners are going to lose a substantial part of the capital value of their home. Some homeowners will lose their home, as they give up the struggle to pay the mortgage. Anyone with shares held directly, or through an investment fund or through a pension fund has already lost a lot. People owning businesses will find it more difficult to make a good living in the year ahead, and the value of their business will fall.
The issue for the authorities is simply this. How big a crash do they want? The Central banks triggered all this, by first allowing an overexpansion of credit and debt, and then deciding they wanted to bring the borrowing party to an end. Some of the banks lent too much to the wrong people on a large scale. Now we need to know how much they want to cut total debt by?
Meanwhile the UK is having one of its idiotic arguments about whether we need more or less regulation, as if this were the issue. I know of no serious commentator on money, credit and the economy who thinks the authorities should wash their hands of responsibility for controlling total money and credit in the system. The issue is not whether to do it, but how to do it. Clearly the method chosen in the last ten years did not work. Credit was not properly controlled on the way up, and is now imploding dangerously.Large amounts of new mortgage regulation did not regulate the main things that matter – how much credit is lent in total, and how much to each individual in relation to the home value and income.
Concerted interest rate cuts on a big scale would help a recovery . It would also take some of the pressure off borrowers. To those that say this in unfair on savers, I say it is necessary for savers protection. As the Icelandic banks have shown, it does not help to offer savers a good rate of interest if the borrowers that pay the interest to the banks can’t afford it and the bank runs out of money to pay the savers.