Sterling remains one of our least favourite currencies. We have frequently highlighted the terrible state of the UK economy, and the baleful effects the heavy private and public debt loads are having on its long-term health. This places the burden on the external sector, eg exports and earnings from overseas investments, to revitalize the UK economy. A weaker currency is the easiest and quickest way to increase the competitiveness of the external sector.
In the aftermath of the Lehman bankruptcy, the Bank of England helped engineer a 25% weakening of sterling. But this was not enough, and the current account and trade deficit have shown no signs of a sustainable pick-up.
In the second part of the Eyes Wide Shut series we examine how the UK’s economic freedom has come down to a circular relationship between the BoE, the banks, bondholders and householders. Each component threatens to undermine the other leading to a loss of faith in the UK as a currency issuer. Most likely in the aftermath of such event there will be a dialogue on how to reset the system. If the diagnosis of the malaise is not accurately explained the risk of resuming the current monetary system will be high. So we offer the explanation and we offer solutions of our own and those of the Cobden Centre, whilst not exhaustive or detailed, they are an outline for real dialogue.