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Friday, December 2, 2011

King warns of 'spiral' into systemic economic crisis and... weakened banks

The governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, offered some disturbing and silly remarks to the public today.

Eurozone woes have created “an exceptionally threatening environment” as falling government bond prices, eroding confidence and asset fire sales threaten to “spiral” into a systemic financial crisis, the governor of the Bank of England has warned... King urged the UK financial system to continue building up capital against an “extraordinarily serious” situation it had not created and could not solve.

“The crisis in the euro area is one of solvency not liquidity. And the interconnectedness of major banks means the banking systems and economies around the world are all affected. Only the governments directly involved can find a way out of this crisis,” he said.

Underscoring their concern, Sir Mervyn and Hector Sants, head of the Financial Services Authority, revealed that the watchdog was allowing UK banks to dip into their liquidity buffers when they encountered funding squeezes.

Far be it from me to second-guess a genius like Sir Mervyn, but doesn't alerting the public to potential shortages of liquid capital at retail financial institutions risk, er, bank runs?

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