Wednesday 21 February 2018

The City has history on its side as we try to solve Brexit paradox

A worker shelters from the rain as he passes the London Stock Exchange in the City of London
A worker shelters from the rain as he passes the London Stock Exchange in the City of London
Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

Occasionally, when I want to refresh my memory as to how English can be written - and on financial matters too - I dip into Walter Bagehot's 'Lombard Street'.

Reading the elegant late Victorian prose is like eating well-hung grouse; a marvellous experience if a bit rich for modern tastes. A little goes a long way.

The ideas of 'The Economist' newspaper's famous 19th-century editor, and inventor of crisis management, are far from out of date though. His maxim that central banks should support only solvent banks in difficulty - and then at penal interest rates - has been held to explain the Bank of England's initial ham-fisted response to the 2007 crisis.

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