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The Fed is Already Insolvent -- Here's How We Think This Plays Out

• https://www.activistpost.com, By Simon Black

The tone of the meeting must have felt frantic… even desperate… because the value of the British pound had been falling for weeks.

Investors and speculators were rapidly losing confidence in the UK government, mostly due to the ridiculous "Exchange Rate Mechanism" (ERM) which essentially pegged most European currencies to the German Deutschemark.

Rational investors viewed the ERM as an almost comical impossibility.

Germany's economy was light years ahead of everyone else. Germany had vastly higher productivity, far greater savings, low inflation, high growth, and much more responsible monetary policy.

So, to even pretend that a country like Italy or even Britain could fix its exchange rate to the Deutschemark, i.e. to essentially mirror Germany's economic performance– was a total joke.

Britain joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism in October 1990. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had spent years trying to keep Britain out of the ERM, viewing it as giving up national sovereignty.

But Thatcher was about to retire. And the new batch of leaders insisted that pegging Britain's economy to Germany was the way forward.

Their experiment didn't even last two years. By the summer of 1992, inflation in Britain was more than 3x Germany's. Plus, Britain had a major budget deficit.

Financial speculators correctly recognized, given the massive disconnect between the British and German economies, that Britain would not be able to maintain its fixed exchange rate with the Deutschemark.

So, traders began short selling the British pound, i.e. betting that the value of the pound would fall because the British government would devalue its currency.

The sell-off reached a crisis on September 15th, when the head of Germany's central bank suggested to the Wall Street Journal that weaker countries (like Britain) would have to devalue their currencies.

That's what led the British Chancellor of the Exchequer and head of the Bank of England– the two most powerful policymakers in British government finance– to meet that evening.


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