Friday 29 January 2010

UK bank credit ratings downgraded

Last night Standard & Poors, the credit rating agency ("S&P"), downgraded the ratings on British banks.

To quote them, “we no longer classify the United Kingdom among the most stable and low-risk banking systems globally". Read the article for more details, but if you have been paying any attention then this will be of little surprise to you I think.

Significant as this certainly is, this is in my opinion but a precursor to the main event that almost certainly will come to pass: the downgrading of the rating below AAA on British government debt. That will be when things really start to get interesting. It is impossible for any company domiciled in a given country to have a rating that is higher than that of the nation's government -- so downgrading the UK government, means necessarily all UK businesses will also be downgraded at the same time.

I don't need to tell you I'm sure, that a lower rating means higher borrowing costs. Or possibly no borrowing.

Let's include a snapshot of how much we each have to pay back of Gordon's national debt, for posterity and so we can look back in the future and see how much it changed...

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