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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 04:31 AM   #1
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Britain loses AAA rating



http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...ne-britain-aaa

Britain was stripped of its AAA-rated debt status for the first time ever on Friday night in a move that puts pressure on George Osborne, who had pledged to use his austerity measures to protect the rating.

The chancellor, who had 12 hours' notice of the decision by Moody's ratings agency, insisted he would stick to his course and had "redoubled" his resolve to tackle Britain's financial problems. However, the downgrading will have major political implications for the coalition.

Labour and the Tories acknowledge that the next election is likely to be decided on the debate over the best way of fixing the economy. Osborne, however, will be forced to listen to a series of opposing politicians reminding him of his previous promises that he would maintain Britain's top rating. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls saidon Friday: "This credit rating downgrade is a humiliating blow to a prime minister and chancellor who said keeping our AAA rating was the test of their economic and political credibility."

Moody's, the first of the major agencies to remove the UK from the elite club of AAA countries, blamed "subdued growth" and a "high and rising debt burden" for the decision to cut the rating by one notch to AA1.

The rating is significant because it can affect a country's cost of borrowing and is also symbolic to governments determined to prove their economic credentials. Sterling may now be expected to come under pressure on foreign exchange markets.

Osborne, who has often cited the importance of the triple-A status said: "Tonight we have a stark reminder of the debt problems facing our country – and the clearest possible warning to anyone who thinks we can run away from dealing with those problems. Far from weakening our resolve to deliver our economic recovery plan, this decision redoubles it. We will go on delivering the plan that has cut the deficit by a quarter, and given us record low interest rates and record numbers of jobs."

As far back as February 2010, he told an audience of Tory activists: "What investor is going to come to the UK when they fear a downgrade of our credit rating and a collapse of confidence?" In the Tory manifesto, published weeks later, he said: "We will safeguard Britain's credit rating with a credible plan to eliminate the bulk of the structural deficit over a parliament."
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 11:15 AM   #2
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

Uh oh.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 11:33 AM   #3
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

I'm sure Britain is worried to death because of this downgrade
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 11:37 AM   #4
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Waiting for the Sarkozy nostalgics to cry me a river about it. Jesus.

They use GB as a model " LOOK THEY STILL HAVE THEIR AAA !!!!1 SARKOZY PLS COME BAACK" then when the GB votes the gay marriage bill , they are like "WHATEVER WE ARE NOT THE BRITISH, god they are so lost"

Anyway, not a big drama, I am not sure those grades are that valuable. Many economists question their importance as well, as it actually has a negative impact.

Hopefully we will all sort the crisis out.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

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Originally Posted by Lesborah View Post
Waiting for the Sarkozy nostalgics to cry me a river about it. Jesus.

They use GB as a model " LOOK THEY STILL HAVE THEIR AAA !!!!1 SARKOZY PLS COME BAACK" then when the GB votes the gay marriage bill , they are like "WHATEVER WE ARE NOT THE BRITISH, god they are so lost"

Anyway, not a big drama, I am not sure those grades are that valuable. Many economists question their importance as well, as it actually has a negative impact.

Hopefully we will all sort the crisis out.
It's all highly academic and not a practically useful rating at all to be honest; given that the USA's AAA was downgraded back in 2011 that was the whole world's debt downgraded, in effect. China has used its capital surplus in buying billions and billions $ of US Treasury bonds, if the US was unable to repay its debts, China would also be "screwed" to use the vernacular.

The idea of a G8 country defaulting on its debt obligations is just unthinkable. It would result in total economic collapse of the world economy.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 04:36 PM   #6
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

The Britain still hasn't paid off their £167million debt from the Napoleonic Wars.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 06:28 PM   #7
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

All the taxes and NI we pay (those of us that pay taxes and NI) cannot cover the annual bill for our Welfare State: state benefits, NHS and state pensions.

What can any Government do? Short of a cul of those on benefits who don't/won't work, a cul of the rapidly ageing population in old folks homes (many of whom haven't a clue who they are or where they are), stripping wealthy pensioners and homeowners of their luxuries, a cul of anyone in prison, population control, and limiting the NHS to solely life and death situations, there is no way the UK can continue as is. The problem is millions have got used to living for free and taking more than they've given. No one will give anything up, but future generations will pay big time and will look back with hatred and disdain at the current population. No Government will be elected who says they'll do what actually has to be done: take the country back to the living standards and aspirations of the 1930s- 50s. Or raise taxes to the levels of the 1970s. Or as I say have a cul.

Maybe a good old fashioned epidemic or famine might sort it out. I can't remember the term I learned at school for the belief that ever now and then a new disease comes along to redress the natural balance.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 06:55 PM   #8
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

This is what happens to countries which run out of oil...


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Originally Posted by antonella View Post
The Britain still hasn't paid off their £167million debt from the Napoleonic Wars.
Don't have to. Interest in those bonds is so low there is no point ever paying them back.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 01:15 PM   #9
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Londoner View Post
All the taxes and NI we pay (those of us that pay taxes and NI) cannot cover the annual bill for our Welfare State: state benefits, NHS and state pensions.

What can any Government do? Short of a cul of those on benefits who don't/won't work, a cul of the rapidly ageing population in old folks homes (many of whom haven't a clue who they are or where they are), stripping wealthy pensioners and homeowners of their luxuries, a cul of anyone in prison, population control, and limiting the NHS to solely life and death situations, there is no way the UK can continue as is. The problem is millions have got used to living for free and taking more than they've given. No one will give anything up, but future generations will pay big time and will look back with hatred and disdain at the current population. No Government will be elected who says they'll do what actually has to be done: take the country back to the living standards and aspirations of the 1930s- 50s. Or raise taxes to the levels of the 1970s. Or as I say have a cul.

Maybe a good old fashioned epidemic or famine might sort it out. I can't remember the term I learned at school for the belief that ever now and then a new disease comes along to redress the natural balance.
Interesting. Nature used to be very good at keeping a lid on things. However we have become good at overcoming a lot of the things that nature throws at us. Also nature used to be able to do its work with less interference from us because we had neither the ability to intervene nor did we have the instant knowledge about what was happening everywhere else in the world that now triggers our intervention.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 09:49 PM   #10
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Londoner View Post
All the taxes and NI we pay (those of us that pay taxes and NI) cannot cover the annual bill for our Welfare State: state benefits, NHS and state pensions.

What can any Government do? Short of a cul of those on benefits who don't/won't work, a cul of the rapidly ageing population in old folks homes (many of whom haven't a clue who they are or where they are), stripping wealthy pensioners and homeowners of their luxuries, a cul of anyone in prison, population control, and limiting the NHS to solely life and death situations, there is no way the UK can continue as is. The problem is millions have got used to living for free and taking more than they've given. No one will give anything up, but future generations will pay big time and will look back with hatred and disdain at the current population. No Government will be elected who says they'll do what actually has to be done: take the country back to the living standards and aspirations of the 1930s- 50s. Or raise taxes to the levels of the 1970s. Or as I say have a cul.

Maybe a good old fashioned epidemic or famine might sort it out. I can't remember the term I learned at school for the belief that ever now and then a new disease comes along to redress the natural balance.
They could just stop all the immigrants who receive benefits.

Socialism just does not work. History has proven this over and over again.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 10:05 PM   #11
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Williamsser View Post
They could just stop all the immigrants who receive benefits.

Socialism just does not work. History has proven this over and over again.
What you're proposing would be a disaster. The extremely pro-free market The Economist (as are all the beloved businessmen you love) are vehemently against that because immigrants are vital to an economy. Especially in places like Europe with continually aging populations. If you start to cut off the immigrants the countries will begin aging at an increasing speed and the workforce will begin to shrink. You only need to look at Japan to prove this. They have an extremely small amount of immigrants, their population is aging at a ridiculously high rate, and their economy is stalling. Literally about all the economists watching Japan's economy are begging the Japanese government to find a way to entice immigrants to Japan. The fact that so many Republicans are both pro-free market and big business yet at the same time are against immigration is hilarious. Immigration is the best way to replenish a workforce when the country has low birth rates and a population that is living longer every generation.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 10:34 PM   #12
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

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Originally Posted by dybbuk View Post
What you're proposing would be a disaster. The extremely pro-free market The Economist (as are all the beloved businessmen you love) are vehemently against that because immigrants are vital to an economy. Especially in places like Europe with continually aging populations. If you start to cut off the immigrants the countries will begin aging at an increasing speed and the workforce will begin to shrink. You only need to look at Japan to prove this. They have an extremely small amount of immigrants, their population is aging at a ridiculously high rate, and their economy is stalling. Literally about all the economists watching Japan's economy are begging the Japanese government to find a way to entice immigrants to Japan. The fact that so many Republicans are both pro-free market and big business yet at the same time are against immigration is hilarious. Immigration is the best way to replenish a workforce when the country has low birth rates and a population that is living longer every generation.
Very true. Countries like Germany are in big trouble because of their demographic crises...

I also find it hilarious that people in favor of capitalism are against immigration. You don't think that big business SUPPORTS immigration? A cheap labor force to increase their profit margins? Really? Don't be stupid. It's the unions (oh no, socialism!!!) that tend to be against immigration -- just look at the United States. Congress basically outsourced immigration reform to big business and the unions because the logic was that if those two could work it out, the legislature could. I'm sick of this simplistic thinking that immigrants are parasites on a country's resources. It's not a one way street.

Considering how the financial system in the US near collapsed due to unregulated capitalism and how Spain's economy HAS collapsed because of the private sector, I doubt capitalism has been proven unsinkable either.

Also, with regards to the UK, these austerity policies are what got their economy into trouble in the first place. Their economy began to decline around the same time the US's did--the US adopted a stimulus policy (which was actually quite lower than what many economists were advocating) while the UK adopted austerity. Look at the results: the US has had a slow, but steady recovery while the UK has only continued a downward spiral.

This New Yorker article is a really good explanation:

Quote:
In making his annual Autumn Statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was forced to admit that his government has failed to meet a series of targets it set for itself back in June of 2010, when it slashed the budgets of various government departments by up to thirty per cent. Back then, Osborne said that his austerity policies would cut his country’s budget deficit to zero within four years, enable Britain to begin relieving itself of its public debt, and generate healthy economic growth. None of these things have happened. Britain’s deficit remains stubbornly high, its people have been suffering through a double-dip recession, and many observers now expect the country to lose its “AAA” credit rating.

[...]

At every stage of the experiment, critics (myself included) have warned that Osborne’s austerity policies would prove self-defeating. Any decent economics textbook will tell you that, other things being equal, cutting government spending causes the economy’s overall output to fall, tax revenues to decrease, and spending on benefits to increase. Almost invariably, the end result is slower growth (or a recession) and high budget deficits. Osborne, relying on arguments about restoring the confidence of investors and businessmen that his forebears at the U.K. Treasury used during the early nineteen-thirties against Keynes, insisted (and continues to insist) otherwise, but he has been proven wrong.

[...]

Before the last election there, which took place in May, 2010, the U.K.’s economy appeared to be slowly recovering from the deep slump of 2008-09 that followed the housing bust and global financial crisis. Just like the Bush Administration (2008) and the Obama Administration (2009), Gordon Brown’s Labour government had introduced a fiscal stimulus to help turn the economy around. G.D.P. was growing at an annual rate of about 2.5 per cent. Once Osborne’s cuts in spending started to be felt, however, things changed dramatically. In the fourth quarter of 2010, growth turned negative and a double-dip recession began. So far, it has lasted two years. While G.D.P. did expand in the third quarter of this year, the Office of Budget Responsibility, an independent economic agency that Osborne set up, has said that it expects another decline in the current quarter. For 2013, the O.B.R. is forecasting G.D.P. growth of just 1.3 per cent. With the economy so weak, the O.B.R. says that the unemployment rate will tick up from eight per cent to 8.2 per cent next year.
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blog...esnt-work.html
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 01:14 AM   #13
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

Quote:
Originally Posted by dybbuk View Post
What you're proposing would be a disaster. The extremely pro-free market The Economist (as are all the beloved businessmen you love) are vehemently against that because immigrants are vital to an economy. Especially in places like Europe with continually aging populations. If you start to cut off the immigrants the countries will begin aging at an increasing speed and the workforce will begin to shrink. You only need to look at Japan to prove this. They have an extremely small amount of immigrants, their population is aging at a ridiculously high rate, and their economy is stalling. Literally about all the economists watching Japan's economy are begging the Japanese government to find a way to entice immigrants to Japan. The fact that so many Republicans are both pro-free market and big business yet at the same time are against immigration is hilarious. Immigration is the best way to replenish a workforce when the country has low birth rates and a population that is living longer every generation.
I don't think that's a big problem. While I favor immigration what Japan has chosen is to preserve its culture and values ( +side: no rioting and looting in the streets even after an earthquake) and that's not a bad strategy when you need fewer workers overall in an increasingly automated society and has chosen to use robots instead. That's a much better strategy than the one Europeans follow where a lot of immigrants qualify for welfare benefits from the day they land and never need to work. In America we don't offer that many benefits so they still have to work. As Von Hayek observed more than half a century ago when the European welfare states were being instituted you cannot have a welfare state with open borders.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 03:13 AM   #14
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

Given the LIBOR scandal, this is long overdue, no?
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #15
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Re: Britain loses AAA rating

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Originally Posted by Williamsser View Post
They could just stop all the immigrants who receive benefits.

Socialism just does not work. History has proven this over and over again.
The right wing media portray immigration as the problem, but it's not. The overwhelming number of immigrants work. I live in a 'nice' part of London. The porter in our apartment block is from Columiba, the shops, dry cleaners, chemists are run and staffed by immigrants. The waiters and waitresses in our cafes and restaurants are immigrants. The low paid staff in our hospital: immigrants, as well as most of the nurses and doctors. The men that come to collect rubbish, the traffic wardens, the street cleaners: immigrants. If you want a plumber or electrician or builder: immigrants. Immigrants from all over the World. They are doing the jobs many English born and bred are too lazy to do or train to do. It is virtually impossible to get an 'English' plumber or builder or decorator in London. The over whelming number of people claiming benefits are English born and bred. They consider training for a trade such as plumbing beneath them and too much like hard work - they have got used to sitting at home on benefits. Without immigrants, London would come to a stand still!
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