Tuesday 24 November 2009

Can you keep a £61 billion secret?

Is there a legitimate case for not revealing an additional £36 billion for RBS and £25 billion for HBOS advanced by the Bank of England as lender of last resort in Autumn 2008? Faisal Islam of Channel 4 news can see the case after the Northern Rock experience the year before.

But, no doubt rueing the scoop that got away, the BBC's Robert Peston is sceptical. He notes that the precedent could create uncertainty as to what 'covert ops' are underway.

Julia Finch is among those to note that the disclosure can be taken as a sign that market confidence has returned.

The scale of the further loans demonstrate how near collapse those banks - and the banking system were. Which makes it all the more surprising that so many in the financial sector now think they might be largely successful in getting back to business as usual.

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