December 25th 2007
Interest Rate Story Hurts Pound
The British Pound has been reeling since the Bank of England cut rates at the beginning of this month, from 5.75% to 5.50%. Last week, the minutes for the meeting were released. They revealed that that members of the Bank were growing increasingly nervous about the state of the British economy and are worrying particularly about how fallout from the credit crunch will impact growth. British interest rates are still among the highest in the industrialized world, behind only Australia and New Zealand. Thus, it seems investors are punishing the Pound indirectly for the rate cuts, because of fears concerning the near-term prognosis for the British economy. At the same time, the minutes indicated that members of the Bank were adamant about not lowering rates further, so some of the concerns may be overblown.