Tuesday 18 December 2007

Has Northern Rock been nationalised

I know, I know, I am beginning to sounds like Robert Preston, always posting about Northern Rock.

Nonetheless the Government engaged in some classic spinning today. Early this morning it decided to back the Granite bondholders of Northern Rock, which has added at least £17 billion to the amount owed to the Government. However, this has in effect been the last straw to privatising Northern Rock.

The market in shares is now utterly false, in that the shareholders will have no claim on the company in administration, nor do they have any influence over management decisions.

Despite this de facto nationalisation, Brown spins away saying they are looking at a private solution. This is true in the technical sense that the Government wishes to be rid of its Rock, but it/we now own all the major assets and have guaranteed all the others.

Then tonight it emerges that Bradford and Bingley wishes to buy into the Rock. Well, we all have so why not. Who would not want to own a mortgage company that issues mortgages with AAA rated guarantees from the Government? Not only this, but many in the City see B&B as the next most vulnerable company after NR. So perhaps a clever play on their part to get involved now before their own model (buy to let, in this case) fails in the face of the credit crunch.

Interesting times indeed.


Anonymous said...

B&B have a totally different model than NR, I doubt they are the next most vulnerable, and rely heavily on savings.

Mark Wadsworth said...


Old BE said...

Looks like some ID fraudsters have taken out a new loan in each of our names!

Makes the missing discs look trivial.

Amazing to watch one's personal wealth drop by the day.

hatfield girl said...

At least when the Mussolini regime took over failing enterprises the control and ownership went to the state. What do we call New Labour? Under Fascism?

Sackerson said...

I was thinking of changing my name to match my licence plate, the cheapest way to personalisation. But maybe I should change it to Northern Rock, so the government will assume all my liabilities.

Nick Drew said...

On the B&B move: interestingly (well, interesting to me) the Enron end-game included an attempted takeover - at 30 cents on the $ - of Enron by rival Dynegy in November 2001

It fell through (by virtue of being a barking-mad idea) and Dynegy itself went to the very brink of Ch 11 a few months later: it was even more thinly capitalised than the Big E

BTW, the US Govt - chock full of Enron cronies - never even considered bailing it out, even though it was the pre-eminent market-maker in the energy industry worldwide, and many were counselling that the lights would go out without Enron

I can reveal (and you will not be surprised to learn) that some in the DTI were contemplating bailing out Enron-UK !

Anonymous said...

One of the problems with half of our politics being dominated for years by the great stupidity that is Socialism, was that there was little political space left for intelligent criticism of how actual, existing capitalism functioned. If everyone on the Right is busy defending free markets from Moscow's friends, and the Left simply wants to steal everything, where is anyone else to find an audience? Yet another blow by Socialists against Western Civilisation, in my view. Why on earth don't we round the fuckers up and hang them?

CityUnslicker said...

Anon - strongly disagree re B&B, they may not have the short term borrowing issues, but they have the sub-prime buy to let market sown up.

They have already been forced into one asset fire sale. So I think ND's comparisons to Dynergy are apt.

Ed & Sackerson - a nice christmas pressie to us from Gordon the munificent.

HG - The spin is incredible, they think we will swallow anything.

Dearime - We need access to The Hitch's gun case...

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