Another day, another rescue. This time on the other side of the Atlantic. HBOS, the UK’s largest mortgage lender, with a 20% market share, announced this morning that it was being rescued via a merger with the Lloyds TSB bank. The deal was brokered by the UK government. UK Finance Minister, Alastair Darling, told the BBC that without the deal, HBOS’s future ‘was very bleak indeed’.
As readers will remember, Darling rather surprised financial markets last month by suggesting that today’s economic times ‘are the worst they’ve been in 60 years’. But his assessment has now been confirmed by former US Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan, who says it is a ‘once-in-a-century’ financial crisis. Greenspan added that it must have ‘a significant impact on the real economy globally, and I think that indeed is what is in the process of occurring’.