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Lender of first resort

British manufacturing needs the banks, says David Kern

By David Kern   October 2011

The financial crisis has prompted a reassessment of the British economy and the role of the financial sector. Though the causes of the crisis are complex, a consensus has emerged that regards bankers’ greed and recklessness as the ultimate cause of the debacle. Any long-term solution must entail reforming the banks, and imposing restrictions to prevent similar disasters in future. While politicians in many countries have exploited anti-bank sentiments, they have also realised that “punishing the banks” can have damaging consequences, and may abort hopes of recovery.

These dilemmas are particularly acute in Britain. London is one of the two…

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