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The second bailout for British banks was dead on arrival. The markets greeted the 19th January announcement with sharp falls in both bank shares and sterling. Investors fretted over the rapid deterioration in public finances. They should have worried more about the faulty logic underpinning the scheme.

The assumption that banks are not lending is wrong. They are, but only to other financial corporations, like leasing companies, hedge funds, pension funds, brokers and so on. These organisations have been unable to access the wholesale financial markets since the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the downward spiral in house prices. So…

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