Over the first three weeks of this year, banking giant Barclays has lost 62 percent of its value. The Royal Bank of Scotland is down 78 percent, and Lloyds Banking Group has plummeted 69 percent. Even London-based international banking group HSBC Holdings has fallen 25 percent. The frightening part of this news is what one analyst says: “The UK financial sector is in collapse. Rather than let the banks fail, the government is risking it all in one giant high-stakes gamble to prop up the system. It is really a no-win situation, however: Even if the bet pays off, the best the economy can expect is a slow grind-down. If the bet doesnít pay off, the UK faces national bankruptcy. The fate of Britainís whole economy may hang on this gamble.”
You can read the full article here. It is well worth reading, since I think the UK is just a little ahead of the US, and a fair bellweather. The article is titled UK Gambles National Solvency to Bail Out Banks.