Friday, December 29, 2006

The Second World War is now over (for HM Treasury, that is)

One of the most painful experiences of the Atlee government was having to borrow loads of dosh from the US. The good news is that today we have finally paid it back!:

Gordon Brown's officials will (today), at the push of a button, make two electronic transfers of so-called "war loan" across the Atlantic, marking the end of a chapter of British history that began under Labour chancellor Hugh Dalton in 1945. The final payments of the loans, to the United States and Canada, are not negligible - $83.25m (£42.5m) and $22.7m respectively.

...In 1945 Britain borrowed $4.34bn from the US consisting of a $3.75bn line of credit and a "lend-lease" loan facility of $586m. The following year the government agreed a $1.185bn line of credit loan from Canada.

The staggering thing is the rate of interest - 2%!

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