08 September 2022
Mizuho Securities’ head of global macro strategies has warned that an IMF bailout may be in the U.K.’s future. Moreover, a former chancellor of the exchequer cautioned that Britain is entering a long and severe recession, emphasizing that it’s “the worst since 1990 and it may be the worst since before that.”
Peter Chatwell, head of global macro strategies at Mizuho Securities, shared his outlook for the U.K. economy in an interview on Bloomberg Television Monday.
He explained that Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, has promised fiscal policy that the British government cannot afford. He also does not expect the Bank of England to be able to get inflation anywhere near its 2% mandate anytime soon.
“I’m thinking of two potential crises that this reminds me of,” the Mizuho strategist said. Noting that one of them is the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992, he opined:
And then I’m thinking about the possibility of an IMF bailout, like in 1976.
Truss, a former British foreign minister, succeeded Boris Johnson and was appointed the new U.K. prime minister by Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday, beating former Chancellor of the Exchequer Ruchi Sanuk.
In September 1976, as the pound hit a record low, James Callaghan’s Labor government asked the IMF for a $3.9 billion loan, which was the largest amount ever requested from the IMF at that time.
Chatwell was not the only one seeing the possibility of an IMF bailout in the U.K.’s future. Deutsche Bank strategist Shreyas Gopal said Monday that “A balance of payments funding crisis may sound extreme, but it is not unprecedented,” elaborating:
A combination of aggressive fiscal spending, severe energy shock, and a slide in sterling ultimately resulted in the U.K. having recourse to an IMF loan in the mid 1970s.
“Today, the U.K. does retain some key lines of defense against a sudden stop, but we worry that the risks are rising nevertheless,” the strategist detailed.
Former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer Ken Clarke said Tuesday: “We are plainly likely to enter a long and perhaps quite severe recession. Certainly the worst since 1990 and it may be the worst since before that.”
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