The British government today rolled out a new bank rescue plan that includes $147 billion to insure troubled mortgage assets, reports the New York Times. It also offers an additional $73.5 billion to the Bank of England to buy up struggling banks’ “high-quality assets” to insure credit lines to some of Britain's biggest companies, explains the Guardian. Prime Minister Gordon Brown tied new bailout funds directly to lending, demanding that banks make credit more available.
Brown ripped the banks, saying their “irresponsible lending” was the root of the current crisis. Britain already has poured nearly $84 billion into the nation’s banks. Brown also said the government was increasing its ownership stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland from 58% to 70%. Britain’s economy is expected to slow dramatically in 2009.