Britain Cuts Rates to Lowest Since 1694

That's when the Bank of England was established
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2016 9:50 AM CDT
Britain Cuts Rates to Lowest Since 1694
Mark Carney, head of the Bank of England, pauses during the quarterly report press conference at the Bank of England in central London on Thursday.   (Justin Tallis/Pool via AP)

(Newser) – In an attempt to shore up a post-Brexit economy, the Bank of England did something Thursday it hasn't done since 2009: cut interest rates. The rates went from 0.5% to 0.25%, the lowest they've been since the bank's beginnings in 1694, the Atlantic reports. And there may even be another cut coming, bringing rates "close to, but a little above, zero," says Mark Carney, the head of the UK's central bank, per the AP. Other measures announced Thursday to give the British economy a push: a cheap lending program aimed at banks, as well as a bond-buying stimulus initiative. From around the Internet:

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  • Both the Express and the Guardian lay out what the rate cut means for consumers, including the "pain" it will bring for nest-egg builders, the "good news" it offers to those holding variable-rate mortgages, and the changes people can expect to their retirement funds.
  • The banks will have their own repercussions to face. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the pressures in front of them and how they're being "coy" on how the rate drop may affect savers.
  • Quartz goes back through the last seven years in the UK, examining the "signals" that were sent over that period about future potential rate changes.
  • Local small-business owners talked to Elite Business right before the rate change was approved to give their take on the decrease.
  • Opposing viewpoints: an opinion piece in the Independent that says "the time is right" for such a change, while an Evening Standard commentary notes the dangers of adjusting this "instrument of social justice."
(Read more Britain stories.)

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