18 Nov '11, 9am
We're the losers in the Northern Rock sell-off | James Meadway
Applegarth and Ridley - a staunch libertarian who had once claimed that governments “do not run countries; they parasitise them ” - were forced, cap-in-hand, to the Treasury for an emergency bailout. Government assurances were given to reign in the first run on a UK bank for 140 years. A rescue was needed, but it became clear no reputable buyer would touch the stricken bank. The Treasury was compelled, teeth gritted, to take Northern Rock into public ownership in February 2008, taking on the bank’s festering loan book.