One to watch on the BBC...

Having recently returned from the USA where I was working on a project for two months I find myself with a few days to spare whilst I wait for next assignment. This means that I can work at home.

This also means that I can spend my lunch break watching the BBC's Working Lunch programme. For those not familiar with it I see it as a television programme aimed at small business owners and individuals who want to learn more about business and investing in general. There's no heavy market analysis and the main presenter, Adam Shaw, is happy to be the butt of humorous situations so there is a light-hearted feel to the show.

Today there was a good explanation of the current banking problems where UK banks are increasingly reluctant to lend money to each other and the LIBOR rate (the interest rate at which banks lend money to each other) has now risen to 6.8%, significantly higher that the Bank of England base rate. As Working Lunch pointed out it is likely that future mortgage applicants may well feel the sting of the higher LIBOR rate as they try to obtain funds.

The one topic that the Working Lunch team didn't really pursue was why the banks find themselves in this position in the first place. Whilst the US sub-prime situation was given as an overall reason there was no explanation as to how the UK banks are specifically impacted. To me it seems that they are exposed but no-one is admitting in what way exactly. The other announcement today that the Bank of England is providing £4.4 billion to ease liquidity for overnight trading is another pointer for me that there is still much to unfold about this current situation.

If you are in the UK and you miss the Working Lunch broadcast you can see it via the internet using the BBC broadband player. If you are outside of the UK there is a way to watch the recorded programmes. The site FAQ page gives details. I do recommend watching the show if you can. Note that on Friday it is one hour long as it includes a specific topic where viewers submit questions that are answered by knowledgeable experts.
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