The City has had to wake up. For the past year, economists, investors and financial strategists have barely bothered to think what Scottish independence would mean. The view has been: what's the point of worrying about something that the polls say won't happen?
That complacency has been exploded by the opinion poll that showed the no campaign with a lead of just 53% to 47%. Suddenly the question is: what if it does happen?
"The near-term fallout could be serious," says
That worry appears already to be affecting sterling, which hit a seven-month low against the dollar yesterday at
Amid the unresolved question of an independent
Thinktank Capital Economics says: "We would not be surprised if the Bank of
Bankers themselves, however, wonder how such a policy could be implemented in practice: their systems are not designed to disallow transfers between Scottish and English branches.
Instead, it is the currency question that now obsesses the City.
It is the credibility of Westminster's hardball threats on a currency union that markets would almost certainly want to test. Markets can force events and a mini-sterling crisis might be the quickest way to resolve uncertainties.
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