Today, the War Loan issued in 1917 to help finance Britain in World War 1 is finally redeemed. We’ve written about it repeatedly over the years as it has always fascinated us. Was its coupon cut in 1932 a form of default from the UK government? Does George Osborne’s claim that it is being redeemed this year as a result of a tight grip on the public finances ring true?
To commemorate this most interesting of gilts we have made a film about War Loan – one that tells the economic history of the UK through wars, default, the re-joining and leaving of the gold standard, the inflationary 1970s, the loss of the UK’s AAA credit rating, and finally the deflation that has followed the Great Financial Crisis.