Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Britain's biggest house builder is in rude health. In a trading update on Wednesday Barratt Developments said pre-tax profits in the first six months should more than double to Â£45m. Contrast this with 2008 when the company almost went bust. Back then Barratt, which accumulated huge debts at the height of the boom buying rival developers, was effectively in the hands of its banks. But through the goodwill and economic sense of the taxpayer, via Gordon Brown's office in the Treasury, Barratt was saved. The government told the banks to lay off indebted businesses, especially property firms (to save the housing market). It also came up with a Â£1bn lending scheme and grants for the building industry.