Britain: Time for Miracles

Only three weeks ago, the friendly central banks of eleven countries propped up the faltering pound with $1 billion of aid (TIME, June 24). Last week sterling suffered another sinking spell. At one point it dropped to an exchange rate of $2.7869, its lowest level in 21 months, forcing the Bank of England to dig into the country's slim reserves to shore up the currency.

The 45-day seamen's strike, the government reported, had cost Britain $137 million in gold and dollar reserves during June alone. That meant a four-month drop in reserves of...

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