MONEY: A Bundle for Britain

Until recently, a grim joke among international moneymen was that British bankers were preparing a special Bicentennial gift for the U.S.: a pound worth $ 1.776. Two weeks ago, the laughter grew thin; sterling fell to $1.705, down from $2.02 as recently as March. The pound's collapse threatened to weaken the international monetary system and cast a shadow over the industrial world's quickening recovery. Then last week a spate of good news buoyed the pound. Its value climbed to $1.771 at week's end, raising hopes that the worst of the sterling crisis might be over.

The biggest lift came from reports...