Today's London Times is reporting that
[Chancellor of the Exchequer] Alistair Darling is preparing to announce an unprecedented £50bn bailout [about $100 billion USD] of Britain's banking system in an effort to save the housing market from collapse.
The Chancellor will tomorrow tell the Commons that the Bank of England is to allow lenders to swap their assets for Government backed bonds in a move intended to restore confidence.
from the article:
“We believe that this will be an essential step in trying to get the financial market stabilised. That in turn will help the mortgage market too,” the Chancellor told BBC 1’s Andrew Marr show.
He warned, however, that in return he expected that “banks begin now to disclose the extent of their losses and explain how they are going to rebuild their capital”.
He denied that the arraignment will expose tax-payers, already saddled with Northern Rock, to yet more financial risk.
As one of the commenters on the article says:
"A £50 billion for a load of crocked loans. I've got some rubbish in my shed, wonder how much Darling will offer for that."