``Optimists may try to claim that maybe we have scaled the worst of the downturn; a net lending fall from £110 billion to £6 billion in Britain could certainly make one wonder how much worse it can get. Well, home prices haven't really come down in Britain. Or Canada. Or Holland. And they will do so. The British example of falling net lending in the private sector combined with fast rising public lending should serve as a warning sign to every western country. I know what many will say: the US has managed to stave off the worst so far, and at first glance that may appear correct. Still, just a scant few seem to realize at what price that has been achieved. ''

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