Black Wednesday

   The name given to 16 September 1992, the day on which the Major government was forced to withdraw the pound from the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) as a result of severe currency speculation. In the wake of the rejection of the Maastricht Treaty by the Danish voters in the spring of 1992, ERM currencies trading close to the bottom of their ERM bands came under attack in the foreign exchange markets from currency speculators. When the French Maastricht referendum yielded only a very narrow ‘yes’ vote, speculation which had gathered force in early September began to centre almost exclusively on the pound and the Italian lira. On 16 September, British ministers announced a rise in base interest rate from 10 per cent to 12 per cent in order to encourage speculators to buy sterling. They promised to raise the figure to 15 per cent the following day, but dealers kept selling pounds. By early evening, Chancellor Norman Lamont announced that Britain would leave the ERM.
   Membership of the ERM was the cornerstone of the government’s economic policy. The enforced exit was a devastating blow from which it never fully recovered, for it triggered a loss of trust among voters and an immediate collapse in support among many traditionally sympathetic newspapers. The Conservatives surrendered their reputation for sound economic management.

Glossary of UK Government and Politics . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Black Wednesday — ˌBlack ˈWednesday noun [uncountable] 1. FINANCE Wednesday September 16, 1992, when the British pound was separated from the Exchange Rate Mechanism, and its value fell by a large amount 2. any Wednesday when something bad happens * * * Black… …   Financial and business terms

  • Black Wednesday — [Black Wednesday] Wednesday 14 September 1992, when the British ↑Chancellor of the Exchequer raised interest rates by 5% in one day and spent billions of pounds in an unsuccessful attempt to improve the value of the British currency within the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Black Wednesday — In British politics and economics, Black Wednesday refers to the events of 16 September 1992 when the Conservative government was forced to withdraw the pound from currency fix, the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) after they were unable to …   Wikipedia

  • Black Wednesday — The day when the British government was forced to withdraw the pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. The date of the Black Wednesday crash was September 16, 1992, and five years later the UK Treasury estimated that the loss from that… …   Investment dictionary

  • Black Wednesday — Wednesday, 16 September 1992, when sterling left the Exchange Rate Mechanism, which led to a 15% fall in its value against the Deutschmark (see European Monetary System). Because of the improved economic performance of the UK following this event …   Accounting dictionary

  • Black Wednesday — Wednesday, 16 September 1992, when sterling left the Exchange Rate Mechanism, which led to a 15% fall in its value against the Deutschmark (see European Monetary System). Because of the improved economic performance of the UK following the event …   Big dictionary of business and management

  • Black Wednesday — Wednesday 14 September 1992, when the British Chancellor of the Exchequer raised interest rates by 5% in one day in an unsuccessful attempt to improve the value of the British currency within the exchange rate mechanism. * * * …   Universalium

  • Black Wednesday — /blæk wenzdeɪ/ noun Wednesday, 16th September, 1992, when the pound sterling left the European Exchange Rate Mechanism and was devalued against other currencies COMMENT: Not always seen as ‘black’, since some people believe it was a good thing… …   Dictionary of banking and finance

  • Black Wednesday — /blæk ˈwɛnzdeɪ/ (say blak wenzday) noun 9 January 1878, the day when a large number of public servants were dismissed in Victoria. {ironic variation of Black Thursday} …   Australian English dictionary

  • Black Wednesday (disambiguation) — Black Wednesday is a generic term often used for a Wednesday historical event such as a stock market crash.* Black Wednesday (1992 UK), when the United Kingdom withdrew the Pound sterling from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (also named… …   Wikipedia

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