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A businessman walks past a market index display board outside a securities firm in Tokyo February 15, 2007.
A businessman walks past a market index display board outside a securities firm in Tokyo February 15, 2007.
(Toshiyuki Aizawa/Reuters)

CARL MORTISHED

Slaying Europe's household debt zombies with interest rates

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Millions of British households will be grateful that Mark Carney was quick to slap down interest rate hawks only weeks into his new job at the Bank of England. A rapid rise in the cost of borrowing during these economic doldrums could push more than a million households towards insolvency, due to the continuing high levels of personal debt. The extraordinarily low interest rates are not just preserving businesses that might otherwise go to the wall but, more importantly, cheap debt is keeping financially afloat a large section of the population: meet the zombie families.