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Reuters/Andrew Kelly
Pound, going down.

The British pound is getting crushed

By Matt Phillips

There’s really no other way to describe it.

The United Kingdom’s pound sterling is enduring one of its worst-ever one-day declines, dropping by roughly 11% at points against the US dollar early this morning (June 24).

This chart gives you a sense of exactly how insane an outlier the size of today’s decline is.

The sharp drop brings the pound back to levels last seen in the mid-1980s.

There’s no secret about why either. Britain’s referendum decision to leave the European Union throws a large pall of uncertainty over the British economy. A British exit from the EU would throw scores of trade deals into doubt and could potentially disrupt the economy for some time to come.

Since demand for a nation’s currency reflects global demand to trade and invest in that country, the sharp downturn in the pound is a sign that the world economy expects to do far less business in Britain in light of the vote.