I used the red button on BBC TV to check on the progress of sterling during Phillip Hammond's speech yesterday. The pound had dropped below $1.30 in value round about the time that Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Opposition was reaffirmed and reinforced. One would have expected a rousing opening day of the governing party's conference to produce a rally in the conference. Instead, Mrs May's speech setting an early date for repeal of the European Communities Act and invoking Article 50 depressed the currency markets as much as it elated the Conservative representatives. Sterling drifted even lower on the second day, as Phillip Hammond's plans to increase borrowing well into the next decade sank in. (The pound did hold its own against the Cuban peso, though, and actually appreciated against the Paraguayan guarani.) The last time it was so low was also under a Conservative government, though only a rank pessimist would see it reaching near parity as it did in March 1985.