CHANCELLOR Alistair Darling has admitted the economic downturn was completely unnecessary as all this time he could just have printed more tenners.
Mr Darling said he found out about the money printing machine last summer but then forgot to mention it because he had been given so much work to do by the prime minister.
He added: "Last Friday I was visiting a school in my constituency when one of the children asked why I didn't just print more money, and I suddenly thought, 'Oh Christ, there's that great big machine in the basement'."
Across the country consumers were last night breathing a sigh of relief as Bank of England governor Mervyn King admitted the financial crisis had been a lot of fuss about nothing
Tom Logan, from West London, said: "If it's just a case of printing it, I'll have six million please.
"I don't suppose there's any way you can print some with my face on it? Or perhaps just a pair of titties?"
Bill McKay, from Leeds, said: "How much do I get and where do I go to collect it? Or can they just pop it in the post? How much do I get?"
But economists warned that printing new currency could create a confluence of hyper inflationary factors leading to a collapse in sterling and the entire country being consumed by an unquenchable fire.
Emma Bradford, from Stoke, added: "I've absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Just give me the money."