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Britain is socialising banks!

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Well, apparently it is called “nationalisation”, these days. In any case, Northern Rock is now owned by the the taxpayers. Martin Jacques has a very intriguing commentary:

This crisis, however, threatens to be even more fundamental. While the 1973 gyrations were the result of a temporary shift of power from the industrial world to Opec, the underlying cause this time is permanent and far-reaching – a fundamental shift in power from the developed world to the developing world, and above all China and India. We have not witnessed anything like this since the inception of the west as an industrial powerhouse in the 19th century.

[…]

When the free market and deregulation are the means by which the western world extends its global economic power over the developing world, then they are deemed highly virtuous, but it is a different matter when they become the instrument by which developing countries can extend their influence over western economies. Similarly, during a recession the state is likely to be called into active service on a far more regular basis as western governments seek to deal with the mushrooming effects of market failure. It is not an accident that developing countries – virtually the whole of East Asia, for example – view the role of the state in a far more interventionist way than does the Anglo-Saxon world. Laissez-faire and free markets are the favoured means of the powerful and privileged. The decline of the western world could well usher in a significant change in this mind-set.

One Comment

  1. Juha wrote:

    Isn’t that weird from the point of view of Finnish experience regarding our manic drive to capitalize our former national treasures such as VR, National Postal Service, Postipankki etc. Isn’t that weird indeed… And talking about bank, early 1990s’ depression and so-called junk credits, isn’t that strange that they were sold for the dumping price of 5 % of they real value to the Norwegian collection firm by the former Minister of Finance Ms. Suvi-Anne Siimes who happened to represent the Left Alliance.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2008 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

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