Thursday, September 18, 2008

The political class can't face up to the scale of this crisis

Financial meltdown spells the end of the free market model. It is a gift for any leader prepared to advance a new agenda

Seumas Milne
The Guardian, Thursday September 18 2008

"The scale of the crisis engulfing the global financial system can no longer be in doubt. The events of the past few days have confirmed that we are living through the greatest meltdown since the Wall Street crash of 1929. For the second time in barely a week, an avowedly free market government in the citadel of laissez-faire capitalism has been forced to nationalise a linchpin of American finance - this time the world's biggest insurance company, AIG - in an effort to prevent the toxin of collapse spreading further through the US economy.....

What is certain is that the dominance of the free-market model of capitalism, which has held sway across the world for more than two decades, is rapidly coming to an end. When its high priests in Washington are forced to carry out the largest nationalisations ever undertaken outside the communist world, while intervening on an unprecedented scale across markets that were supposed to be self-regulating in order to keep the system afloat, the neoliberal order is transparently falling apart....."

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