Such is what Sarkozy (president of France) claimed at the General Assembly of the United Nations. Of course it all related to the financial crisis, or should we indeed say the crisis of capitalism. He came up with some strong sayings. "We should not leave important decisions to the only appreciation of the market operators". "Banks should do what they are meant for: financing the development of the economy". "Rating companies should be controlled", etc, etc. I was in the Netherlands over the weekend and the different newspapers (Volkskrant, NRC Handelblad) had the same type of titles. Bankers would be like animals that live in a pack: they all follow each other. Or do they only do what we expect them to do, and train them to do?
One title said: Banking sector in the US nationalised. The emperor of the free market, suddenly decides to nationalise his crown jewel. If it would happen in an African country we would be sure that it would be yet another marxist illusion. But now, it is all real. And I thought about another surprise that I had when I first went to China. I met a number of managers and industrialists, that all agreed that they were able to operate in that country, and make money, thanks to the centralised system. If the communist (or centralist) system would disappear, China would not have a future (according to them; and at least for them). I still recall how surprised I was.
Van Alphen and Giebels have 6 suggestions against too picky bankers. The first one is already enough: stop paying bonusses. Maybe not only to bankers.
I was very happy with Sarkozy's speech in the General Assembly of the UN, until I saw that he considers what happens as nothing more than "drifting away from the mechanisms of market economy". Or is it only the consequence of that same mechanism of the market economy? How else can we link all what he said, and what is said in the newspapers, and done like for instance by the US, as anything but the observation that the mechanisms themselves fail. Why otherwise should you change them that drastically if they did not fail?
I am looking forward to an interesting discussion in the coming months in which we all claim that we want to progress towards a more responsible economy, sustainable, equitable, but at the same time we do not want to see how much the choices we made are the exact cause of what is happening today. A more responsible economy and economic development (through the world) most probably needs other mechanisms (maybe like the ones we are installing in a panic today). Do we need to reconstruct a regulated capitalism, or rather an economic mechanism that is based on the systemic reality of our world?