Loose Cannons

February 1, 2008

Market forces at work I

"The world has witnessed well over 100 significant banking crises over the past three decades. The authorities have even had to rescue important parts of the US financial system — on most counts, the world's most sophisticated — four times during the same period: from the developing country debt and 'savings and loan' crises of the 1980s to the commercial property crisis of the early 1990s and now the subprime and securitised-credit crisis of 2007-08. No industry has a comparable talent for privatising gains and socialising losses." — London Financial Times, January 18.

Market forces at work II

"Billionaire financier George Soros ... told a group of writers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that it appeared that the world's central banks had 'lost control'... Soros said he did think governments had a role in rescuing markets; 'otherwise we would go into a depression like we did in the 1930s'." — Forbes magazine, January 23.

Pining for a non-capitalist capitalism

"Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, last night called for a new version of global capitalism that delivered benefits to the poor as well as the rich. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the software entrepreneur and one of the world's richest men, said there was a need for 'a creative capitalism' that would use market forces to address the needs of the world's poorest countries... Gates added that the least needy were seeing the biggest improvements in their lives while the most needy were seeing the least improvements." — British Guardian, January 25.

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