Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Is Northern Rock Just the Tip of a Humungous Financial Iceberg?

With the news that the UK's New Labour government is planning to introduce secret public bail-outs of ailing financial institutions, presumably because public disclosure of such things will cause further destabilizing runs on banks and financial institutions, the question must be asked: just how bad is the situation in finance and banking in reality?

A huge bill of sale appears to be due after a quarter-century of ideologically-driven, laissez-faire casino capitalism ├╝ber alles policymaking in which there has been far too little public oversight and far too much sleight-of-hand wheeling-and-dealing across the board(room). Instead of propping up the crumbling facade with clandestine deals involving public funds, it would be more useful to face these issues head-on and admit to the mistakes that have been made so that improved financial regulation and more sober economic policies can be adopted in future.

An acknowledgement that there were good reasons for many of the financial regulations that have been ruthlessly and systematically stripped away since the onset of the Reagan/Thatcher era would be a helpful start.

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