Friday, 30 September 2011

Anthony Hilton, Evening Standard: "The real culprits are the politicians..."

Link to Evening Standard

"Speaking at a conference organised by the Channel Islands Stock Exchange [so marked down somewhat on credibility], Jon Moulton of private-equity firm Better Capital observed tartly that the real 'predator' [described by Ed Milliband] was the Government, and the most damaging short-termists were the politicians. None seemed capable of articulating a long-term vision for the country, never thinking beyond the next election and what had to be done to win it.

"[The previous government] encouraged the voters to take on more private debt and cynically expanded public-sector debt to create a feelgood factor, which they hoped might help them to win the next election and extend their term in office.

"... His fear for the future is that the world's investors will notice that UK government debt was falling neither as far nor as fast as George Osborne said it would, but instead was heading towards 100% of GDP. ... There could be a rude awakening, when overseas investors realise the UK is not the safe haven they had perceived it to be."

Will Hutton, The Observer: "The ailing euro is part of a wider crisis. Our capitalist system is near meltdown"

18 Sept. link:

"A 1930s-style crash threatens us and our financial partners. Collective action is the only solution."

"Capitalism is best conceived and practised, runs the theory, by hunter-gatherer bankers and entrepreneurs owing no allegiance to the state or society.

"This is nonsense. Business and the state co-generate wealth in a system of complex mutual dependence. Markets are beset by mood swings and uncertainty which, if not offset by government action, lead to violent oscillations. Capitalism without responsibility or proportionality degrades into racketeering and exploitation. The prospect of limitless pay is an open invitation to bad, or even criminal, behaviour. Good capitalism cannot happen without referees to blow the whistle or robust frameworks in which markets can function; neither is reliably created by capitalism itself, hence the role of democratic government."

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