The Gods that Failed: How Blind Faith in Markets Has Cost Us by Larry Eliott, Dan Atkinson

By Larry Eliott, Dan Atkinson

Over the previous 3 many years, governments have ceded fiscal keep an eye on to a brand new elite of free-market operatives and their colleagues in nationwide and foreign associations just like the IMF, the realm financial institution, and the area exchange association. They promised financial balance yet have brought chaos. Their hypothesis has left the worldwide economic climate extra at risk of a monetary cave in than any time because 1929.

Two prime monetary newshounds dissect this monetary elite, tracing their origins to a secretive collecting of free-market economists in 1947, and suggest a chain of far-reaching reforms that may keep us from a brand new depression.

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When the Kremlin defaulted on its debts, LTCM was left in a parlous position. Its creditors, with Bear Stearns again leading the pack, demanded extra collateral. Fearing the unwinding of LTCM’s heavily leveraged positions (100 to 1 by the time it folded), the Fed chairman, Alan Greenspan, passed the hat round to Wall Street for contributions. Bear Stearns alone was prepared to tell the Fed chairman to get lost, and took some delight in doing so. Many of those running the company when the Fed and the Treasury took charge of the bailout believe that the severity of the terms imposed reflected the relish the Fed and the Treasury took in taking revenge on the arrivistes of 46th Street.

The report led to a further frenzy of selling, with seven times more Bear Stearns shares than normal changing hands on that day. On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve unveiled a new lending scheme designed to make it easier for Wall Street firms to tackle the credit crunch. The move did not help, since in the highly charged atmosphere of that week it was assumed that the move was designed to help a specific bank with a cash flow problem—Bear Stearns. By Wednesday, the crisis had entered a fresh phase, with hedge funds withdrawing their cash and firms like Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse instructing their staff to be wary about doing business with Bear Stearns.

Moreover, the crisis exposed both the superficial nature of the alleged transformation of the economy in the decade after 1997 and the intellectual bankruptcy of New Labour as it floundered around for months looking for a third-way solution to the future of the bank. America has remained an industrial power of the first rank despite the migration of jobs south to Mexico and west across the Pacific to China in recent decades. S. leads the world in aerospace, computer hardware, and the audiovisual industry.

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