Wednesday, September 17, 2008

hyperbole and market mayhem

It looks like the bank I used to bank with is taking over the bank I moved to to get a better service - the lengths some organisations will go to to keep customers!

LloydsTSB is taking over HBOS - or are they merging, consolidating to weather the chill winds of the worst downturn since hyperbole began?

I wonder if, when the dust settles after all the shenanigans going on in world financial markets, we'll still believe in the myth of unfettered free markets; or will we be able to admit that without governments the economy doesn't work and that the mixed economy of John Maynard Keynes is actually the way things are and that Milton Friedman's pipe dreams lead only to catastrophe - especially for the poor.

It is a curious irony that those who have telling government to leave well alone for the past twenty-five years are now blaming the government for everything that's gone wrong and insisting the government sorts out the mess. Northern Rock shareholders objecting that they weren't getting a fair return on their investment when the bank was nationalised seemed oblivious to the fact that market forces - in the form of their bank going to the wall - would have left them at the back of the queue of creditors and almost certainly with nothing. That's capitalism for you...

Ah well... Providing I can get my money from a hole in the wall, I'm happy (and frankly am not too fussed which combination of barrow boys actually manages it.)

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