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I think there is an issue that we in Europe see American Exceptionalism in its international mnifestation. Wheras much of the discussion about it should really focus on its domestic impact, as the "5 myths" books exemplifies.

I think the crisis in american self-confidence is more related to the analysis that Will Hutton applied in response to the diea of global competition leading to job loss. It is more related to the inevitable result of the Anglo-american capitalist model destroying the economic environment that sustains it.


In Britain and America a business culture has developed where the share price is the be-all and end-all. Under desperately weak and unreformed corporate governance arrangements, CEOs have in effect written their own pay deals.

To deliver higher share prices, they have embarked on the world's biggest takeover boom. In hard cash, the cumulative value of deals in the US between 1995 and 2005 was over $9 trillion. In Britain over the past three years there has been a no less astonishing £500bn worth of deals. These are the chief driver of job losses and downsizing - and typically for negligible productivity gains.

The "enlightenment" obstacles to this - regulation, a sense of long-term ownership, media scrutiny, competition rules, strong trade unions and a belief in equality - have been progressively weakened. Western capitalism is losing its embedded checks and balances, its morality and, ultimately, its legitimacy.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 15th, 2007 at 03:00:10 PM EST

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