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FT.com / Companies / Financial services - The pitfalls of financial globalisation grow clearer
Conventional wisdom has it that globalisation and the spread of deregulation have been an economic boon for the English-speaking countries. Having run down their manufacturing as a percentage of gross domestic product in the 1980s and 1990s, the US and the UK have been less vulnerable to Chinese competition in this cycle than the big economies of continental Europe. And with disproportionately large financial sectors, these two countries have also enjoyed a financial windfall from the rise of China and other emerging markets.
As long as the Angloamericansthe West™ could reap the profits of globalised capital, all was fine and dandy. But when others reap profits or the Anglo disease starts to bite, the FT discovers the "pitfalls of globalization".
A more fundamental point is that China and other emerging market countries are unilaterally rolling back the high tide of liberalisation. Thanks to their rise, more of the world economy operates under mercantilist pegged exchange rate regimes. By investing their official reserves in developed world government debt, they reduce the cost of public sector borrowing, making a return of big government easier. As co-conspirators with the US Federal Reserve in creating the credit bubble, the same countries have contributed to a boom and bust cycle in housing and finance which will lead to a political backlash, soon to be followed by cumbersome regulation. Meanwhile, sovereign wealth funds are indirectly reversing the privatisation trend that began in the 1980s through a re-expansion of state ownership, but on a cross-border basis. That in turn will spawn an illiberal political reaction that will inhibit global capital flows. On the face of it, continental Europe ought now to be better placed to cope. Yet this is no time for schadenfreude . Two German banks that dabbled in subprime structured products have had to be rescued. The dabbling arose from an urgent need to raise returns in an over-politicised, over-regulated, but under-profitable German banking system.
The point of globalization and liberalization was to hollow out the public sector, but with global access to capital markets, those countries that still allow their government to invest on a large scale are buying our privatised assets. That cannot be! This was supposed to be for the benefit of the Angloamerican oligarchyWestern™ private interests, not anyone else!
There is no question that smart, global finance has been a good thing. Without the recycling of capital, excess savings in Asia would have been profoundly deflationary. Yet from today's global vantage point, we have undoubtedly all had too much of this good thing. Whether it is ever possible to have just the right amount is another question.
Now that we've captured all the wealth we could and the wheel is turning against us, it is time to denounce globalization. We have to protect our spoils from the inferior peoples!

The whole self-serving article warrants a deconstruction.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 21st, 2007 at 03:02:08 PM EST
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