Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Two comments (one slightly off topic).

  1. When there is a revolving door between government and business or when legislators owe their campaign funding to the business community there is little incentive for tougher regulation. The New Deal represented a period when the banks had failed (literally and in terms of political power) and it was possible to impose new restrictions. It is not clear that such a unique circumstance will happen again any time soon.

  2. There is an article in the NY Times today about petrodollars being used to buy into western firms. Two that are relevant are the cases of the Carlyle Group and Citigroup. While several of these transactions are supposed to be "hands off" (no seat on the board, for example), this is obviously a sham. You don't sink $7 billion into a firm and cede all influence.

For the past 50 years the big banks have been an arm of foreign policy. They have made investments into countries where the US wanted to gain influence and have been able to call on the US government (and it's clients the IMF and World Bank) to enforce domestic policy changes in these states when things didn't go according to plan.

It seems likely that there will be a shift in emphasis and these international firms will start to become a tool of the oil states, at least in part. How this will play out remains to be seen.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 09:59:52 AM EST

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