Monday, October 13, 2008

Myths blown away !

*They used to say that the U.S. is invincible. Economically. 'They' are running for cover.

*They used to preach that the word 'Nationalisation' is in the dictionary of the inefficient and the unproductive. Today's newspapers hint at the real possibility of the U.S.Govt. nationalising some banks. So, who or which system has suddenly turned inefficient and unproductive?

*They glorified risk-taking. Not on their hard-earned money. But yours, mine and a million other hard-working citizens'. Where are those investment banks whose managers were millionaires solely because they had a license to gamble on your money? Buried and condemned to exist under the ground for the next several years.

*They used to advise that demand and supply determine every thing and that market is always wise. But then why this bailout of the casualties of the normal market process of the unfit biting dust?

*They used to talk convincingly that the Govt. should regulate as little as possible. People who argued for necessary regulations were dubbed ' Socialistic', a dirty word in the post-cold war era. But then, countries with regulated banks and regulated stock markets are surviving the financial crisis of 2008 better than the paradises of unlimited free- enterprise.

*They applauded when bank managers in the U.S. did not do their essential pre-lending duties. Duties to do which these wise chaps have been employed in the first place. Namely, check the credit-worthiness of the individuals who wanted to own homes but who had no capacity to repay the loan. Are those managers fit to be employed even in a roadside kiosk selling cigarettes?

*They nodded in agreement when the U.S.Govt. created Freddie and Fennie which in practice endorsed what the reckless home-loan bank managers had been doing to damage the economy through causing bad debts. Was that not the origin of the sub-prime crisis that ultimately is drowning the entire financial structure of the Western World?

Myths might have long lives. But they get exposed for what they are , in course of time. While they get blown away, they take with them even certain sound philosophies which worked well. Free Market Economy is not entirely bad. It has created wealth and stood the test of time. But when you recklessly extend the notion of ' freedom' and ridicule all ' regulations' and discipline per se , you end up with egg on your face. Sooner or later. Not later than 2008 in any case.