07 June 2014

Mark Carney on capitalism eating its children

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, formerly Governor of the Bank of Canada, isn't exactly your average leftie. Indeed, bank governors tend to turn up on the opposite end of the political spectrum. Nonetheless, Mr. Carney, at a speech last week to the Conference for Inclusive Capitalism, sounded a bit like the Occupy Movement.

Linking the 2008 financial crisis and the resulting recession with absolutist beliefs in low taxes, deregulated markets and limited government intervention in the economy, he condemned what he called "unchecked market fundamentalism." His condemnation was replete with memorable quotes:
• Just like any revolution eats its children, unchecked market fundamentalism can devour the social capital essential for the long-term dynamism of capitalism itself.

• All ideologies are prone to extremes. Capitalism loses its sense of moderation when the belief in the power of the market enters the realm of faith.

• In the decade prior to the [2008] crisis ... we moved from a market economy towards a market society.
Great stuff from the governor. More evidence that those in the higher echelons of finance and industry are beginning to realize that capitalism's excesses are undermining the system itself, and a failure to contain those excesses may yet make a prophet out of Karl Marx.

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