Global capital turns nasty
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Global capital turns nasty

Who is surprised by the savage way markets have punished politicians, bankers, speculators and economists? The structure of financial markets needs a rethink. Our cover story tears them apart as follows:

Too many risks, too few rewards

For a system that supposedly conquered the world in 1990, free-market capitalism doesn't look so good any more. After Mexico, Thailand, Korea, Indonesia, Russia, which of capitalism's self-appointed disciples will stumble next? And who is to blame? The track record has embarrassed all but hard-liners into thinking there might be a Third Way - between free capital flows with floating exchange rates and the dirigiste controls of the 1960s. Chile, China, James Tobin - they've all been held to ridicule for their batty market ideas. But today it's not just bleeding-hearts and socialists who are looking at their attempts more closely. Michelle Celarier reports

Capitalism and serfdom

The market, like nature, is red in tooth and claw. It has no concept of ethics, morality or justice. Its agents are predatory and are concerned mainly with their own survival. They have no thought for the good of the system. That doesn't mean the market is bad or that it doesn't work. It means that present prescriptions for emerging economies do not reflect these realities. Nothing highlights more starkly the inappropriateness of the blind application of free market thinking to emerging markets more than the role of hedge funds.

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