Fixing Capitalism

July 2009 • Volume 3, Issue 7
Will tighter rules prevent another global economic crisis?
By Peter Behr


French steelworkers protesting the nation's economic crisis. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Protesting French steelworkers in Marseille on March 19, 2009, urge French President Nicolas Sarkozy to do more to fight the nation's economic crisis. Angry workers organized several protest marches and labor strikes throughout France during the spring. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Signs of life in stock markets around the globe stirred hopes this spring that the world may have dodged a catastrophic financial bullet. But a long, hard road to recovery lies ahead, experts say, and the casualties of the meltdown are still being counted. Chief among them is the version of laissez-faire, self-policing market capitalism that held sway for a quarter-century. That model crashed in 2008 after raging global speculation in volatile, debt-financed securities raced through the poorly regulated “shadow” banking system that links financial centers in the United States, Europe and Asia. “Freewheeling capitalism” is dead, concludes British Finance Minister Alistair Darling. But a debate has just begun over what might take its place. World leaders have assembled for summit meetings. Studies have flown off presses. But there is only limited agreement on goals for financial and banking reforms, and as yet no prospect for binding international market rules.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
World Trade
Dec. 09, 2022  International Sanctions
Apr. 2010  Evaluating Microfinance
Sep. 2009  Future of Globalization
Jul. 2009  Fixing Capitalism
May 18, 2007  Fair Trade Labeling
Sep. 28, 2001  Globalization Backlash
Jun. 09, 2000  World Trade
Jan. 29, 1999  International Monetary Fund
May 29, 1987  Third World Debt
Jun. 22, 1984  Bretton Woods Forty Years Later
Jan. 21, 1983  World Debt Crisis
Apr. 18, 1975  World Financing Under Stress
Sep. 08, 1971  World Money Crisis
Jul. 30, 1969  International Development Financing
Mar. 11, 1964  World Trade Parleys
May 23, 1962  Farm Products in World Trade
Apr. 27, 1945  Bretton Woods Agreements
Oct. 05, 1932  World Trade, Tariffs, and War Debts
Economic Crises