"Both domestically and internationally capitalism needs to be moderated and constrained to serve wider social objectives.
What is striking is how many on the left of politics lack the confidence that that is possible, how much indeed they accept the assumptions of the right that competitiveness imposes severe external constraints. In the global arena, their lack on confidence is partially, but only partially justified; in the domestic arena in rich developed countries hardly at all."
The quote is from the final chapter of Just Capital: the liberal economy by the current Chairman of the Financial Services Authority, Lord Adair Turner. His suggestion that some form of transactions tax- a Tobin tax- should be introduced was not the most interesting aspect of his contribution to a Prospect Magazine round-table discussion on global finance. It was rather his concern with the social utility of the UK's obese financial sector.
Number 10 and HM Treasury waved away the notion that the financial sector may be over-weaning and over-powerful and came out with the familiar riposte that a Tobin tax is impractical. It is not clear that it is at all: most financial transactions take place in regulated and transparent markets. This quote from 2001 would seem to be portentous.
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Guest editing LabourList this week....
This week I'll be guest editing LabourList so I'll post some good content from there on this blog from time to time. Should be fun. The theme is 'creating a Britain where everyone has a stake and everyone has a say' and it will also be looking a creating a 'greener, more liberal, movement based party.' Here's an extract from my guest editorial this morning.