Mehdi Hasan of the New Statesman
asks if this press release
from the Institute of Economic Affairs
calling, of all things, for the self-regulation of bankers and investors, is a parody. Or are they really free market 'fanatics'? In a word, yes. Yes, they are free market 'fanatics'. They more Hayekian than Hayek, staking out the hard neoliberal right in opposition to the ConDem government. But I think it's actually an example of something far worse. Why, after all, did the IEA ever exert any influence, and why would anyone listen to it now? Short answer: because the bankers have held on to their power
. The pressures for a thorough reigning in and regulation of finance capital since the credit crunch began some three years ago
have borne little fruit, while governments have felt compelled to orchestrate the largest bail-out of the banks in history. Even now, as austerity measures
threaten the wider economy, the banks are baying for blood. And the ruling class shows no sign of having, or interest in pursuing, an alternative accumulation strategy to the one pursued for the last thirty years or so. Given this, the ability of finance capital to resist encroachments on its power is still redoubtable, and the ideological space for such rightist, free market polemics will remain wide open for as long as the ruling class finds it useful.
Labels: austerity, capitalism, condem, finance capital, hayek, lib dems, neoliberalism, ruling class, spending cuts, tories