Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cameron: We Need Capitalism With a Conscience

David Cameron is making an important speech about financial regulation at the moment. He starts with an important statement about who is to blame for the failure in regulation in this country.

Let’s start by getting something straight. Gordon Brown likes to blame all our troubles on America – as though our fundamentally sound economy and banking system were hit by some nasty financial import.

But our banking system is not separate from our economy, it is a reflection of it. The unsustainable debts in our banks are a reflection of unsustainable debts in our households, our companies and our government. So while of course it’s true that some of our problems are global……we’ve got to recognise that the underlying policy failures were national.

The failure to regulate U.S. sub-prime mortgages was an American failure. And the failure to regulate public and private debt here was a British failure. It was a failure that led to our households becoming the most indebted in the world……our banks becoming the most leveraged of any major economy……and our housing boom being bigger than in the U.S.

If we’re going to restore financial confidence, we have to be honest about these home-grown failures of financial policy and regulation. If we won’t admit that anything went wrong in the past, how can we get things right for the future?

Self evident stuff, maybe, but it needs to be said. Gordon Brown needs to acknowledge his, and the government's failure here. If he really believes it is all America's fault he's even more delusional than I thought.

Some people argue that the Conservatives cannot be the ones to take on this task. They say: “Why should we listen to you, the champions of markets, when markets have collapsed?”
They ask: “How can you – the party that believes in deregulation – sort out a mess caused by not enough regulation?” Well let me answer those points directly.

Why listen to us? Because the people of this country don’t want to turn their backs on markets. They know that the free enterprise economy is the foundation of so much we want to achieve: our collective and individual quality of life; our social progress; our ability to protect the environment for future generations. People don’t want to abandon markets, they want us to reform markets so they work properly. What they want is a sense of order and responsibility brought to the operation of the financial markets. People might not follow the minutiae of over-leveraging or short-selling, but they know that the roots of our current crisis lie in recklessness and greed.

When they look at capitalism today too many people see markets without morality, and that’s what’s got to change. As I’ve said before, we need capitalism with a conscience. That is a task for the modern Conservative Party. We are the party of law and order, so we are the party to bring law and order to the financial markets. We are the party of social responsibility, so we are the party to bring social responsibility to the financial markets.

And we understand the intimate connection between these two values – that you cannot have order without responsibility.
That's an important statement of intent. It has echoes of Ted Heaths "unacceptable face of capitalism".

It is precisely because Labour do not really understand this that they ended up designing a system of financial regulation that completely failed. The right question here is not light regulation or heavy regulation. It is right regulation or wrong regulation.
Absolutely right. Overregulation of a market can stifle and then kill it.

The modern Conservative Party understands the role that regulation needs to play. We understand that regulation is a vital part of making sure markets work properly. But it’s got to be the right regulation, applied in the right way to the right situation. Our approach is to cut regulation where the problem is too much of it – like the red tape that is strangling small business. And to reform it where the problem is the wrong kind – like the failed system of financial regulation. That way, we can bring to the market what we need to bring to society: freedom with responsibility.

And just like bringing law and order to our streets, in financial markets, this culture of freedom with responsibility must be promoted by the right frameworks, policed by strong institutions and enforced with real authority. The difference with Labour is stark.

Their idea of regulation is a list of rules that look good on paper. We’re concerned with what works in practice. They think it’s about the right bureaucratic process. We think it’s about the right professional judgement. For us, it’s about the right institutions, the right authority and the right discretion. That’s why with the Conservatives, the Bank of England will be back and we will restore its role in regulating the level of debt in the economy.

This approach – promoting, policing and enforcing order and responsibility in the financial markets - is what I want to explain today. First, promoting order and responsibility. One of the reasons our banks became so leveraged is because the rest of us were willing to take on more and more debt. So we need to tackle problem debt and encourage personal responsibility. That means taking into account how people really behave - not how economics textbooks presume they behave.

Because, whether you like it or not, people are not always rational. They do not always act in their best long-term interests. And they are often heavily influenced by what people around them are doing. In the bureaucratic age, that's a problem. But in the post-bureaucratic age, it can be an opportunity.

As Richard Thaler has shown, when you design policy so that it reflects how people think and act, you really can encourage greater responsibility. But we don’t just need to promote responsibility among individuals – we need to promote it across the whole financial system.

Cameron is right. Markets are rational, but only when they operate in a free flowing and transparent way. Markets which operate on a false premise can never be rational. They provoke people into making irrational decisions.

In 1997, Gordon Brown created a new institution, the FSA, to oversee our banks. Last week, Lord Turner launched a report that can only be described as a withering critique of its failings. They are failings we have long recognised. For a decade, this Government forced the FSA to obsess about products, processes and procedures, box ticking about who’s in place to do what job……while neglecting entirely a bank’s business model and what they were buying, at what price and with what debt. This wasn’t light touch regulation. It was just completely the wrong regulation. It missed a central insight into financial markets: that they’re made up of people, not units of production. It rises on their genius and innovation but falls down on their irrationalities and over-exuberance. So just as with individuals, creating a culture of responsibility across our financial markets means introducing regulation that responds to the way markets and people actually behave. We need regulation that recognises the psychological levers of boom and bust.
Good. Lay the blame where it belongs. At Gordon Brown's feet.

That’s why we led the debate in the U.K. when we called for banks to be required to hold more capital during the good years in order to absorb losses during the bad years. I’m pleased that reforms to Basel II and the need for what is known as macro-prudential regulation to manage the credit cycle have now been adopted in the Turner Review and are on the agenda at the G20.

This is about reining in that irrational exuberance that is associated with any boom – the feeling that the music will never stop, so we can keep on dancing. The truth is that it is precisely when the music is loudest – as it was over the past decade – that we need regulatory discipline strong enough to cut through that exuberance and keep banks responsible.

The next question is: how do you police this order and responsibility? In 1997, Gordon Brown removed the Bank of England’s historic ability to ensure that banking credit was kept within responsible limits. In one broad brushstroke, the only organisation with the expertise, and authority, to call time on the overall levels of debt in our economy was taken out of the picture. In its place, the then Chancellor put a Tripartite System which monumentally failed its first test. Because he cannot admit his mistakes, Gordon Brown doesn’t understand that the model he pursued for the past ten years has fundamentally failed - so he’s unable to recognise that this system needs to change. We’re clear that it does need to change.

And we’re equally clear as to how. To police responsibility within our financial services, we need to call on the only institution with the authority, respect and influence to keep our banks in check. It’s time to bring back the Bank of England and restore its role in regulating debt. When Labour took away this role back in 1997, the Bank of England’s banking expertise was allowed to wither away. We will rebuild that expertise by giving the Bank an explicit role in macro-prudential, system-wide, regulation.

We will put the Bank of England back in charge of regulating the overall level of debt in the economy, and allow it to make judgements on what is sustainable and what is not. The Bank will set out any concerns in a letter to the FSA, which in turn will be obliged to take that view into account when setting the amount of capital individual banks must hold.

So if the level of debt in our economy is growing unsustainably, the Bank will instruct the FSA to ensure banks either slow their lending or put aside more capital. But of course, we don’t just need policing at national level.

Finance is international – indeed much of the credit growth in the UK over the last decade was channelled from abroad. So we need the right mechanisms in place internationally, as well as at home. As Lord Turner has pointed out, that means greater coordination at a European level.

But in a global economy, even that won’t be enough. We need to think truly global. Yes, that means reforms to the Basel II agreement to make it less procyclical – so that banks put more money aside in the good years, to act as a buffer in the bad. And it means a greater role for the IMF in monitoring national economies – as well as a way of ensuring that its warnings don’t go unheeded as they did over the last few years.

But the ultimate authority must remain with the Bank of England, as it is British taxpayers who will be asked to pick up the bill if anything goes wrong. So we need international co-ordination……and national regulation.

When it comes to that national regulation, we are clear about how it should be enforced. It used to be said that one twitch of the Governor’s eyebrow would be enough to get our banks to behave responsibly. Our plans will restore the power of the Governor’s eyebrow.

But as Sir James Sassoon has said in the review he recently carried out for us, the Governor’s authority works best when it is backed up by real power. So we are considering the suggestion that we should give the Bank of England further power to go into individual banks…to tell them they haven’t got enough capital, tell them there’s too much leverage, tell them to sort themselves out......or expect the full authority of the Bank.

When you’ve got a problem with debt – you call for the people who understand how to control spending and get debt down. And when you’ve got a problem with law and order and a lack of social responsibility - you send for the party of law and order and social responsibility.

We know what’s gone wrong – we’ve had the wrong type of regulation overseen by the wrong type of people. And we know how to put it right. Promoting responsibility by creating the right kind of regulation. Policing it by restoring the Bank of England to its proper role. And enforcing it by giving the Bank of England the authority it needs.That way, we will bring back proper regulation of the banks and financial markets and help restore financial confidence, a vital step on our routemap to recovery.

That was an excellent speech, full of meat, full of integrity, full of vision. It shows a clear, well thought out approach to the future of financial regulation, all designed to bring confidence back to the markets.

Your thoughts?


HeartAttackSurvivor said...

And will this get reported anywhere, on any major News channel?
Will it fuck.

Anonymous said...

Your thoughts?
Nice of them to give you a copy.

Oldrightie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oldrightie said...

I hope fervently that people will wake up and listen. The Labour control of The Beeb's and MSM muzak is so sopophoric!

Man in a Shed said...

The problem is that you are entering into the trap of defining the current crisis in the term the left want to smear us with.

Markets do what you allow them to. The Debt crisis has occurred because those at the top let it happen.

The failure has been corporatism allowing people at the top of large corporations to act against Capitalism's interests, and hence the peoples interests.

Its the same whether its Gordon Brown as head of the Treasury and then Government or his friend Fred the Shred running RBS.

Much as I'm in favour of morality, the failure of Brown and Sir Fred just shows we can't rely on it.

What's needed is effective and intelligent regulation and honest government.

Remember the tools to prevent the current crisis existed and warning where given ( as the BoE and FSA have confirmed). The problem was the people at the top of the corporations and government.

This is where Cameron should direct his fire. The failures at the top have been moral failures. They would have had similar impact under socialism or capitalism.

And then he should start to ask the hard questions about the balance of payments and trade.

Conand said...

RuthVS@12:32 said 'But why do we need the FSA if the BoE takes back control?'

I thought that too. I guess it is on a sliding scale i.e. The bank in question gets a tap on the shoulder from the FSA. If after that it is still messing up, the Governor of The BOE kicks down the door and storms in.

Cameron's speech is excellent. I criticized him yesterday for the throw-away lines about Brown saying sorry. When he puts it in the context of a narrative in this way it actually works.
The idea of a Government that would actually create proper frameworks and govern effectively is very attractive.
Maybe Brown could stay in South America and the UK could try and pick up the pieces without his interference. Using Blears' system of voting by text he could still take part in HoC divisions. Just a thought.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

"..it is British taxpayers who will be asked to pick up the bill if anything goes wrong"

Why accept that? "If anything goes wrong" it should be the case that those who preside over it should be stripped of all their capital, including their houses and their pensions and they should face prison.

The tacit assumption that taxpayers, that's us by the way, should bail the system out is a clear a message as any that the Tories will only bring us more of the same.

We need real change. We need radical politics for a radilcally different fast changing world. This isn't it.

WV Whine

Tony said...

The Cameron speech is first rate. The reaction to it is to worry away at the unsaid detail so that it can be claimed that it was rhetoric without substance.

What Cameron should have said in closing is that they are working on the necessary legislation/regulation to be introduced on Day One of a new Conservative government.

Jeremy said...

It looks like a good template. But it seems a little confused, as said above, over the respective roles of the BoE and the FSA.

As for international rules - do we need EU regulation in addition to Basel?

And as for Basel: Cameron's message about eliminating mere box-ticking may be harder to achieve than he makes it sound.

Basel II may, or may not, have been updated recently but the failed RBS's 2007 Annual Report contained the following:

"RBS has received agreement (called ‘a waiver’) from the UK Financial Services Authority to adopt the Advanced Internal Ratings Based (AIRB) approach for calculating capital requirements for the majority of the business with effect from 1 January 2008. The Group, therefore, will be one of a small number of banks whose risk systems and approaches have achieved the advanced standard for credit, the most sophisticated available under the new Basel II framework."

Definitely change needed there.

Simon Gardner said...

Wrinkled Weasel said... “...it should be the case that those who preside over it should be stripped of all their capital, including their houses and their pensions and they should face prison.”

Michael Heseltine is going to be pretty pissed off when you take his house away from him.

Paul Lockett said...

"It shows a clear, well thought out approach to the future of financial regulation, all designed to bring confidence back to the markets."

Bringing confidence back to the markets is the last thing I want. The mess we are in is in a large part due to market participants having too much confidence in regulation to do their thinking for them. The main objection to the FSA I have is that it has the statutory objective of "maintaining confidence in the financial system," which is about as responsible as telling a road safety officer that part of his job is convincing people that there is no danger on the roads.

Tory Teacake said...

Finally! A good conservative speech on the markets and a long awaited active attempt to brush off the ludicrous 'party of deregulation, party of free markets' label. I also welcome the move back to the Bank of England having the regulatory role - Brown's tripartite system was little more than an expensive experiment. I am slightly curious as to why precisely we still need the FSA... surely having the newly empowered Bank of England instructing the FSA who then instruct the banks is an unnecessarily complicated way to go about it, and one fraught with the opportunity for disputes over powers, problems and solutions. To take the power of the FSA away, give it to the Bank of England, and then expect the FSA to work to the Bank of England is surely madness. Just cut out the middle man!
Overall though, a strong conservative speech. I'm glad we've moved away from the economy speeches that had 'blame Brown' as their focus. Keep driving that particular point home but only in passing. People want to know what the Tories will do, not what Gordon Brown failed to do.

Anonymous said...

At least unlike a speech from Brown you feel you could sit through it without wanting to vomit.

That's one very big reason to vote for Cameron.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Simon, some people dabble with Marxism or other kinds of radical politics when they are in their twenties and then the lure of all the goodies out there tempts them to give it up.

I have sort of gone the other way, except that I am a left-leaning libertarian with neo Marxist add-ons. Marxism is not just about imposing command economies, it is about liberating the masses from servitude and having a perspective on what's going on.

I don't get the Heseltine reference, but one man's Thatcher is another man's Ceaucescu. I am not looking for scapegoats, but the people who are carrying the can for the financial meltdown are the people who work like stink for not a lot of money.

read my blog. It might make some sense, it might not.

Robert said...

The EU will regulate the banks and the financial markets and London will become a backwater.

They have been longing to do this and it is revenge for the Anglo-Saxon's destruction of their own banking sectors.

We need our own government to enact our own laws. Take back the reins of power and get out of the EU!

Anonymous said...

Sounds an excellent beginning. Put rules back in the hands of the experts, then disband most of the quangos.

Brown, of course, will repeat his pitiful mantras that it all came from America and the Tories are the do nothing party.

Brown's problem is he thinks words are actions. They aren't.

Martin S said...

Their idea of regulation is a list of rules that look good on paper. We’re concerned with what works in practice. They think it’s about the right bureaucratic process.

Stafford General Hospital, anyone? Here Brown's "Tick da boxes and all will be well" policy is seen in rampant action. 400+ people killed by Labour Policy.

Time for change.

Great speech by David Cameron. A leadership quality speech. Unlike Brown, whose weirdo bletherings are punctuated with that little thrus of his lower jaw, everyone time he tells a lie. About once a minute, in average.

Paul Halsall said...

Every time I think the Tories sound OK, as Cameron often does, especially when compared to Brown, I simply pull out Alan Clark's _Diaries_. It's there you see the true face of Toryism, and what we will get when Labour is defeated at the next election.

Simon Gardner said...

Wrinkled Weasel said... “I don't get the Heseltine reference...”

Sorry. You wanted that ‘those who preside over it should be stripped of all their capital, including their houses and their pensions and they should face prison.’

Those responsible clearly include Michael Heseltine who is probably the father of tearing up proper regulation of business and the financial spivs er “industries”.

So you were calling for the sequestration of assets and imprisonment of all the Thatcherites along with their New Labour acolytes.

I hope that is clearer.

(And I have every sympathy with left-leaning individual libertarians wherever they be.)

Simon Gardner said...

I note Sky is on a Brown speech to the European Parliament.

Anonymous said...

At least unlike a speech from Brown you feel you could sit through it without wanting to vomit.

That's one very big reason to vote for Cameron.

on the rock said...

David Cameron put it right; but I miss the farsighted and foresighted aspects of the consequences of regulating and roping in the banks. Do we not have to change our aims? Free markets' throw-away economies with the all-and-none law of growth need excessive lending (to even create mini-growth in the Western world like 2000-2008).
The alternative is changing the aim: quality?

Unknown said...

Simon Gardner

OT but I am new to this sort of thing so really don't know what to do. I do not enjoy good health and have been troubled by acute depression and chronic constipation for years. Reading your comments over the last few days has helped me no end.

I now know that there is someone out there more full of s*** than me and with a bigger mental problem.

Thank you.

Breaker said...

Cameron missed one vital twist of the knife - how many times did Brown et al ignore the IMF warnings on our economy?

One other thing that was missing is better regulation of the ratings agencies - they had gotten too close to both sides of the deal and their independence was compromised. I'll let him off that; it'd be difficult to deliver to a non-finance industry audience.

Oscar Miller said...

But it's not a story about Tory splits therefore the MSM will not cover it. Still it is an excellent speech that the public should know about.

Oscar Miller said...

The best regulator of the financial markets is the full understanding that "risk means risk" and that if you screw up you take the consequences. Brown's absurd delusion that he'd abolished bust was the single biggest factor in encouraging greedy speculation. His inability to distinguish between inefficient red tape and proper regulation has been and is a disaster.

Eckersalld said...

The speech is okay, but the whole morality in markets concerns me. Markets are not moral forces, nor should they be.

Same with the regulation, the primary problem has been with transparency. Had everything been out in the open, those securitized sub-prime portfolios wouldn't have been given a AAA rating, and no one would've touched them.

With transparency the market works - albeit, satisfaction isn't guaranteed.

And I'd love to hear a politician to utter the truth - that all systems fail at some point, including capitalism. No system can accommodate all possible criteria, there will always be situations where it fails.

To paraphrase Churchill, capitalism is the worst economic system, except for all the others.

Lola said...


"people see markets without morality" - Markets aren't 'moral'. They aren't anything. They just are. They don't exist as a being that has a brain. The agents within them can have morality (Q1. Define morality) or lack of it. And as those agents are on average moral beings, markets as collections of them must have morality. In the present case the 'moral' success of the markets is to pass judgement on Browns failures, those failures so well described, surprisingly, by Cameron.

Tom said...

TO shamelessly plagiarise:

“Do We Need All This Regulation? Government claims that this regulation is all necessary. They seem to believe that without it banks could steal our money...”
Conservative Economic Competitiveness Group, August 2007, p.59

“Financial authorities in the US are investigating "hundreds" of individuals and entities over suspected Ponzi schemes as turmoil on the global financial market exposes fraudsters, whose ill-gotten gains have remained undetected for years”
The Guardian, 20 March 2009

niconoclast said...

Coming next: foxes to regulate hen houses.

Stan said...

Capitalism with a conscience? Capitalism is an economic system based on markets and demand - it is NOT and never has been a political ideology. Country A can make trainers for £3 because it allows the employment of child workers and for them to work a 60 hour week. Country B makes trainers for £50 because it has labour laws and employment rights. Country A sells trainers in Country B for £40 and Country A can't compete - it's trainer industry is finished.

You want capitalism with a conscience then stopping allowing countries with bad human rights records, little or poorly enforced labour law and oppressive, non-democratic governments to sell their goods in our country.

Tom Powdrill said...

"Markets which operate on a false premise can never be rational. They provoke people into making irrational decisions."

you what now? what does this mean?

Weygand said...

Although the exposition on what Brown got wrong was excellent, I too am bothered by 'Capitalism with a conscience'.

As others have pointed out, this is a meaningless sound bite.

All parties agree that markets should be regulated. Cameron's disagreement with Brown is simply over how this should be done.

Roger Thornhill said...

Nailing Brown: Good
Back to BoE: Good (or least bad for now)
Moral Wibble: Bad

No sign of ensuring sound money. FAIL.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

what a load of mumbo-jumbo aimed at the MSM beltway.

Unknown said...

I disagree with Dave on this one.

We don't need "capitalism with a conscience" at all, we just need capitalism.

Capitalism is something we all laud when everything is going well, yet the left can't wait to slag off during a downturn.

We should NOT capitulate. Capitalism is great. I don't want it polluted by the left who wish to turn it into some bastard child of economic liberalism and socialism, which is what "capitalism with a conscience" is.

Leave it alone and tell the left to naff off.

subrosa said...

Not a word about the EU and how they will handle the referendum that never was. We need to be more like Norway and Switzerland etc and belong to the Europe but not give away our identity/ Of course Gordon Brown did that very thing with his night-time signing of the Lisbon Treaty.

I want a clearer picture from the conservatives please. (I'm looking at this from an independent Scotland viewpoint - if the new Scottish tories refuse to recognise the problems within the EU then we're , erm, filled (because swearing is banned). Can I used stuffed?

Old Holborn said...

Stuff Dave

Hannan has just torn Brown a new arsehole

pxcentric said...

Dan Hannan's speech is the one we want to hear.

Simon Gardner said...

subrosa said... “We need to be more like Norway and Switzerland...”

Yeah right. The so-called “fax democracies” or should we rather say “fax client states” where decisions are made for them in which they have no rights to decide but merely receive faxed regulations and law which they have to implement anyway. A very good model - NOT.

Being in the EU we get to help decide - and boy do we use that right. Be like Norway and it’s just all decided for them with zero Norwegian input.

What a facile suggestion.

Vindico said...

Cameron is a prize c**k. From the BBC website i find this:

"The markets have been governed for too long by the "destructive idea that you can take what you get, however you get it", he said in a speech."

What? That is the whole point of markets. You try and maximise your returns by serving the demands of others. Has he lost the plot?

Why is everybody trying to turn the current crisis into some significant turning point? All that is happened is markets have taken a dive because of mistakes made. They will recover and capitalism will (or should) continue as before. One cannot, and should not, attempt to legislate against failure - it is an integral feature of markets. To do so is to put at risk market efficiency.

Anonymous said...

"Markets are not moral forces, nor should they be."

Interesting thesis.

A pub is not a moral force - it fills a market need. But should a Landlord sell a drink to an alcoholic?

cassandra said...

A man called Dan Hannan has just demolished a man called Gordon Brown in front of the whole EU parliament, a fantastic speech that showed Brown up for the man he really is, the video is over at ORDER ORDER.COM, watch in awe as Dan rips McBusts reputation apart like a hungry tiger, Brown reduced to grinning like a chimp with an erection, Brown was visibly hurt and damaged and I hope this video gets a wider airing.


Please can you ask any BBC reporter just ehy they didnt show this video?

Lola said...

Stan said "Country A can make trainers for £3 because it allows the employment of child workers and for them to work a 60 hour week. Country B makes trainers for £50 because it has labour laws and employment rights. Country A sells trainers in Country B for £40 and Country A can't compete - it's trainer industry is finished."

Yep, the law of comparative advantage. Excellent isn't it? Country A can use its comparative advantage to get wealthier by making trainers and country B can move on and make higher value added products which it can sell to country A because it is now wealthy enough to buy them. Free trade. Doncha just love it?

Steve_Roberts said...

I do hope the reference to Edward Heath was your interpolation, Iain. For many people he was as disastrous a premier as Brown. He gave away our gas to Norway, and our fish to the French and Spanish. He presided over boom and bust, high inflation, incessant strikes, wage and price controls (correct me if i'm wrong on those), and of course the three-day week. Not really a chap you'd want as a role model.[/rant]

Unsworth said...

@ trevorsden

"A pub is not a moral force - it fills a market need. But should a Landlord sell a drink to an alcoholic"

Would you suggest that there's a moral incumbency upon the vendor - or are you maybe referring to a legal obligation?

What's your position on the sales of arms?

Stan said...

Yep, the law of comparative advantage. Excellent isn't it? Country A can use its comparative advantage to get wealthier by making trainers and country B can move on and make higher value added products which it can sell to country A because it is now wealthy enough to buy them. Free trade. Doncha just love it?

Oh right - good. How's that going exactly? What on earth makes you think that country A isn't capable of making "higher value added products"? Such as what? Cars? Aerospace? Computers? How many millions of people do you think we have employed making those "higher value added products? Perhaps you mean services? How long do you think it will be before companies providing those services realise they can do it cheaper and better elsewhere? (A clue - they already have and they already are). Those countries are producing hundreds of thousands of high calibre graduates every year and those graduates are all finding work. Here, meanwhile, the relatively few graduates we produce (of varying quality) are finding it tough to get graduate placements - that is indicative of how your "high value added products" strategy is going.

Lola said...

Stan old son, you still don't get it. You are advocating protectionism. This is a sure way to penury.

I have better things to do than argue with you, so I recommend you spend a little time on economic reading. Start with Adam Smith.

neil craig said...

He makes a good point about the British people believing that markets rether than a governmental command economy works better. So long as Labour insist more regulation is the answer & flirting with those who call it a "crisis of capitalism" the Conservatives can beat them by standing foursquare on free marketism. Brown used to know this back when he was making speeches about Adam Smith.

I also think in all Dave's friendly words about regulation he should point out that the ultimate regulation in a free market is bankruptcy & that it is Labour (& the LDs under their leader Vince), more than the Conservatives who are the party of bailing out bankers. Bankruptcy is not a nice thought but pruning is essential for a healthy free enterprise system & we are currenrly sacrificing the entire economy to prop up bankrupt bankers.

Anonymous said...

Capitalism with a conscience?

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Industrial Society is destroying necessary things [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land] for making unnecessary things [consumer goods].

"Growth Rate" - "Economy Rate" - "GDP"

These are figures of "Ecocide".
These are figures of "crimes against Nature".
These are figures of "destruction of Ecosystems".
These are figures of "Insanity, Abnormality and Criminality".

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land].

Destroy the system that has killed all ecosystems.

Chief Seattle of the Indian Tribe had warned the destroyers of ecosystems way back in 1854 :

Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you realize that you cannot eat money.

To read the complete article please follow any of these links.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Delhi, India