I am no economist (and regular readers will know that I am a little dismissive of economics as a discipline), but the recent developments in the US, Uk and the Benelux leave me wondering where we are going next. Clearly, the old adage that a small debt is your own problem while a large debt is everyone’s problem rings true. And how painful must it be for neoliberal economists now to be recommending state intervention?
But what does this now say to us about the direction of public maanagement reforms? For many years, we have been told that the market knows best, the private sector is more efficient etc. How confidently can those arguements now be made? How reliant can we now be upon private finance for hospital and school building programmes? At the very least, we must be able to speak again of the role of the state – as a regulator of the financial services industry, if nothing else.
And what will the Conservatives have to say in the coming few days at their anuual conference? So long the defenders of the city and the financial insitutions, what do they now have to say?