The Opportunity in Seoul

SEOUL – Hubris usually gives birth to disaster. The root cause of the current global crisis was intellectual hubris in the form of the blind belief that markets would always resolve their own problems and contradictions. Thirty years after the Reagan-Thatcher revolution, the ideological pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction.

Each time in the last hundred years that a shift of this magnitude has occurred in beliefs about state-market relations, a major political-economic upheaval has ensued. For example, World War I marked the end of the nineteenth-century’s laissez-faire liberalism and ushered in a period of state-centered economic systems. The Great Depression and World War II opened the new era of the Bretton Woods system of a more balanced state-market relationship.