Building the Markets We Need

The greatest challenge of the current global financial crisis is the seeming impossibility of comprehending and managing its diversity. As governments move into uncharted territory, all assumptions will need to be assessed and reassessed, starting points found and re-found, and new tools developed and perfected.

VIENNA – The greatest challenge of the current global financial crisis is the seeming impossibility of comprehending and managing its diversity. Indeed, the way problems are proliferating appears almost uncontrollable. Plans to meet the crisis, in country after country, have been revamped and restructured time and again. The old models about how to understand the economy have had their day. Across the globe, governments are facing fundamental decisions about the future nature of their economies and societies.

The sub-prime crisis in the early summer of 2007 developed first into a financial crisis and ultimately into a recession. New economic problems soon rushed in to add to the existing ones: energy and food prices rose and then fell like a yo-yo; the dangers of climate change became ever more clear; and the mal-distribution of global political power demanded action.

The recent social unrest in Greece, Latvia, and Lithuania has shown that political stability is now vulnerable even in the European Union. Indeed, around the world, from Mexico to Indonesia and even China, the social fabric is being stretched to the point of fraying. This anxiety is reinforced by the general lack of funds among large groups of people who had nothing to do with creating today’s crisis but are bearing the pain of it.

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