Thatcher en de Big Bang

LONDEN – In de Verenigde Staten was Margaret Thatcher voor mensen van een bepaalde leeftijd een superster, en de Amerikanen waren dan ook verbaasd over de scherp verdeelde meningen die naar voren zijn gekomen in het Groot-Brittannië dat zij elf jaar heeft geregeerd. Maar de Britten stonden er niet van te kijken. Net als Tony Blair is Thatcher lang een Brits product geweest met meer aantrekkingskracht op de exportmarkten dan in eigen land.

Alle aspecten van haar erfenis worden serieus betwist. Had ze een vooruitziende blik ten aanzien van de problemen van de Europese monetaire unie, of heeft ze Groot-Brittannië geïsoleerd achtergelaten aan de rand van het continent? Heeft ze een nieuwe economische dynamiek gecreëerd, of heeft ze Engeland bitter verdeeld, ongelijker en onsamenhangender achtergelaten dan voorheen? Heeft ze de krachten van de gevestigde belangen vernietigd en een ware meritocratie geschapen, of heeft ze bankiers en financiers de nieuwe elite laten worden, met alle desastreuze gevolgen vandien?

Eén kwestie die veel aandacht heeft gekregen betreft de hervormingen die Thatcher eind jaren tachtig heeft doorgevoerd in de City of London. In 1986 maakte haar regering de zogenoemde “Big Bang” mogelijk. Technisch was de belangrijkste verandering dat er een eind werd gemaakt aan de 'single capacity,' waarbij een handelaar in aandelen voor eigen rekening of in opdracht van derden kon handelen, maar niet allebei.

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