Atlas Magazine June 2010

The end of dogmas

Fingers have been pointed to financial institutions, banks, insurance companies and investment funds since the beginning of the subprime crisis. In a few months, bankers have switched status from finance's valiant knights to dangerous, cynical and unscrupulous characters.

The current crisis has, however, managed to question some dogmas, five of which have been scrutinized by critics.

First, the giant international banks are no longer the catalyst of growth. They currently stand as a threat for the economic system which they ended up harming considerably.

Second, the excessive concentration of finance is one of the crisis factors. There is no more competitiveness, nor is there any emulation. The real influence belongs to some financial corporations which are powerful enough to impose their views on the States.

Third, there is no genuine corporate governance. Banks and insurance companies do not operate as we thought they would. Many of their businesses are surrounded by opacity.

Fourth, the role of the rating agencies has been questioned during the Greek crisis as was the case for the previous crises which they could not foresee.

Fifth, the Europeans are discovering that IMF is not solely a financial police for the third world. Greece is bound to sustain the same treatment which was imposed on a number of African and Asian countries.

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