Thursday, September 18, 2008

The credit crunch

I just can't stop! Tyler Cowen tells us that the crisis has the dirigistes crawling out of the woodwork.
“Today the actions of American policy makers illustrate the need for economic patriotism,” said Bernard Carayon, a lawmaker of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s center-right governing party, UMP. “I congratulate them."
I don't know if this has been badly translated, but the phrase "economic patriotism" is loathsome in its harumphing smugness.

On the other hand, Chris Dillow has an article in the Times, showing that the left can produce thoughtful economic analysis

What we're seeing, then, is the cost of separating ownership and control. In private firms, or partnerships - even limited liability ones - the two are closely aligned. In stock market-quoted firms, they are not.
Carayon belongs to a right-of-centre party, and Dillow is a Marxist. Who says Marxists don't appreciate the virtues of markets and private ownership?

The one Investment Bank which still looks good (so far) is Goldman, and Wikipedia(!) tells us that they

decided to offer only a small portion of the company to the public, with some 48% still held by the partnership pool.[7] 22% of the company is held by non-partner employees, and 18% is held by retired Goldman partners and two longtime investors, Sumitomo Bank Ltd. and Hawaii's Kamehameha Activities Assn (the investing arm of Kamehameha Schools). This leaves approximately 12% of the company as being held by the public.

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