Susan Strange
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The guessing game
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We have seen that increased uncertainty has produced a marked hypertrophy of financial markets and financial dealing, much of it speculative in character. It has also increased the inequality in competition between large enterprises and small ones. And it has altered the balance – so vital to any stable market system – between authority and market, with the result that authority has been undermined and markets made more volatile.

Yet these consequences were masked for too long by some important misperceptions, mostly promulgated by academics, about what was really going on and what consequences followed. Some of those misperceptions have been shown up. Other persist. But the general effect has been gradually to extend the area of significant ignorance – significant, that is, from the point of view of political control and supervision of the economic and financial system. That control and supervision requires knowlege, and as change accelerates and the markets and national monetary systems become more integrated into a global system, the nature of the required knowledge increases and changes.

It is in the light of these broad conclusions that we have to review and weigh the various remedies and reform plans that have been put forward to bring the system under better control.

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