The train now arriving in Fantasy Gulch…

My God, it’s only two days since I wondered how long it would be before market enthusiasts started trumpeting how wonderful market economies were after all, and already the Financial Times has responded with one of those I-wouldn’t-believe-it-if-I-hadn’t-seen-it-with-my-own-eyes pieces they are so very good at.

In today’s edition, Philip Stephens has penned a piece entitled ‘Crisis? What crisis? The market confounds the left’. Leaving aside the drivel he talks about ‘the left’ (of which, pace Mr Stephens, the Labour and Democratic parties are decidedly not members), he manages to boast that the return to profitability of various banks proves that liberal market capitalism really is the bee’s knees.

Pace the doomsayers who predicted imminent Armageddon, liberal market capitalism has survived: somewhat humbled and, in the case of the financial services
industry under much tighter official supervision, but recognisably much as it was.

Indeed it is – and we will pay for it again, the next time it goes wrong. But the idea that this proves that the system is basically OK? Oh really? And that little detail of the trillion dollars we gave them? The millions of unemplyed? The wrecked businesses? The tens of millions around the world these bankers have thrust into an absolute poverty smug Mr Stephens cannot imagine? I could go on about this at enormous length (again), but if there is one thing that doesn’t prove that a system is healthy, it is when it recovers from a completely self-induced disaster by being fixed by someone else.

But what can we expect from a paper that is so utterly incapable of rational thought about market economics?

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