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Alasdair Macleod: The last stand for free markets
By Alasdair Macleod
Thursday, October 20, 2022
The British government's desperate dash toward free markets has failed, badly bungled. The establishment in Whitehall and Westminster is back and realigned with the international government consensus. The socialist wealth redistributors, the interventionists, and the anti-Brexit Remainers now formulate government policy. In Britain, free markets are dead.
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Citizens of other Western nations should take note of these developments. The replacement of Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor of the exchequer by Jeremy Hunt, an establishment man and deemed to be a safe pair of hands, is set to guarantee the continuing authority of the state over its electors. The underlying problem -- that the electorate can no longer afford its government -- is lost in the noise.
We must abandon any hope of a reversal of rapacious government policies that continually strip electors of their freedom and personal wealth. With a rapidly approaching financial crisis, which is now widely expected, the UK government will double down on its anti-market, anti-sound money policies. We can expect more price subsidies and price controls -- paid for, of course, by yet more currency debasement.
It's not just the UK. All advanced economies are approaching an endpoint in their governments' anti-market policies. The global status quo can now be challenged only by markets. Rising interest rates, driven by collapsing purchasing power of the major fiat currencies, are bringing on that challenge, triggering a global financial and currency crisis.
The destiny of financial markets is already becoming evident, with asset values in an intractable decline. The contraction of over-the-counter derivative markets is in its earliest stages, a factor of which the public is generally unaware, but will have enormous consequences. Bank credit for the non-financial sector is in the firing line as well, leading with certainty to a slump in global gross domestic product. And we can be sure that policymakers everywhere will do their utmost to rescue the failing system by new rounds of quantitative easing.
Welcome to an outlook dominated by the accumulated errors of the global establishment, all set to hit us at the same time. As for the return to free markets? Not until considerable volumes of political and intellectual water have flowed under the bridge. ...
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