Searching for solutions to the crisis

Wed Apr 30, 2008



From meltdown-inspired books to the Paulson plan and the hedge fund "best practices" report, the debate begins.
By Michelle Celarier

With the financial industry still melting down, there is no shortage of critics and reformers who believe their time has come. Is it really the twilight of what George Soros calls "free market fundamentalism?"

Soros is just the most prominent financier-cum-thinker to come out recently with a book that traces the underpinnings of the current financial crisis to decades of laissez-faire economic policies, starting in earnest during the Reagan administration. With the shackles off, the financial industry took off like gangbusters and now accounts for between 20% and 30% of GDP - or at least it did until the credit crash.

Given the detritus around us, the critics have a compelling argument. "Risk management shouldn't be left to the participants," says Soros in The New Paradigm for Financial Markets. Soros is...

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