The American financial crisis is raising issues about the future of capitalism, at least the version currently on display in the United States under the anti-regulation regime of George Bush. French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated bluntly the under-regulated system we once knew is now “finished” and the world must explore other versions of capitalism. German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck said the crisis also marks the end of America as the world’s economic superpower. Sarkozy told a crowd of supporters, “the idea of the all-powerful market that must not be constrained by any rules, by any political intervention, was mad. the idea that markets were always right was mad.” He raise the issue as to whether capitalism must now be reconstituted so that ethics and government have important roles in modern economics.
The French president said we need a “market economy (that ) is a regulated market… in the service of all. It is not the law of the jungle, it is not exorbitant profits for a few, and sacrifices for all others.” Hopefully, the future will look back at 2008 as the time when those who believed in free enterprise began the process of creating a new version of capitalism.