Tuesday, 10 February 2009


Today is an interesting day in the UK for anyone involved in finance.
Banks are on trial. As Galbraith puts it: 'the world of finance hails the invention of the wheel over and over again, often in a slightly more unstable version'.
And we have seen a very unstable set of wheels falling off.

The men on trial in front of the commons select committee today stand accused of greed that has destroyed the wealth of a nation. But a moment of introspection is called for here. These were men of phenomenal integrity and drive. I have never been a great personal fan of Sir Fred Goodwin, but his enormous talent should not be underestimated. So the question for capitalism now is not how do we punish these men (although that might be an essential part of the healing process) but how do we ensure we waste less of the human capital represented by truly great people who inevitably become caught in the ancient trap of hubris.

This is not really a comment on technology, but the flow of capital is really the heart-beat of innovation. It is the process whereby society decides what ideas to proceed with and which ones to leave in the ditch.

I still think capitalism is the best idea we've got....

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