Today, the self-assured attitude of globalization’s cheerleaders has all but disappeared, replaced by doubts, questions, and skepticism. Doubts all around.
When countries on the periphery of the global system such as Thailand and Indonesia are overcome by crisis, we blame them for their failures and their inability to adjust to the system’s rigors. When countries at the center are similarly engulfed, we blame the system and say it’s time to fix it. The great financial crisis of 2008 has raised serious questions about the sustainability of global capitalism, at least in the form that we have experienced in the last quarter century.
What might have prevented the financial crisis? Did the problem lie with unscrupulous mortgage lenders? Spendthrift borrowers? Greed? Too little regulation? Too much regulation? The debate on these questions remains fierce and will no doubt continue for a long time.