If you doubt that we are decisively entering the age of a global financial village note the following from the WSJ weekly summary:
“When we left him and Morgan Stanley last week, they were peering into the abyss. This week they are alive to fight another day. Morgan Stanley closed a $9 billion equity injection from Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and agreed to a $10 billion capital injection by the U.S. government. Yes, the government will have a huge stake in the company, but at least the storied firm is still independent. Now the hard part begins–turning a profit in this changed and difficult environment.”
So, now the great Morgan Stanly is largely owned by a Japanese bank and by the U.S. government. But, the CEO of Morgan Stanley was also quoted this week as saying (to the horror of some): “What we don’t have and what we need is a global financial regulator. These problems cannot be solved by any nation alone.”
When French President Sarkozy spoke with our president this week there was a tone of anger, of “we’re not going to allow this to happen again” when speaking of the need for global financial reform. It is clear that the current crisis began with unregulated financial instruments and hedge funds, as well as loose mortgage lending practices, in the United States. But, the entire world financial system is suffering as a result. It is not just “our problem.” Americans now have to accustom themselves to the reality of life in this global village: that we are a debtor nation, dependent on China, Japan and Middle Eastern countries to carry our debt and allow us to continue paying social security and other benefits we expect from our government.
The regulatory system will be redesigned, whether we like it or not; whether we lead its redesign or have it imposed upon us. It is a paradigm shift that most Americans are not prepared for. John Mack, who has stood at the precipice and been forced to face the current reality, obviously is.