World Bank memos

Enzo Michelangeli em at
Tue Dec 8 00:36:38 PST 1998

-----Original Message----- From: Henry C.k. Liu <hliu at> Date: Monday, December 07, 1998 11:15 PM

>Lets cut to the chase.
>If market/finance capitalism is so effective and globalization so
>what caused the current global economic/financial crisis that started in
>Thailand on July 2, 1997?
>Is the whole world merely hallucinating?

Oh come on, this must be a "fin-de siècle" thing: right-wingers keep fretting about Y2K catastrophes, and leftists about the Forthcoming Great Economic Crash. We have just gone through a financial panic: it was not the first and, unfortunately, it won't be the last. But even if it did, that would hardly be proof that industrial revolution and capitalism have been bad for the world: they have already delivered a lot. Before the eigtheenth century, the average growth in the world GDP was around 3% per century; after that, in the industrialized countries that figure changed to 400% per century. Which explains why Malthus, who was not stupid after all, failed so spectacularly in his dire forecasts: the poor guy based his analysis on the data he had, reflecting how the world had been until then and missing what was coming. Nowadays, we should feel a little more optimistic.

Cheer up!


"The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which Reactionists so much admire, found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what man's activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades." K.Marx, Manifesto of the Communist Party

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