FT vs. WSJ


The Financial Times has new analysis on its website under the title ‘The Future of Capitalism’.

The reason for this exposition is as follows:

The credit crunch has destroyed faith in the free market ideology that has dominated Western economic thinking for a generation. But what can – and should – replace it? Over the coming weeks we will conduct a wide-ranging debate on this dominant political issue of the day.

Most of the articles so far are as bad as you can imagine given the premise of this introduction.

Robert Shiller’s neo-Keynesian article on the need to control bankers’ ‘animal spirits’ entirely distracts from the true need to clamp down on the much more dangerous ‘animal spirits’ of politicians.

Martin Wolf’s apocalyptic look at capitalism is far too long given that it says practically nothing of any value. If he is looking for the seeds of destruction, try government, central banks and regulators.

Richard Layard’s call for less selfish capitalism does not just miss the wood for the trees, but fails to see beyond its own self-conceited happy-clappy pseudo-science.

The FT has been very poor in explaining the credit crunch, the financial crisis and recession to its readers. This latest feature is a reflection of their lack of leadership on the subject. In contrast the Wall Street Journal has been superb. Even if all the analysis has not been entirely convincing, at least it does not rely on sound bite driven analysis.