The Bush administration's $700bn rescue package, along with the bail out of AIG, Bear Stearns and other erstwhile financial titans signal desperate measures being invoked during desperate times. However, in other parts of the world, particularly in Asia and Africa, these interventions smack of double standards of western government particularly the United States.
Its only a decade ago, when as the Asian economies were reeling under a regional financial crisis, the United States sharply criticized them for attempting to bail out cash-starved companies. So too do numerous African governments who were forced into strict market liberalisation conditions to qualify for structural adjustment packages and in some cases, balance of payments support from the Bretton Woods Institutions. They were lectured by the west that there should be no government intervention whatsoever in supporting ailing companies and strategic industries, with the mantra being let the free-market forces prevail.
What's good for the goose and what not, hey?
Whilst I have come across articles prematurely sounding the death knell for capitalism as Main Street (to borrow a much abused term in these times - and that's you and me apparently) knows it, one blogger on an American newspaper website quipped that Trotsky, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, and Marx must all be looking down and having a mighty good laugh right now.