Jonathan Freeland makes the point that the crisis open up opportunities to explore new ideas, and resurrect old ones. I agree, but saying 'how come we can bail out the banks but not fund the NHS better?' doesn't really take us much further. And he falls for the dumbest line of the lot: "This is to finance-driven capitalism what 1989 was to Soviet communism."
What is 'finance-driven capitalism' and in what respect have we seen the regimes that adhere to it as their over-riding ideology crumble? I'd like to see a serious look taken at what capital markets actually contribute to the economy, but I am under no illusions that they are going to disappear. Calm down dear, it's only a bit of part-nationalisation!
In the other corner, Simon Jenkins has a much better sense of proportion. It's a knock, not a knockout blow, and it's in now way a serious challenge to capitalism as a whole. But someone has been dripping pure poison into his ears about who is to blame for where we are - what's this lurking at the bottom of is article?
"Though bankers are more fun to blame, it was politicians whose laxity and craving for popularity lay at the root of the present trouble."You what now? I'm not a Dubya fan (!) but I don't think he was personally frog-marching mortgage salesmen around telling them to feed on the low-paid and poorly-educated. I don't think all those people in financial institutions of all types who knew where things were wrong but declined to say so when the party was in full swing were following a communique from the politicos.
I do think it's true that politicians made mistakes, but they are more likely the result of misunderstanding not deliberate policy IMO. The highly-remunerated finance types on the other hand in many cases knew exactly what was going on. Credit crunch where it's due (boom boom!).