Fascinating but depressing article from John Robb. The global economic system has co-opted many of the functions of the nation state to its own ends. Look at the support given to banks, the ability of BP to stifle reporting on the Deepwater Horizon oil leak.

My take on it is this: in any sector (not just banking) the global economy will tend to route around any regulation governments put in. This will lead to bubbles and crashes. The governments of the day will feel obliged to protect their citizens from any ill effects. Plus ça change.

Robb’s question is if we can continue to live peacefully in a world where:

You are on your own.  You are in direct competition with everyone else in the world, and your success or failure is something you alone control. 

At the very least, this suggests that we will see a reduction in the standard of living in the developed world as resources flow to the developing world.