Too Big to Fail

This phrase has been doing the rounds in media circles and has been applied to quite a few companies; AIG, HBOS, General Motors etc.

What worries me is that it demonstrates there is no Plan B.

In a capitalist system, competition is supposed to be the evolutionary driver in business. Evolution is based on profligate waste. For every successful organism that reaches the stage of reproduction, there are sometimes thousands that fail.

And so capitalism demands that failure be part of its successful model, how else would you sort out the best from the worst? Which makes the phrase ‘too big to fail’ suspiciously anti capitalist and monolithic. It means companies are bigger than governments. It means the worst companies can persist in an environment that demands only the best survive. It means sacrificing valuable resources to sustain a bloated and dying organism.

And ultimately it means that eventually one of these companies will fail despite everyone’s best efforts and that means globalisation will have delivered its promise of catastrophe.

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