Monday, 13 October 2008

An Accidental Precedent

A physics teacher once asked the question. What is the strongest law known to man? Being a physics class we answered with Newton2, thermodynamics, Ohms and many others. The teacher said we were all wrong and said the most powerful law known to man is the law of unintended consequences. This stuck with me for two reasons, firstly it was my first encounter with the mixture of physics and philosophy which is modern scientific endeavour and secondly because it seemed profoundly right.

This is why I am so scared of what the government has done with the Icelandic banking assets. By freezing them the government has created a precedent, now with a major UK banks likely to go before the crisis ends we have made it very easy for other governments to hold the UK to ransom by doing the same to our banks.

The only way we can survive this crisis is by international cooperation, not by short-sighted national interest. Who knows maybe from the crisis we will begin to see true international cooperation and not just an economic hegemony.

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