Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Signs of a new era of capitalism?

Noteworthy in the New York Time this morning: Adam Cohen's piece on the editorial page (NYT, 12/14/04, xxx) about efforts to return to the pre-1937 state of regulation in the U.S. Advocates, he reports, refer to the U.S. Constitution before 1937 (by which he means, I assume, before the 1937 Supreme Court decision upholding the Wagner Act) as the "Constitution-in-Exile."

In my last lecture of the semester this afternoon, I talked about some of the changes in the world of American business since the 1970s that strike the eye of a business historian. Regulation is one of several arenas in which, it seems to me, one can discern fundamental discontinuities, radical departures from the patterns of change that have prevailed since the late nineteenth century. The subject of Cohen's article is a piece of that history.

Also of note: the German stock exchange (Deutsche Boerse) is proposing to buy the London stock exchange (NYT, 12/14/04, B1?). The concept of nationality may be losing its meaning faster in the world of business than anywhere else; certainly the best evidence of globalization is to be found in the world of finance. Or we may discover that the nationality of ownership has little to do with political nationalism. Or that corporations have become extremely skilled at disguising their nationality.

No comments: