GPS with Fareed Zakaria.
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from the sept 21st 2008 show on global financial markets:
KARABELL: People will look back at this time and say, this was the period of time when the global capital base literally went outside the United States, much the way the manufacturing base of the world left the United States...
ZAKARIA: The de-Americanization of global finance, Niall?
FERGUSON: I'm not sure it's time to anticipate that yet.
You know, the American financial history is a series of crises, and often household names would evaporate. Who remembers now the Knickerbocker Trust?
Let's not forget that this is part of the American package, that banks fail. It's called "creative destruction." That was a great phrase used by Joseph Schumpeter.
When you look at the other models that are on offer here -- let's say, state monopoly capitalism of the sort they have in Moscow, or some kind of quasi-liberal planned economy of the sort they have in Beijing -- are those faring any better at the moment? Actually, no.
I know which stock market is down most in the world, and it sure isn't the U.S. stock market. Actually, it's the Russian stock market right now.
ZAKARIA: But so is the model...
FERGUSON: Let's not assume there's an alternative model that everybody can embrace, that somehow could proof against crisis.
ZAKARIA: But could the model be more European banks, which are much less leveraged, which have been -- which have not reaped the rewards of the last two decades quite as much, but are not imploding before our eyes?
FERGUSON: The last time I looked at the numbers, they had lost just as much money in the subprime crisis as their American counterparts. And it's only really a somewhat different set of arrangements between governments and finance that are preventing banks in Switzerland and in Britain from going bust.
KARABELL: But the issue, Niall, is not that this represents the failure of the United States long term. The globalization of capital can be immensely beneficial to any of the players within it.
And the manufacturing example is quite germane in that, yes, it's true that a lot of people lost their jobs in the 1970s. Pittsburgh was a disaster zone for 15 or 20 years. But Pittsburgh today is, you know, a high-tech service capital. And you have this transition in that creative destruction way.
It doesn't mean that the United States becomes a substantially poorer or less affluent society. It just means that the base becomes much more disperse. And I think that's what we're beginning to see, not the erosion of the model.
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So, how can Youngstown reorient itself more towards Pittsburgh to come out stronger after this most recent wave of creative destruction?
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