The industrial policy and its failures

Industrial policy? The State replacing free market policies in choosing public bidding’s winners, further saving those losing biddings from bankruptcy, just when that “insane idea” is unsuccessful. This is the main topic of “Choosing winners, saving losers. The insane idea of industrial policy”, the book the author Franco Debendetti presented on Wednesday, November 16th at the LEF headquarters.

An example? The 2008 financial crisis. “Clearly, the crisis was a result of industrial policies”. Debenedetti observed. “Choosing to give a house to live in, to people without salaries nor economic warranties, after all, is the product of a US Law under the Clinton presidency. If a bank refused to accord loans to those lacking salaries or warranties, the bank was not entitled to open new branches and locals. In short, behind 2008 housing bubble there has been a specific political decision.”

Debenedetti kept on delivering his j’accuse to the State arguing the concept of “general interest” itself. Who decides ‘which’ interest, and most of all, what is it?

The State and the political world are not the only defendants. Huge responsibility for the economic, financial and moral crisis of the past year is to be ascribed to the Italian capitalism, long-lost relative of the one building our Country in the aftermath of World-War II.

A system replacing reliable data and statistics with simple algorithms, foregoing investment with the excuse of pursuing the present. “Statistics – said Debendetti – are similar to algorithms, just as ‘big numbers’ are similar do big data, they simply are not similar.”