Chairman of the London Stock Exchange, late capitalism:
There are unintended consequences of free markets. It’s not capitalism that has been the problem, but irresponsible governments and politicians who have allowed the financial system to explode by permitting the build-up of ludicrous amounts of debt and leverage. No one ever said that free markets could or would be self-regulating. (Independent, October 2011).
Translation: Let’s blame the government. We might just get away with it. It worked for the Tories.
Chairman of the London Stock Exchange, early capitalism:
Sirs, we disregarded for years Sir John Barnard`s Act [on stock jobbing] and we are now disregarding in the same measure Mr. Leeman`s Act [on transaction transparency]. (Parliamentary Committee, 1875)
Translation: Just fuck off, government. Your regulations don’t matter. We’ve always done what we want and we’ll continue to do so as long as capitalism lasts.
Capitalists used to be more honest, at least.