Will Hutton

Will Hutton

    The injection of £37-billion of taxpayer money into the capital base of three UK banks is the gravest event in the modern financial history of the UK.

    Bold, comprehensive and at times surprising, the UK's bail-out plan for partial nationalisation is just what the system needed, writes Will Hutton.

    Earthquake's don't destroy strong, well-built buildings. They destroy weak ones. As China reels from its biggest earthquake in 30 years, public anger is mounting. The danger for the Communist government is obvious. China is earthquake prone, Sichuan in particular experiencing a similar scale earthquake in 1933.

    One of the most inequitable and amoral acts in modern times is happening in front of our eyes and there is hardly a murmur of protest. The multibillion-dollar bail-out of global finance after one of the most reckless periods of lending and deal-making since the late 1920s is extraordinarily one-sided.

    Few people outside the United States understand the revolutionary nature of American conservatism and the profundity of its ambitions. Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz's careful dissection of the follies of the "roaring Nineties" and the conservative thinking that produced them — penetrating the Clinton administration — is as good as it gets, writes Will Hutton.

    It is the continent with 12% of the world's population but with 80% of the world's Aids deaths. It has experienced 30 years of economic stagnation. Its murderous wars and genocides seem never-ending; on average, 200 000 die every year. Unemployment varies between 30% and 70%. Its corruption is endemic. It is Africa.