Wondering how the bailout will work out? Look no further than China, David Ignatius writes in the Washington Post. Beijing test-piloted exactly this kind of strategy, doling out $15.1 billion to buy up companies gashed by the 1998 Hong Kong market crash. Now, he writes, the Chinese need to move toward a more outward-facing kind of capitalism even as the West leans toward nationalization.
“We are all Chinese now,” Ignatius concludes, piloting a nominally capitalist economy we don’t really trust when the chips are down. This new philosophy “isn’t so much socialist as Confucian,” he writes, “a belief that a public-private partnership of the wise ones will get us out of the mess.” Whether or not our bailout works as well as China’s, we’ve proven “nobody likes living on the knife-edge of the market.”