‘Commercial Banking Should Be Split From Investment Banking’-democracy or the rule of the financial markets.
In an interview with SPIEGEL, Sigmar Gabriel, the leader of the opposition center-left Social Democrats, outlines his plans to tame financial capitalism, warns that the supposed supremacy of banks and markets is eroding faith in politics and says the SPD would do a better job containing the crisis.
SPIEGEL: Criticising capitalism seems to be all the rage – even Frank Schirrmacher, Editor in Chief of the conservative daily Frankfurter Allegmeine Zeitung, has joined capitalism’s critics. Why is the SPD remaining true to the existing system?
Gabriel: We have long criticized financial capitalism for trying to evade almost any form of democratic influence. We, the Social Democrats, are convinced that capitalism needs to be tamed a second time. The first time we achieved that in Germany for many decades with the social market economy. That is no longer enough. Now we need to do it in Europe and even globally.
SPIEGEL: Why are you being so restrained?
Gabriel: This is not about reviving the pseudo-alternative of communism but about re-conquering the social market economy. In the current climate I know that it sounds modern and left-wing to say that we should do away with capitalism. But we simply don’t want that.
Full interview here.