Papandreou, then Berlusconi reluctantly agree to go. Are we seeing a financial version of the Arab Spring?

November 9, 2011

The global financial crisis is claiming its victims as political leaders reluctantly agree to go. Revolution is in the air. Attempts to cling to power appear to be unable to resist the forces of change

It has been a week in which the G20 financial summit fell short of finding a road-map out of the global financial crisis. Yet the meeting triggered off radical changes to the regimes in the most vulnerable Nation States.

First it was Greece

Over the weekend [Nov 6th-7th 2011] it was Greece and Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Then Italy

Then, within days, Italy becomes part of the widening crisis. (Or maybe the wider crisis existed, and attention turns in Domino fashion to the next weakest market?). The once all-powerful Sylvio Berlusconi, survivor of fifty votes of no-confidence, faces one challenge too many.

The rise of the technocratic leader

One interesting theme is that the revolutions are not being led by those seeking to replace the defeated leaders. Rather, there is talk that the new leaders must by ‘technocrats’.

I am reading this to mean that old-style political figures have been ill-equipped to grasp the subtleties of the 21 Century global financial situation. The power-brokers are looking for a new kind of leader beyond the dynastic and partisan.

A rather obvious concern is that the departure of old-style dynastic figures appear to favour advocates of the prevailing financial system. in Greece and in Italy, commentators insist on the need for a technocrat with financial leadership experience to cope with the new circumstances. Elections are in the air.

The Arab Spring

It is tempting to draw an analogy with the so-called Arab Spring (Was it all kicking-off only a few short months ago?)

I do not chose to draw too close a parallel, but the mood for ‘regime change’ seems comparable, the changes themselves inevitable if unpredictable in their consequences. Maybe Angela Merkel is playing the role of NATO, imposing financial no-fly roles to support desired changes?