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There is a loss of intimacy in knowledge and understanding, and a reduction in subtlety and flexibility of approach that comes from insistence on judicable principles and rigid rules. But the prevalence of regulatory capture is such that it is often a price well worth paying.
The Independent Commission on Banking headed by Sir John Vickers which the coalition Government has established will be told that such a separation between utility and casino can't be done – although it was done in Britain for most of the 20th century.
Was there a “third way”, a politics which reconciled the market economy with the values of compassion and fairness that had traditionally motivated the political left? When was government interference with the operation of free markets justified, even necessary, and when did such intervention reduce choice and welfare?