The state is back as a major economic player. The current financial crisis has prompted a tsunami of government intervention in rich world financial markets: from regulatory bans on short-selling though to massive public sector bailouts, loan and deposit guarantees, and a series of increasingly dramatic nationalizations.
The severity of the crisis has undermined the reputation of Wall Street and left global financial capitalism as a badly tarnished brand.
Meanwhile, the shifting geography of international economic and financial power means that a series of state-controlled actors - including Sovereign Wealth Funds, State-Owned Banks and State-Owned Enterprises, and National Oil Companies - have become important players on the world economic stage.
Mark Thirlwell looks at the resumed battle for the Commanding Heights of the world economy, and asks whether the apparent victory for the free market secured in the 1980s and 1990s is now about to be overturned in favor of the state- The Lowy Institute for International Policy
Mark Thirlwell, Program Director International Economy at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, is a graduate of Cambridge University and has an MPhil degree in economics from Oxford. He has a postgraduate qualification in applied finance at Macquarie University.
Thirlwell began his career as an economist in the Bank of England's international divisions, where he focused mainly on emerging market issues. He also spent some time in the Bank's UK structural economic analysis division. Thirlwell subsequently joined JP Morgan, where he was a vice president in the economic research department with responsibility for Central and Eastern Europe. Before joining the Lowy Institute, Mark was senior economist at the Australian Export Finance and Insurance Corporation from 1999 to 2003, where he worked on country risk issues, with a particular emphasis on East Asia.
Thirlwell became an Australian citizen in November 2001.