US President George W Bush has admitted the financial system needs reforming, but insists the credit crunch was not a failure of the free-market system.
Speaking in New York, Mr Bush said that while financial markets did need some new regulation and more transparency, free trade should not be restricted.
Yet he said state action was not a "cure-all", and what was now needed was a reform of the global economy "without trying to re-invent the system".
As readers know, I'm quite ambivalent about the free-market system that represents the economic status quo, most of all in countries like the US, many of my views tending to be on the negative side of things. I do think that the sham we pass off as 'free trade' between developed countries and less developed ones needs to stop. It's not fair if African nations aren't allowed to have food subsidies yet their American and European trading partners pump massive amounts of government money into local agriculture.
As far as the system in general goes, the Reagan era of deregulation has caught up with us (as has the great shift away from train transport that also occurred under his reign).
There'll be a meeting consisting of leaders from the major world economies this weekend in Washington, the topic of course being the current global financial instability.