The era of the free market might be coming to a close and replaced by state capitalism. Between 2004 and 2009, 120 state-owned companies made the Forbes list of the world’s largest corporations, while 250 private companies fell off it, according to a recent story by Bloomberg Businessweek. Some possible signs this was coming: Vladimir Putin stepping in to restore Russia’s authority over strategic industries in the 1990s, which then convinced Chinese leaders to blend state intervention with private enterprise. Economist Alice Amsden argued that latecomers to industrialization—India, China, Turkey, Brazil—had no choice but to intervene in local markets. Author James Fallows said that the idea that governments stifle growth was identified as an Anglo-American prejudice.

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