Progress: Real Vs. Extrapolated

Hungary's current econo-polticial situation is a pertinent case to transnational financial arguments. Last Friday, the nation's almost authoritarian leadership - the Fidesz party - enacted a law allowing the government to appoint deputies to the state bank. Historically, too much intimacy between forms of power leads to crisis and already we're witnessing protests in response to political machinations of press censorship and the removal of civil liberties.

On the financial side, Hungary was downgraded to junk status by credit agencies before Christmas and no-one seemed willing to step in to take the bonds at auction. These asymmetrical skirmishes are becoming more and more heated. I say asymmetrical because the odds are unfair; global financial services account for 300 times global GDP, they're not limited by borders, national law or democratic process. In defence of the apparent tax breaks given to large TNCs (transnational corporations - a more accurate definition than 'multinational') a spokesman for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs pointed out, without a trace of humour, that three of the nation's four top tax collectors hold Oxbridge degrees in classics while Vodafone has a staff of two dozen specialist corporate tax lawyers.

Any battle of ideology between financial institutions and sovereign government will make casualties of the denizens of the nation. Currently the borders between nation states offer some protection from the skirmishes of regional governments and transnational banks, but the progress of finance relies on a base state of unilateral entropy. How long the bastions of sovereign nationhood can stand up to the social demands of any given populace and the financial demands of the TNCs is ripe for speculation, although I can comfortably stipulate that the sovereign nation state as an economically and ideologically defensible entity has a limited shelf life when so heavily berated for its failures.