Arvind Subramanian is onto something: he asks why the crisis has spawned a debate on capitalism in the advanced countries, but not in the developing nations. As he notes, there is very little clamor for rolling back markets once one moves to the periphery of global capitalism:
Surprisingly, in the emerging markets, including India, there has been no such existential angst about capitalism, no serious questioning of the role of the market. It is not that these countries have not been affected by the crisis. Indeed, all countries—rich and poor—have found themselves in the same financial maelstrom, if not in the same boat, and the effects have been substantial. There has also been serious discussion and action on the appropriate short-term responses to the crisis. But, there have been no serious calls or indeed actions to roll back capitalism, to erect protectionist barriers, or to re-nationalise the economy. Most surprising, there has not even been a pitch to restrict inflows of fickle foreign capital that were arguably at the centre of this crisis for many emerging markets. The crisis may have exposed the claim of a decoupled world economy, but it seems to have emphasised the decoupling in policy debate and long-term policy choices.
What is the explanation? Arvind's preferred interpretation is that the advanced country debate is largely irrelevant to the poorer nations:
[The] big question thrown up by the crisis in the core countries [is] the role of the state and the appropriate demarcation between state and markets, especially in the financial sector. In the emerging markets, particularly in the more successful ones such as China and India, this is simply not an issue. The line still favours state over markets and in the financial sector heavily so: in both these countries, most of the banking system assets and liabilities are still controlled by the government. The issue is not how to claw back the role of the state so much as how to continue reducing its role in the gradual and pragmatic manner that these countries have been doing over the last two decades. In India, for example, the only bank threatened by the crisis was a private one that chose to deal in the toxic assets that wreaked havoc in western financial markets, resulting in a flight of deposits to the safety of public sector banks. Yet, it is remarkable that the debate on finance in India has not lurched in the direction of triumphalism about the public sector model of finance and the need to ensure its permanence.
Perhaps the most important reason for the decoupled debate phenomenon is that the big development challenge in the developing world is not the state-market boundary but the more mundane yet fiendishly difficult question of how to improve the state and its basic capacity to deliver law and order, security and other essential services such as health, water, sanitation and education. That was so before the crisis. That will remain true in its aftermath.
Arvind is being a bit too charitable here to the developing nations. I am afraid one cannot rule out the possibility that poor nations are yet again falling behind the curve.