An examination of the future of economic policy in the next millennium, assessing the reasons for the shift to a more sceptical view of the role of government given the power of the financial markets and the impact of globalization. These contributions from within the political economy tradition emphasise the important lessons from the past about the varieties of forms of capitalism, the importance of public institutions and public policy and the limitations of the rival laissez-faire approach. The dangers of an unregulated and powerful financial sector for the real side of the economy are a particular focus of attention. Proposals to rectify the shortcomings of financial markets and shift the focus of policy to a greater concern for the poor and excluded are put forward. The message to the economic policy-makers of the future is that markets perform valuable economic and social functions, but perform these better when appropriately regulated and controlled.