big bang

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1 A shorthand expression for the view that reforms should be carried out as rapidly as possible. This is contrasted with the view that major changes should be made gradually. These views clash in countries undertaking liberalization or structural transformation. The argument for rapid change is that it creates a sufficiently large group who have gained from change to make it politically irreversible, whereas gradual change encourages opposition, because the losers often suffer before the gainers benefit.

2 The major change to trading practice that took place in 1986 when fixed commissions were abolished in the City.

Subjects: Economics.

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