Helping us mend our economic ways
This article is from 2010.
Can money make us happy? This timeless question, made all the more pressing by the brassic ‘financial climate’ we’re shivering through at the moment, is to be addressed by celebrated thinkers in the Meaning of Money strand at this year’s Book Festival, headed up by Joseph Stiglitz. In 2000, the then Chief Economist at the World Bank was fired for criticising the US Government’s handling of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Undeterred, he believes the current recession, and the disaster following in its wake, is underpinned by a moral deficit, a Bacchanalian abandonment of reason to the gods of materialism.
On Saturday, he’ll challenge an audience to consider new alternatives to the defining framework of materialism, upon which every facet of our society seems to hinge. In his RSA lecture on Sunday, he’ll make an appeal for a new global financial architecture based on a better balance between the market and the state, and between means and ends. Quite simply a titan of the economics realm, professor at Columbia and a leading critic of deregulation, Stiglitz isn’t one to mince his words, making him such a popular Charlotte Square returnee. With a gloomy economic forecast for the foreseeable future, there has been no better time to mend our ways, and he’s just the man to tell us how.
21 Aug, 6.30pm; 22 Aug, 3pm, £10 (£8).