At a time the debate about widening income disparities is getting louder it seems global elites are keen to get in on the discussion. On May 27th
Bill Clinton, the Prince of Wales and former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney converged on Guildhall in London to discuss the effects hard-core "Anglo-Saxon" capitalism has had over the past thirty years.
In late 2011 the Task Force for Inclusive Capitalism was created and co-chaired by Dominic Barton, a managing director at McKinsey & Company, and Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, CEO of holding company E.L. Rothschild. The purpose was to identify solutions to the “dislocations” caused by developments in de-regulated, low-tax so-called Anglo-Saxon capitalist economies like the U.S. and UK (which is different from capitalism in countries like Germany, Scandinavia and France where the state plays a more of a role).
In May 2012 the task force published the blueprint Towards a More Inclusive Capitalism. The report highlighted the serious dislocations caused by worldwide increases in income inequality; large-scale corporate and financial scandals leading to a fraying of public trust in business; historically high and persistent unemployment; short-term approaches to managing and owning companies.
Discussion about what to do about all this was the debate at the 2014 Conference on Inclusive Capitalism: Building Value, Renewing Trust that took place last week. Hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London the key note speakers were Bill Clinton, the Prince of Wales, IMF chief Catherine Laggard, as well as former Bank of Canada governor, Mark Carney. The latter sounded almost radical about the cause: "Just like any revolution eats its children…unchecked market fundamentalism can devour the social capital essential for the long-term dynamism of capitalism itself. All ideologies are prone to extremes. Capitalism loses its sense of moderation when the belief in the power of the market enters the realm of faith," said Carney. He went on to link the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession to an “absolute” belief in low taxes, deregulated markets and limited government intervention in the economy according to a report of the event. "In the decade prior to the crisis, such radicalism came to dominate economic ideas and became even a pattern of economic behaviour," he said. "We moved from a market economy towards a market society."
The leaders of the Anglo-Saxon world are sounding uncharateristically concerned.
The website of the conference is here: http://www.inclusivecapitalism.org/