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Capitalism and all that

1 June 2010

A big crisis, but was it big enough? That’s the question on the mind of Larry Elliott, economics editor of The Guardian  newspaper following last week’s OECD Forum  in Paris. Elliott went along to one of the event’s most talked-about sessions, “The Future of Capitalism”, which featured contributions from – among others – economic historian Robert Skidelsky  and commentator Anatole Kaletsky  (who previewed some of the issues raised in the session in the OECD Observer).

Writing later in The Guardian, Elliott reflects on a warning from another session speaker, the OECD’s Adrian Blundell-Wignall, that the crisis may not have been severe enough to prompt much-needed reforms.

 “Speaking in a personal capacity … Blundell-Wignall warned there was likely to be a second, even bigger, meltdown unless there was radical reform of the financial sector, including splitting up banks with both retail and speculative arms,” Elliott writes.

“Although this is a sombre conclusion, it may prove accurate. The current crisis has yet to have the cathartic impact of the slump of the 1930s, when the economic cost was far higher and the links between the failure of the old laissez-faire model and the drift to political extremism were plain.”  

Geoff Gallop of The Sydney Morning Herald offers another view of the session here.

If you’d like to make up your own mind on what was said, you can see a video of the session – and all the other Forum sessions – here. Also available are text summaries  of the sessions.

Over on the OECD’s YouTube channel you can see video interviews from the Forum, including one with Lord Skidelsky, who weighs in on the debate over fiscal consolidation. Or you can just scroll down the page to catch up on the OECD Insights Blog postings from the Forum.

Useful links

OECD Insights: From Crisis to Recovery

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