Next weekend, a group of academics, policy folks, and journalists will gather in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to join forces in working out solutions to the most challenging economic problems we face. ND20 will be on hand to share the highlights with you.
Bretton Woods, you'll recall, was the site of a famous 1944 gathering, which, among other things, secured the dollar as the world's international reserve currency. A lot has changed since 1944 -- including globalization of production, trade, and finance -- but economic frameworks and regulatory structures have not yet evolved sufficiently to address today's risks. The conference is hosted by the Institute for New Economic Thinking and led by INET Executive Director Robert Johnson, also a Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow. Participants will study the problems that caused the global economic meltdown and discuss safeguards to prevent another disaster, including ending Too Big to Fail institutions. Further topics include the decline of the American middle class, job creation, and the foreclosure crisis.
The conference, officially titled, "CRISIS and RENEWAL: International Political Economy at the Crossroads" convenes a wide range of influential figures, including former United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown; former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker; Financial Services Authority Chairman Adair Turner, and George Soros, Chairman of Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations. Historians like Harvard's Niall Ferguson and Princeton's Harold James will share their perspectives, along with well-known economists Larry Summers and Simon Johnson. Also on the roster are policy analysts from a number of think tanks and financial reporters from the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and Reuters.
Roosevelt Institute Chief economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz is a featured speaker, as well as Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Thomas Ferguson and New Deal 2.0 blogger Mario Seccareccia. Robert Johnson will kick things off on Friday with a keynote address to attendees.
Last night, Johnson joined Lou Dobbs on Fox Business News to discuss the conference, the work of INET, and some conspiratorial right-wing rumors about the event. He noted that INET works not only with Keynesian scholars typically viewed as progressive, but more conservative Hayek scholars and thinkers from the Milton Friedman Institute and the University of Chicago. "My job is to have everybody in the debate. Everything that we see suggests that experts across the spectrum have failed the American people, and it's time for us all to come together and get back to work"
In discussing the need to find a balance between government regulation and private industry, Johnson noted that "we don't believe that state capitalism or what some call the Chinese model is the right thing. People are very concerned about freedoms. But we also see dysfunction in the way the United States is behaving right now."