(Steve Clemons and Joseph Stiglitz sitting in the private apartments of John Maynard Keynes, Kings College, Cambridge University; April 2010; photo credit: Leif Pagrotsky)
Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and I attended last year one of those conferences that decades from now historical societies will note with a marker on the wall.
The meeting, organized by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, in the hallways and chambers once the domain of John Maynard Keynes at Kings College, Cambridge was the brainchild of Institute Director Rob Johnson as well as financier and philosophical provocateur George Soros — who introduced his thinking on ‘reflexivity’ into the arena of debate and turf-wrestling among the world’s best economic minds.
Michael Hirsh, then writing for Newsweek best captured the revolutionary feel of last year’s conference — and now a second convening of the world’s leading economic thinkers are assembling in Bretton Woods, NH — where in 1944 Keynes and other global economic and political leaders from 45 nations met to establish the International Monetary Fund.
As INET Executive Director Rob Johnson, “last year’s conference punctured the mystique of market stability (not to mention real events). This year, the conference will shatter the illusion of control.”
Most of the sessions of this conference — sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation, the Sloan Foundation, and Stiftung Mercator — will be available on video right after their sessions — and the twenty or so academic papers for the meeting will be posted on line.
I’ll be covering the entire meeting. Among those who will be speaking and participating here are Kenneth Rogoff, Joseph Stiglitz, Lawrence Summers (uh-huh), Adair Turner, Gillian Tett, Rob Johnson, George Soros, Yves Smith, Paul Volcker, Chystia Freeland, George Akerlof, Gordon Brown (yep, that one).
Rob Johnson, responding in a conversation on Lou Dobbs Tonight to various concerns about what a room full of great economists might be up to, even invited Lou Dobbs up. No word yet on whether he will appear.
— Steve Clemons