World renowned professor from Colombia University Jagdish Bhagwati will valiantly discuss the topic "Can we still defend globalisation after the current crisis?" at a public lecture which is part of the Australian Conference of Economists (ACE2012).
The lecture will be held at the BMW Edge, Federation Square and will be chaired by Professor Peter Dawkins, Vice-Chancellor, Victoria University.
The current crisis, at the moment focussed in Europe, would appear to forcefully support the arguments of anti-globalisation.
Professor Bhagwati said, "The skeptics of economic globalisation seem to derive a shot in the arm, and moneys from liberal foundations and gigantic NGOs to finance their habit, whenever there is a suitable international meeting where governments and UN agencies will indulge them – G20 and Rio+20 just last month – or when an international crisis sends shockwaves, as with the current crisis."
Professor Bhagwati believes that globalisation has become the easy scapegoat and it is what lies behind financial decisions that is causing the ructions in financial sectors. He said that finance remains the soft underbelly of globalisation. The current financial crisis "is a product rather of financial innovations which have amounted to what I have called a 'destructive creation' – new financial instruments, whose downside no one including regulators understood, exposed the economy to shocks such as the Lehmann Brothers meltdown".
He said, "The fact that the major Investment firms could bamboozle the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US into virtually eliminating capital requirements, underlines this clout with its enormous cost to the system. In this context, I have also noted that there was a 'Wall Street-Treasury Complex' – the same people shuttled back and forth from the Treasury and New York's Goldman Sachs and Citibank. They wore the same ties and shared the same overly-optimistic views about how their activities and innovations were God's gift to mankind, not just to themselves."
Professor Bhagwati is available for interview.
Where: The BMW Edge, Federation Square, cnr Flinders and Swanston St.
When: 5.30 pm, Monday 9 July 2012.
For further information visit http://ace2012.org.au/
Richard Gerner, PAMS Conference Secretariat
Phone: 03 9895 4471