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Tomorrow’s Finance: How do we make finance socially acceptable? Matthew Bishop, The Economist

5th December 2012 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tomorrow’s Finance is a programme of lectures and other events being organised by Tomorrow’s Company in partnership with MAM Funds plc– we are inviting some of the most senior and thoughtful figures from and about finance to consider what is the purpose of finance and is the finance sector fit for purpose?The lectures will be challenging, often controversial, and always stimulating and enjoyable.

To give our third Tomorrow’s Finance lecture we have invited Matthew Bishop, US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief of The Economist. Matthew was previously the magazine’s London-based Business Editor. He recently authored The Road from Ruin: A New Capitalism for a Big Society and previously Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World. On Philanthrocapitalism, former U.S President Bill Clinton has said, 

This is an important book. Our interdependent world is too unequal, unstable, and, because of climate change, unsustainable. We have to transform it into one of shared responsibilities, shared opportunities, and a shared sense of community. Bishop and Green show us how to do it.

Lord Turner, Chairman of The FSA, once said finance is often not “socially useful” – the key question Matthew will exploring in this lecture is how we can make finance socially useful?

September 2008 marked a transition point for the end of a new paradigm and the start of the search for a new one. At the heart of the failure of the financial system was a very short-term view of market efficiency, one where most equated short-termism with social value. This proved to be a fallacy. There is a need to change the system from its default short-term stance by changing behaviours, laws and incentive structures around our financial institutions. By doing this we can move from merely spreading risk around to actually beginning to create a better world.

Matthew argues that we need to get back on the right side morally so that people working in finance can say they are doing well, while also doing good. On the other hand, the media’s approach, that tends to perpetuate short-termism, also needs to change.

In the USA there is less of a movement in this area and corporate America is mounting a fierce resistance towards it. The UK City is more open though systemic reform is not yet apparent. Indeed, can ethical consumerism be replicated as ethical investment?

The lecture and the following debate will interest anyone who is concerned with the future of our financial industry, particularly to those who seek to manage or influence its future.

The inaugural Tomorrow’s Finance lecture was delivered by James Featherby, author of ‘The White Swan Formula’ and Chair of the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group where he set out the key arguments of his new publication ‘Of Markets and Men’. This was followed by David Pitt-Watson’s, Chair of Hermes Asset Management Ltd, lecture on ‘Regulation – but is it effective? How to avoid the next financial crisis’.

Details

Date:
5th December 2012
Time:
8:00 am - 5:00 pm