[Note: revised by the author and replaced text Oct. 17, 2011]
Image by waywuwei via Flickr
The Occupy Wall Street movement sweeping across the US faces a tricky dilemma, the outcome of which will determine its historic impact. Up to now, part of the movement’s strength derives from its diffuse, eclectic spread of voices. That enigma makes it hard to define and confront from the authorities’ point of view. However, sooner or later the campaign will have to set out its own agenda by defining demands and aims. Otherwise, it runs the risk of running out of the admirable popular momentum that it has thus far generated; also, such a vacuum allows others who do not share the ultimate concerns of the grassroots to define the direction of the movement – a direction that most likely will lead to a safe, blind alley – again from the authorities’ point of view. Continue reading →
I’m writing in response to the George Soros lectures recently given at the CEU and made available at the Financial Times web site.
I have a degree in economics and an MBA in Finance, both from highly regarded schools. It’s been 40 years since I got my Wharton MBA and it’s taken me almost that long to figure out that my degree was designed more to help me make money for people, (many of whom extract more from society than they contribute to it), than it was to help me understand the dysfunctional institutions they own or manage.
I think Soros made some excellent observations during his lectures and his ambitious attempt to formulate a new economic theory is noteworthy. My view is that his observations are not only insightful, as they obviously contributed to his success in business, but I think his theory, once expanded, will be helpful in preventing another debacle like the one we’re going through now. In any event, he’s right that something needs to change, as most of the economists we hear from in the main stream media operate inside a box that would best be dismantled. I think he made that point as well.