Daily Archives: November 27, 2008

This is the text of a speech given by Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator, at the FT’s annual economists’ drinks party in London last night.  

Last year I enjoyed telling a number of entirely unfair jokes about economists. This year, I looked at the same source and found only one joke about the profession’s involvement in depressions. Here it is:

“Such a severe depression and banking crisis could not have been achieved by normal civil servants and politicians, it required economists’ involvement.”

This, in short, is a time for humility. Why did we mostly get “it” so sensationally wrong? How did something that looks increasingly like the precursor of a slump creep up on almost all of us this year? It is a pretty good question. It is a pretty embarrassing one, too. It is one everybody I meet now asks. Even Her Majesty has asked why we didn’t do a better job of forecasting this mess. Read more

By Jeffrey D. Sachs

Governments meet in Doha this weekend to review the global system of development financing, the means by which resources flow globally to support sustainable development. The system is broken, though the conferees are unlikely to say so clearly. Read more