Can the US Still be the Leader of the Global Economy?
In a discussion with David Bradley at Aspen Ideas last June, Liaquat Ahamed, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lords of Finance, gave historical context to our contemporary economic crisis and ailing financial system.
In reflecting on the last three years, Ahamed says, "So far, the striking thing is that the dog that has not barked is protectionism — that we have managed to retain a remarkably open, global trading and financial system at a time of enormous stress."
While that is remarkable, there is still much to agonize over. "The worrying thing, as far as I’m concerned," says Ahamed, is that "the global economy works best when one country is in charge and acts as the leader. And particularly in times of crisis is able to act as the lender of last resort and is able to keep its markets open when everyone else is trying to close them... The question is, are we in a position to serve that role anymore? I don't know."
In this video, which is a short segment of the talk, Ahamed also discusses the similarity of what was happening in the economy of the 1920s to the economy of the early 2000s and the three things that saved us from another Great Depression, including valuable sources of dynamism in China, India, and emerging markets.
How can history help us sort out our future?
Watch the full session video.