The Cost of Free Money – Panel Discussion, 14 July 2020

To mark the publication of my latest book The Cost of Free Money (July 2020, Yale University Press) we organised an online panel discussion looking at the future of the global economic order. I was delighted to be joined by a stellar panel of thinkers, including Barry Eichengreen, University of California Berkeley; Danny Quah, National University of Singapore; and Martin Wolf, Financial Times. 

Paola Subacchi, Barry Eichengreen, Winnie King, Paul van den Noord, David Vines, Martin Wolf, Danny Quah

You can now stream the panel discussion (password: 5C#f7&Fw)

Our discussion began with a question central to the book: what happens when competition for markets spreads into open rivalry? And what happens when this rivalry is between states with conflicting domestic political systems, as we see today between the United States and China? The panel agreed that achieving a better balance is going to be an even more arduous task in a post-covid-19 world. 

Among other topics, we further discussed who gets to decide the shape and form of the international order, the dollar, the new regional institutions in Asia, and how climate change and public health must be at the forefront in the future. 

There was wide agreement among the panel that Europe’s prospects in the global economic order are looking radically brighter now than they did before covid-19, and that only Europe has the capacity to move from theorising to action. While Barry Eichengreen predicted that the euro will have come to surpass or match the dollar within three decades time, Paul van den Noord intervened and commented that we might expect this to happen sooner. 

Danny Quah – who played the role of devil’s advocate in the debate – took a different stance: “I would put my bets on new parts of the world that we haven’t thought about historically – not the US, not Europe, not China. We’ve spent the past quarter of a century lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, not all of them in China alone. We have brought scores of nations out of the periphery where they used to be, to be central now. They need to have more of a say in how the international system evolves and that’s where I’m going to put my money.”