Columbia Law School Roundtable on The Future Of Capitalism

In this discussion that took place at Columbia Law School's Millstein Center last October (and thus well before the appearance of the coronavirus), two distinguished English academics, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and the executive chairman of a large American investment house discussed the role of corporations in addressing the crises that periodically beset the capitalist system. Sir Paul Collier opened with the comment that, although capitalism had shown itself to be the only effective system for mass human improvement in the past 10,000 years, it was now experiencing its “third serious derailment.” In each of the first two—the first in Northern England in the 1840s and the second during the Great Depression of the 1930s—capitalism was preserved in significant part by the “moral load-bearing” performed by private companies and citizens. For capitalism to survive this third derailment, the public and private sectors must join forces to address what Collier to sees as the most formidable economic challenge: finding ways to transport urban jobs and capabilities to rural areas still reeling from two major blows—the first, a century ago to agriculture, and the second, for the past two or three decades, to large-scale manufacturing. [...]

Collier P., Mayer C., Schwartz A., Bresnahan K., Pearlstein S. (2021) Columbia Law School Roundtable on The Future Of Capitalism, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, vol. 32(2), pp. 42-63.