3 min read
Dec 2019

Bruno Roche Shares Insights at IFA Round Table in Paris


Published December 2019

Bruno Roche was invited to take part in a round table discussion about governance in Europe and the wider world with a focus on environmental issues at a gathering in Paris organised by the Institut Français des Administrateurs (IFA).

The conversation took place in French. An extract of Bruno’s contribution has been transcribed and translated below.

Put simply, economics is the management of scarcities. Fifty years ago, financial capital was in short supply. Therefore, in the 70s and 80s, financial capitalism made sense. Today, financial capital is overabundant, to the extent that we see negative interest rates in some countries. In contrast, where once natural capital was plentiful, it is now scarce.

You don’t need a PhD in economics to realise the old model is broken. You don’t have to be an idealist to believe that something must be done about growing social inequality. You only need to be a realist to understand that we need change. We need an economic model that generates human, social and natural capital – as well as financial capital.

Having benefited from financial capitalism, multinational corporations have grown in size and influence. They are now the primary actors in globalisation and their power rivals that of nation states. However, their leaders are ill-equipped to deal with the complexities and responsibilities their new status confers on them.

It is my argument that a shift must happen at the level of business. So, the key question is how can business bring about the change we so badly need?

Session recording (French language)

Video and images reproduced with permission from IFA-Institut Français des Administrateurs – J2A 2019


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