Sunday, March 18, 2012

DSK at Cambridge

Another important note from Bernard Girard, who points us toward the paper that DSK gave at the University of Cambridge, "A Tale of Three Trilemmas." In it, the former IMF head considers the Mundell-Fleming trilemma, the Dani Rodrik trilemma, and the Jean-Pisani Ferry trilemma concerning, respectively, open-economy macroeconomics, the politics of globalization, and the governance of the European monetary system. He draws the consequences of recent crises and says that we have learned that new institutions are required to deal with problems of globalization that cannot be resolved by the market.

This paper makes me regret all the more the political loss due to DSK's disqualification from politics, which cannot be undone. If he had been the left's candidate instead of Hollande, there might have been a genuine debate over the nature of globalization rather than what we have now: avoidance of debate and/or pandering to the extremes by simply denouncing globalization as if it could be reversed or moderated at will. As a politician, DSK had many shortcomings, but his grasp of crucial issues might have elevated the level of discussion, win or lose. Hollande seems to want to occupy the part of the spectrum that DSK once occupied, the center left, without assuming the responsibility of developing a clear center-left alternative to the ill-begotten austerity consensus forged by Merkel and Sarkozy. A pity. Perhaps even a tragedy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree that DSK's political suicide was a tragic loss, as he is manifestly very smart and with important things to say on the future of the world economy. But I don't think a presidential campaign is the place for this kind of debate, the issues of which are too complex and over the heads of most voters. And serious presidential campaigns require skilled politicians, which DSK was in fact not. I'm not sure he would have been a stronger candidate than Hollande. In fact, I doubt it. The place for him to employ his knowledge of the world economy was precisely where he was, at the IMF, and where he could have served a second term as managing director. That his service there was cut short is the real tragedy.