Wednesday, May 28, 2014

More On the Inclusive Capitalism Conference

Following up on yesterday's "Big Eared Bloke: 'reform capitalism to save the planet'" I should probably explain the Prince Charles/Big Eared Bloke bit.

Some 25 years ago HRH was officiating at an agricultural fair and talking to some of the prize-winners when a TV news crew asked a hog farmer his impressions upon meeting the Prince. The fellow said:
"Well, he's a big-eared bloke".

From Matt Levine at Bloomberg's Morning Linkwrap, more on yesterday's conference:
...Inclusive capitalism.
You know a speech about "inclusive capitalism" will be inclusive when it starts by thanking Lady Lynn de Rothschild and the Prince of Wales, but to be fair Christine Lagarde gets to Marx by the fifth paragraph. She is unhappy with banks, calling them "more extractive than inclusive" -- to a hereditary prince, remember -- and citing an implicit too-big-to-fail subsidy, even now, of "about $70 billion in the US, and up to $300 billion in the Euro Area." She also wants to improve culture at the banks, by asking them to look at their telos:
In Aristotle’s framework, once we know the purpose, we can identify the virtues needed to fulfill it. It becomes a matter of every person doing the right thing.
When we think about finance, surely one of these core virtues is prudence—which is about stewardship, sustainability, and safeguarding the future. Prudence has long been a byword of banking, and yet has been sorely missing in action in recent times.
Good times, good times. At the same conference, Mark Carney said that "A sense of self must be accompanied by a sense of the systemic," and I guess there aren't that many opportunities for financial bureaucrats to spout philosophy at European royals so I hope they all had fun....
A tangentially related story from the Daily Mail last year on sustainable agriculture:

How Charles packed his prize pigs off to Italy... and they came back as ham costing £80 per lb
He is notoriously picky about his food and where it comes from. No bad thing, some might say, given the developments of the past week.

And in his quest for perfection, Prince Charles has sent two of his rare breed pigs to Italy to be turned into some of the finest ham known to man, cured in a medieval cellar with the help of the fog from a nearby river.

Sending pork to be cured at a 14th-century Italian estate and smoked for more than two years is likely to be beyond most budgets – transport costs alone were probably around £700 – and may even be considered a little eccentric.

However, the venture certainly accords with Charles’s love of small scale and organic food production....MORE
See also the topiary in 2010's "Giant 'hedge hogs' invade Clarence House as Prince Charles launches sustainable living garden party".