12 Jun 2009  HBS Business Summit

Business Summit: Lawrence Summers on Market Capitalism’s Historic Opportunity

Confronting today's economic challenges represents an historic opportunity to save capitalism from itself, and in doing so, to create more prosperity and improve the lives of more people, says Lawrence Summers.

 

Editor's Note: This is a summary of an HBS Business Summit presentation. View a full summary and video of the event on the HBS Centennial Web site linked below.

Date of Event:October 14, 2008
Speaker:Lawrence H. Summers, Director of the White House National Economic Council, and Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University

In this keynote address, former Harvard president Lawrence Summers shared his view of the challenges facing America at a time of financial and economic turmoil, and the opportunities they present.

The United States stands at a time of unique challenge requiring decisive action. This includes both near-term action to deal with the current financial crisis, and decisions on three broad issues that hold enormous ramifications for American society and the world at large.

These issues are: Maintaining stable prosperity and economic growth; making sure that prosperity is widely and legitimately shared; and building a new global system that works for the citizens of all nations. Confronting these challenges represents a historic opportunity to save capitalism from itself, and in doing so, to create more prosperity and improve the lives of more people.

Key concepts include:

  • America faces a host of major economic challenges.
  • The short-term response to the current crisis is taking shape, but critical decisions must still be made.
  • In the near term, the country must deal with the current crisis, but other broad issues must also be addressed.
  • In these challenges lies the opportunity to make the world's economic system work for the people of the world by saving capitalism from itself.
  • Read the in-depth summary [PDF]

For more coverage and video:
http://www.hbs.edu/centennial/businesssummit/market-capitalism/the-future-of-market-capitalism.html