On 16 October 2017 the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, hosted a Kapuscinski Development Lecture by Professor John Kay – one of Britain’s leading economists, whose primary focus is financial sector and its role in developed economies.
In his lecture entitled ‘Finance for the People’ Professor Kay stressed that through the years the financial sector moved away from its original mission of serving households and enterprises by managing their payments and savings as well as by provision of loans and shifted to activities that are of marginal benefit to households and small businesses. Professor Kay concluded that the escalation of various types of financial transactions, which he estimated at nearly 97% of all activities of large financial institutions, created a highly vulnerable international economy. Not only is such a world much more prone to crises similar to the one experienced in 2008; it is also faced with growing income inequality especially pertinent in the USA and UK. Despite growing regulation, the modern financial sector cannot be controlled, which is why financial and economic crises may be expected to arise more frequently. According to Professor Kay, developing countries should therefore focus on development of their own banking and financial sectors suitable to serving the needs of local small business and supporting their stable economic growth.
Professor Kay’s talk was followed by a discussion, during which Professor Emeritus Marjan Svetličič from Centre of International Relations reflected on the lecture. The event was moderated by Professor Maja Bučar, Head of Centre of International Relations.
Kapuscinski Development Lectures are organised by UNDP under the sponsorship of the European Commission. The purpose of these events is to promote development issues by a series of lectures by renowned international experts.
A video of the lecture by Professor Kay at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana can be accessed on the UNDP Kapuscinski development lectures website.