Written on 29 November 2013.
Economic journalist Pierre-Henri de Menthon visited the Paris campus of the EDHEC Business School today to discuss his book “Théories du bordel économique” with top-tier business managers, MBA students and EDHEC alumni.
The morning meeting was part of a series of educational conferences created by EDHEC especially for upper-management executives. More than 60 executives representing such companies as INTEL, Orange, LCL, and GDF SUEZ attended the conference, which started with a light breakfast and was hosted by Benoit Arnaud, director of EDHEC Management - Executie Education.
During his talk, de Menthon described some of the economic and political factors that led to the financial crisis, as well as the intense battles among economists that followed over what truly caused the crisis, how to recover from it, and how to best avoid another.
De Menthon, who co-authored his book with Airy Routier, talked about several “stars” of the crisis; economists such as Paul Krugman, Daniel Kahneman and Ester Duflo who have greatly influenced public discussion. Nonetheless, he said, our society is no closer to a true understanding of its cause or eventual outcome. “We don’t really know where we are,” said de Menthon. “We can’t even say if this crisis will last forever or not.”
Another problem, especially for France, is that there often exists a sort of firewall between economists and politicians; with political leaders failing to heed advice from economists early enough to avoid financial troubles. EDHEC Professor Stéphane Gregoir, who serves as dean of faculty and research, said that one reason for this is that French government officials often have their own opinions and disagree with French economists. In contrast, American presidents often employ economists to serve as close personal advisors.