To make the event even more relevant to the audience, Attali is taking advance questions. You can submit your question here. The ten questions selected for answer will win a free signed copy of his new book.
Jacques Attali was the founder and first President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development based in London from 1991 to 1993. He has also served in numerous positions advising the French state and international organisations on economic growth and the financial industry.
I understand from the Asia-Europe Foundation, organisers of the upcoming talk (13 January 2010) that response has been good.
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The topic of his talk is particularly crucial to the present times. While Asian economies have generally recovered from the 2007/2008 downturn, those of Europe and the US have not. Latest job creation figures in the US have been disappointing; unemployment levels are forecast to stick around 9 – 10 percent for an uncomfortably long while yet — and this will have serious politicla implications.
In Europe, budget deficits and financial commitments by states in bailing out banks cast a long shadow over several economies, in turn causing severe strains in the Euro as the German economy powers ahead while some other countries languish.
Meanwhile in the UK, the Conservative/Liberal coalition government is slashing spending, and people are divided whether the cure might be worse than the disease.
Yet, Asia is not all that rosy. The flood of hot money into the region risks instability in currencies. Where exchange rates are controlled, e.g. in China, asset bubbles and general inflation become serious problems.
The ride is likely to remain bumpy for many years to come. Perspectives from East and West seem to differ markedly. This should make Attali’s talk particularly interesting.