Distinguished Public Lecture: The end of business as usual

04 November 2009


In the wake of last year's financial crisis, businesses, economists, policy makers and analysts around the world are asking if the events of 2008 mean the end of business as usual for the global financial system. Dr Mohamed El-Erian, Co-CIO of PIMCO, the world’s biggest bond fund, and one of the world’s most respected economic analysts, certainly thinks that it does.

Previously President of Harvard Management Company, where he was responsible for Harvard University’s multi-billion dollar endowment, Dr El-Erian now manages some $850 billion in assets at PIMCO. He is also a regular contributor to the Financial Times and author of the 2008 Financial Times Business Book of the Year 'When Markets Collide'.

In contrast to predictions from other financial experts and senior economic advisors, Dr El-Erian makes the provocative argument that the current economic upturn will be short-lived, claiming that any recovery in growth is likely to be lower than expected. In fact, he has argued very strongly against a return to the old ways of thinking, which he believes would be harmful and a serious threat to economic recovery.

Dr El-Erian argues that investors are already forgetting the lessons of the 2008 crisis and that they are failing to recognize that the current recovery "reflects temporary and reversible factors," such as huge government stimulus packages. In a recent Newsweek article, Dr El-Erian is quoted as saying "too many investors are treating the financial crisis as though it were a flesh wound … It's not: the system has been shaken not at the periphery but at the core".

If you want to find out more about what the manager of the world’s biggest bond fund means by this and how it impacts our global financial future, come to Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre on Thursday 12 November when Dr Mohamed El-Erian will give a 21st Century School Distinguished Public Lecture at 5-6.30pm. This lecture will be a rare opportunity to find out more about the 'new normal', as well as to take part in the subsequent discussion, a regular highlight of our Distinguished Public Lecture series.

The lecture, 'The End of Business as Usual: Navigating the New Normal', is free and open to the public, although pre-registration is recommended. For more information, please see our events page.

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