Is INET nothing but a Trojan horse of the financial oligarchy?

30 Mar, 2014 at 10:36 | Posted in Economics | 2 Comments


So far, the history and the actions of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, founded by George Soros and other members of the financial establishment, are compatible with the hypothesis that it might be a Trojan horse of the financial oligarchy, meant to control the movement for reform of economics. However, despite some limited evidence to the contrary, it is also still compatible with the counter-hypothesis that it is a bona fide effort to push such reform to the benefit of society at large. A restrictive policy of supporting independent initiatives with the same stated goals, and a recent tendency toward the promotion of the less radical reformist ideas make it opportune to monitor the activities of INET with an open but skeptical mind.

Norbert Häring

Yours truly can’t but concur. And obviously there are others also having doubts about INET:

The first INET meeting at Cambridge University in 2010 bore some small promise—for instance, when protestors disrupted the IMF platitudes of Dominique Strauss-Kahn in Kings great hall, or when Lord Adair Turner bravely suggested we needed a much smaller financial 007But the sequel turned out to be a profoundly more unnerving and chilly affair, and not just due to the caliginous climate. The nightmare scenario began with a parade of figures whom one could not in good conscience admit to anyone’s definition of “New Economic Thinking”: Ken Rogoff, Larry Summers, Barry Eichengreen, Niall Ferguson and Gordon Brown … The range of economic positions proved much less varied than at the first meeting, and couldn’t help notice that the agenda seemed more pitched toward capturing the attention of journalists and bloggers [oh my, I’m included in this one], and those more interested in getting to see more star power up close than sampling complex thinking outside the box. It bespoke an unhealthy obsession with Guaranteed Legitimacy and Righteous Sound Thinking.

Philip Mirowski


  1. Perhaps outside INET (I couldn’t say) two writers I do not trust are Andrew Haldane and Bruce Bartlett. — Bartlett for his history, and Haldane for some of his conclusions, which contradict my observations.

  2. Trojan horse? It’s hard to say. Rogoff and Ferguson try to defend the conventional wisdom, but they’re so obviously ignorant on economics that they’re a joke. Larry Summers tried to produce a new idea, his so called “secular stagnation”, but that was nonsense, and he’s now half admitted it was nonsense.

    Adair Turner – I’ve plenty of respect for him. He clearly thinks hard, and has produced plenty of articles which attempt to improve our banking and monetary systems. As to Gordon Brown, while he must take some of the blame for the credit crunch, he penned an article in the New York Times mocking existing attempts to better regulate banks. See:

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