Gordon Brown Calls for Global Solutions to Address Global Economic Problems wkf2011 l 2011.10.11

The world economy headed into a freefall on the sudden collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, paralyzing panic-stricken political leaders into inaction. In face of the biggest economic drama of the new millennium, then-UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown rose as a de facto leader, almost single-handedly orchestrating rescue packages for European banks, restarting the economy with a stimulus, and showing the rest of the world the way through the crisis.

As a core figure of the crisis, ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be attending the WKF to offer a critical account of the global economy and globalization-based solutions.

Gordon Brown first entered politics at the age of 32, when he won the 1983 general elections for Labour MP, and rose to the post of Chancellor of the Exchequer by 1997. During his 10 years at the Treasury, he spearheaded reforms on fuel allowances and minimum wage, while overhauling the monetary and fiscal policy architecture of the UK. In 2007, Brown succeeded Tony Blair as Prime Minister of the UK until his resignation in May 2010, after which he has been serving as Labour Backbencher to the UK Parliament and advisor to the World Economic Forum. Soon after his resignation, Brown published his account of the financial crisis and useful solutions under the title of ``Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalization.`

A well-known proponent of globalization and global coordination, Brown`s economic outlook is centered on how to capitalize on globalization to survive and improve the world. He was deeply shocked by the events of the Asian financial crisis in 1998, which brought home the extensive level of interconnectedness, need for financial regulation, and the importance of global cooperation - a lesson Brown did not forget. His wariness against unregulated markets, distrust of destabilizing capital flow, and confidence in concerted global efforts was what prompted Brown to act with such clarity and decisiveness at the most critical economic timing.

Brown purports the idea of a "global compact" as a near-panacea for surviving the crisis, regaining fiscal stability, encouraging growth, creating new jobs, and even eliminating poverty. He is frequently cited saying, "our economies are connected as never before, and I believe that global economic problems require global solutions and global institutions." Though the recent crisis seems to signal a retreat from globalization, Brown argues that this is the time to work in collaboration.

His explanations on the effective management and capitalization of globalization will be offered in his solo speech entitled `Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalization,` slated at Vista Hall from 8:00 to 8:50 on Wednesday, October 12th.


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