Imagine one day you went to a cash-machine and found your money was gone. You rushed to your branch, where a teller said that overnight people had stopped believing in money, and it all vanished. Seem incredible? It happened, and it could happen again.
Although it calls itself a science, economics is really a belief-system.
As capitalism arose and the old order died, it explained a rapidly-changing world and gave us new moral codes for living. But today, ten years after a devastating financial crisis it largely failed to anticipate, and with economic growth in the West suddenly falling behind that of the developing world or the first time in two centuries, economics is struggling to explain a world that is changing beyond recognition.
So writes Dr John Rapley in his new book Twilight of the Money Gods. John will return to his old home at SAIIA to present a public lecture about the book, and to discuss the implications for South Africa’s future.
Dr John Rapley has made a vocation of working, and living, at the frontier where theory meets practice. After beginning his career at Oxford University’s International Development Centre, he left for the developing world, where he spent the next two decades working as an academic, journalist and ultimately the co-creator and director of a policy think tank. Along the way, he worked at universities on three continents and, upon returning to the UK, lectured at the University of Cambridge’s Centre of Development Studies. He now lives in London as a writer.