Alumni

Luigi Zingales: "A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity"

Business Book Roundtable

October 8, 2012: 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Luigi Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance, presents "A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity."

In "A Capitalism for the People," Zingales makes a forceful, philosophical, and at times personal argument that the roots of American capitalism are dying, and that the result is a drift toward the more corrupt systems found throughout Europe and much of the rest of the world. American capitalism, according to Zingales, grew in a unique incubator that provided it with a distinct flavor of competitiveness, a meritocratic nature that fostered trust in markets and a faith in mobility. Lately, however, that trust has been eroded by a betrayal of our pro-business elites, whose lobbying has come to dictate the market rather than be subject to it, and this betrayal has taken place with the complicity of our intellectual class.

Where

Chicago Booth Gleacher Center
Room 100
450 City Front Plaza Drive
Chicago, Illinois

Driving Directions:

PARKING: Chicago Booth has arranged with the AMC Theater-River East Self-parking Garage to provide discounted parking:

300 East Illinois Street (AMC Theater-River East Self Park Garage):

  • $6.00 after 3:00pm
  • Garage: Self Park Facility
  • Payment: Automated; at pay-stations by cash or credit card or upon exit pay by credit card only.
  • To receive discounted rate: There is a card validator at the first floor security desk of the Gleacher Center.

The new system for the AMC Theater- River East Self Park Garage is automated. You will only need to insert your parking card in the validator and the new price will be automatically applied. You can validate your parking ticket at any time between your arrival at and departure from the Gleacher Center. When you leave the lot you will be charged for the lower $6.00 fee.

Directions:  Garage is located next to PJ Clarks and below the AMC Theater.

When traveling east on Illinois cross over Columbus and enter the Garage on the left (north) side of the street.

If driving west on Grand (north of Theater), you can enter the garage ½ block before Columbus on the left (south) side of the street.

Event Details

Publisher's Book Summary:

Born in Italy, University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales witnessed firsthand the consequences of high inflation and unemployment—paired with rampant nepotism and cronyism—on a country's economy. This experience profoundly shaped his professional interests, and in 1988 he arrived in the United States, armed with a political passion and the belief that economists should not merely interpret the world, but should change it for the better.

In "A Capitalism for the People," Zingales makes a forceful, philosophical, and at times personal argument that the roots of American capitalism are dying, and that the result is a drift toward the more corrupt systems found throughout Europe and much of the rest of the world. American capitalism, according to Zingales, grew in a unique incubator that provided it with a distinct flavor of competitiveness, a meritocratic nature that fostered trust in markets and a faith in mobility. Lately, however, that trust has been eroded by a betrayal of our pro-business elites, whose lobbying has come to dictate the market rather than be subject to it, and this betrayal has taken place with the complicity of our intellectual class.

Because of this trend, much of the country is questioning—often with great anger—whether the system that has for so long buoyed their hopes has now betrayed them once and for all. What we are left with is either anti-market pitchfork populism or pro-business technocratic insularity. Neither of these options presents a way to preserve what the author calls "the lighthouse" of American capitalism. Zingales argues that the way forward is pro-market populism, a fostering of truly free and open competition for the good of the people—not for the good of big business.

Drawing on the historical record of American populism at the turn of the twentieth century, Zingales illustrates how our current circumstances aren't all that different. People in the middle and at the bottom are getting squeezed, while people at the top are only growing richer. The solutions now, as then, are reforms to economic policy that level the playing field. Reforms that may be anti-business (specifically anti-big business), but are squarely pro-market. The question is whether we can once again muster the courage to confront the powers that be.

Cost

$20.00, book is not included but will be available for sale at the event

Registration

Register Online

Registration required and closes at noon on October 8th. After that, contact the event contact for cash / check options if seats are still available.

 

Deadline: 10/8/2012

Program

6:00 PM-6:45 PM: Networking, light appetizers and cash bar

6:45 PM-8:00 PM: Author presentation, discussion / Q&A

8:00 PM-8:30 PM: Book signing, continued discussion and networking

Speaker Profiles

Luigi Zingales (Speaker)
Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/luigi.zingales/index.html

Author's Profile:

Luigi Zingales is the Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and the David G. Booth Faculty Fellow at the Chicago Booth School of Business. Luigi Zingales' research interests span from corporate governance to financial development, from political economy to the economic effects of culture.

Currently, he has been involved in developing the best interventions to cope with the aftermath of the financial crisis. He also co-developed the Financial Trust Index, which is designed to monitor the level of trust that Americans have toward their financial system. In addition to holding his position at Chicago Booth, Zingales is currently a faculty research fellow for the National Bureau of Economic Research, a research fellow for the Center for Economic Policy Research, and a fellow of the European Governance Institute. He is also the director of the American Finance Association and an editorialist for Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian equivalent of the Financial Times. Zingales also serves on the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, which has been examining the legislative, regulatory, and legal issues affecting how public companies function.

His research has earned him the 2003 Bernácer Prize for the best young European financial economist, the 2002 Nasdaq award for best paper in capital formation, and a National Science Foundation Grant in economics. His work has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Finance, and the American Economic Review.

His book, Saving Capitalism from Capitalists, coauthored with Raghuram G. Rajan, has been acclaimed as "one of the most powerful defenses of the free market ever written" by Bruce Bartlett of National Review Online. Martin Wolf of the Financial Times called it "an important book."

Born in Italy, a country with high inflation and unemployment which has inspired his professional interests as an economist, Zingales carries with him a political passion and the belief that economists should not just interpret the world, they should change it for the better. Commenting on his method of teaching on a few very important lessons rather than a myriad of details, Zingales says, "Twenty years from now they might have forgotten all the details of my course, but hopefully they will not have forgotten the way of thinking."

Zingales received a bachelor's degree in economics summa cum laude from Università Bocconi in Italy in 1987 and a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1992.

In addition to teaching and researching, Zingales enjoys cooking and spending time with his children.

Questions

Dana Damyen, '02 
Principal, TwoRoads Solutions
312-912-5931

Other Information

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