See also: George Soros
The Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) was conceived in January 2009, when Anatole Kaletsky — a Times of London economics writer who opposes the “noninterventionist model of capitalism” and favors deficit spending and “stimulus packages” as bulwarks against economic depression — discussed with George Soros “the unique opportunity to reshape economics in the wake of the financial crisis.” Eight months later, Soros assembled 25 economists, financiers, and journalists in Bedford, New York to brainstorm the idea. This “Bedford Summit” resulted in a “unanimous agreement that our economic paradigm must change,” and a “recognition of the importance of empowering the young generation of economists to rethink” the field of economics. Toward that end, INET was created as a nonprofit foundation in October 2009 with an initial $50 million pledge by Soros’s Open Society Institute. Kaletsky became a member of INET’s governing board.[
Co-founding](http://ineteconomics.org/about/leadership) INET with Soros was Jim Balsillie, CEO of the Canadian telecommunications company Research in Motion. In 2010 Balsillie was appointed to the United Nations High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability, charged with addressing “the growing risk of dangerous climate change.”
INET awards grants, generally in the $25,000 to $250,000 range, to individuals or teams “proposing research in new economic thinking.”
The organization also has set up task forces consisting of researchers led by senior economists — often from the INET Advisory Board — who “identif[y] critical issues requiring in-depth research.” As of April 2011, INET had established a Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Task Force, a History of Economic Thought Task Force, and an Economic History Task Force.
Moreover, INET periodically stages conferences and regional meetings at various locations to “bring people from different fields and schools of thought together” to discuss issues “that urgently require new economic thinking.”
INET’s executive director is Robert Johnson, an international investor and financial consultant who previously was a managing director at Soros Fund Management.
Key members of INET’s governing board include:
INET’s advisory board has included such individuals as:
- Paul Davidson, an economics professor who is a strong proponent of the Keynesian view which holds that active government intervention in the marketplace is the best method of ensuring economic growth and stability;
- Robert Dugger, a managing partner with a global asset management company and a board member of the Democracy Alliance;
- Thomas Ferguson, a political science professor and longtime contributing editor to The Nation;
- Duncan Foley, an economics professor who has praised Karl Marx for the “great insights” of his “very relevant and very powerful” analysis of capitalist society and its flaws;
- James Heckman, a University of Chicago economics professor who calls for massive public funding of “educational and development resources” for young children from “disadvantaged families”;
- John Kay, the founder of Britain’s largest independent economic consultancy, who has derided “the mantras of market fundamentalism”; the “American business model” founded on “unfettered self-interest, privatization and low tax”; and the “’one-size-fits-all’ globalization” that “hurts developing countries”;
- Axel Leijonhufvud, a longtime professor at UCLA and the University of Trento (Italy), who embraces Keynesian economic doctrine;
- Kenneth Rogoff, an economist who contends that America’s “unbridled capitalism” has caused “huge inequalities” which have led to “tensions” and “social friction,” and who favors the inheritance tax as a way to “eve[n] out the distribution of income across generations”;
- Jeffrey Sachs, an economist and longtime affiliate of George Soros who directed the United Nations Millennium Project, a massive redistributive scheme calling for the governments of wealthy countries to commit a portion of their GNP to promoting “the economic development and welfare of developing countries.” (Sachs has praised socialists as “both the heirs and the leaders of the world’s most important and most successful political path,” and has lauded their “strong commitment to universalist ethical principles and fiscal re-distribution.”)
- Amartya Sen, an economics profess who has discussed “the huge limitations of relying entirely on the market economy and the profit motive,” and who says that the economic crisis of 2008 was “partly generated by a huge overestimation of the wisdom of market processes.”
For additional information on INET, click here.