50th Anniversary Lecture of the Foundation: Should liberal capitalism be saved?

by Tony Major
Yanis Varoufaki, Merryn Somerset Webb and Martin Wolf

The Wincott Foundation hosted an evening debate on 14 November, 2019 at the Financial Times to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. This special event took the place of the annual Harold Wincott Memorial Lecture.

Harold Wincott argued persuasively in his writings for the virtues of liberal capitalism at a time when many policy-makers and economists looked to government intervention as the principal means of solving Britain’s economic problems.

With the idea of liberal capitalism again under attack, The Wincott Foundation invited Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator of the FT, and Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek finance minister, to debate the question ‘Should liberal capitalism be saved?’ They had a fascinating and lively exchange, moderated by Merryn Somerset Webb, editor-in-chief of Moneyweek and FT columnist. The event was attended by leading financial journalists, economists, business people and regulators, including both the outgoing editor of the FT, Lionel Barber, and his successor, Roula Khalaf.

Commemorative essay by Sir Geoffrey Owen

The anniversary was also commemorated with the publication of an essay on Harold Wincott and his influence, written by former FT editor, Sir Geoffrey Owen. Entitled ‘Harold Wincott: financial journalist and defender of liberal capitalism’, it traces Wincott’s career, explores his many contributions to politics, economic thinking and financial journalism, and describes the work of the Foundation. The text of the essay is available on this site. You can download it in pdf format by clicking on this link. Sir Geoffrey also wrote an article for the Financial Times on Harold Wincott. You can download it here.

The essay is also available in pamphlet form. Copies may be obtained from the Secretary at secretary@wincott.co.uk.

Audio transcript of the debate

An audio transcript of the debate is available. To listen to it, please click here.

Texts of the opening statements by Martin Wolf and Yanis Varoufakis

To read or download Mr Wolf’s opening statement, go here.

To read or download Mr Varoufakis’ opening statement, go here.

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