Since the global financial crisis, there have been unsatisfied critics demanding that financial systems better reflect social values. Yet as the COVID-19 pandemic escalates, our focus on financial sectors has shifted to appeals for help. In fact, after COVID-19, our societies may owe financial sectors two debts. The first will be the kind of debt one typically owes a financial sector—cold hard dollars. But the second could be one of warm gratitude—for enabling many of us to keep our homes and livelihoods during the pandemic.
Financial sectors are now among the ‘essential workers’ playing their role in the crisis effort, demonstrating why functioning financial systems make economies more inclusive and sustainable. In this webinar Lee-Anne Sim will discuss what we can learn by comparing COVID-19 and the 2007-9 global financial crisis and how we can apply these learnings to financial system reform to create a more inclusive and sustainable future. How did our societies and financial sectors make decisions at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic? What motivates our decisions now? How can we use this knowledge after the crisis to direct the decision-making power of financial sectors towards a more inclusive and sustainable future? Sim draws on her article in the March 2020 issue of International Affairs, ‘Influencing the social impact of financial systems: alternative strategies’.