Markets Should Serve Society

What is the purpose of markets?

“Markets and the institutions that support them are not descended from heaven but are human constructs that require support and the conviction. Markets are mechanisms that are meant to serve society.”

That was INET Executive Director Rob Johnson’s message when hespoke to the Economic Times of India this week. Johnson talked with the Economic Times about today’s pressing economic issues like inequality and financial instability. “One must understand that inequality can breed instability and that unbridled finance can do as much or more harm as good,” Johnson said.

Johnson also took aim at the growth-at-all-costs approach to development because it doesn’t provide quality of life for most people. “Growth per se does not impress me,” he said. “What matters is the quality of development. I am very concerned that growth that exacerbates income inequality and causes environmental deterioration is of little or no value to society. Quality of growth matters a great deal.”

The interview also touched on topics including globalization and the myth of central bank independence, and Johnson spoke about INET’s plans to expand its presence in India.

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