“A new Bretton Woods” and the problem of “economic order” — also a reply to Adler and Varoufakis

Adam Tooze at his own website:

Davos 2019 was a downbeat affair. That at least is how regulars described it To a newcomer it did not seem that way. Indeed, that gloomy assessment would seem to call for a reality check. Most thoughtful people are a lot gloomier than the folks you bump into at Davos. The 2019 meeting may not have had heroes to celebrate. The luster may have come off crypto. But if Davos lacked pizzazz, neither was it overshadowed by the sense of fundamental crisis that should surely color any realistic assessment of the current world situation.

It may sound paradoxical, but is it not the case that our sense of what is realistic is as much defined by mood (Stimmung) as it is by specific empirical facts?

In this sense the mood of Davos is profoundly unrealistic. What sets the tone is a Vegas-style festival of corporate PR and self-presentation, adorned with a barrage of exhortatory slogans worthy of a Mao-era pep rally.

More here.

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