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George Soros’s Institute for New Economic Thinking:

$50 Million Vanity Project – or New Trojan Horse? by Neil Maghami (March 2011)

Summary: George Soros literally wants to “reinvent” economics. He’s organizing conferences and making grants to promote new ideas that he hopes will discredit free market thinking, which he calls “market fundamentalism.” Is his plan foolish or fiendish?

In search of new mathematical methods outside of economics, INET gave a grant to three Carnegie-Mellon economists to show how new computer modeling techniques would resolve macroeconomic disputes. Steven Fazzari, the associate director of the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University, St. Louis, received a grant to develop a new model for Keynesian macroeconomics. To reduce the dominance of mathematics and statistics in economic training, UC Berkeley’s Barry Eichengreen and Duke University’s Bruce Caldwell, the Hayek  scholar, received separate grants to support the training of more graduate PhDs in the history of economics.

At least ten grants support specific topics in the history of economics. They range from an analysis of the impact of banking crises on income inequality…

Despite the absence of a project on reflexivity theory, George Soros congratulated INET on its grants: “The Institute’s programs are encouraging economists to rethink the very foundations of economics, as the financial crisis has revealed the current paradigm as a failure. Supporting new economic thinking through initiatives such as the Grant Program will have a tremendous impact on people’s lives, as the economy is the foundation of our existence and determines how we live. INET is a philanthropic project I am most proud of.”


Fri, 20 Apr 2012

Andrew Haldane, Executive Director for Financial Stability, Bank of England, speaking at the breakout panel entitled "How Can We Create a Financial System That Is Socially Useful?" at the Institute for New Economic Thinking's (INET) Paradigm Lost Conference in Berlin. April 14, 2012. He criticized high frequency trading.


INET website, several videos of speeches here, including Bretton Woods and Future of Finance


The Open Society Institute (OSI) was founded in 1993 by the multibillionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros. When Soros attended the London School of Economics (LSE) beginning in 1947, he was exposed to the works of the Viennese-born philosopher Karl Popper, who taught at LSE, and whom Soros would later call his “spiritual mentor.”1 Most notably, Popper's 1945 book The Open Society and Its Enemies introduced Soros to the concept of an “open society,” which affected him greatly.2

The term “open society” had been originally coined in 1932 by the French philosopher Henri Louis Bergson, to describe societies whose moral codes were founded upon “universal” principles seeking to enhance the welfare of all mankind—as opposed to “closed” societies that placed self-interest above any concern for other nations and cultures.3 Popper readily embraced this concept and expanded upon it. In his view, the open society was a place that permitted its citizens the right to criticize and change its institutions as they saw fit; he rejected the imposed intellectual conformity, central planning, and historical determinism of Marxist doctrine.4 By Popper's reckoning, a society was “closed”—and thus undesirable—if it assumed that it was in any way superior to other societies. Likewise, any belief system or individual claiming to be in possession of “ultimate truth” was an “enemy” of the open society as well. Popper viewed all knowledge as conjectural rather than certain, as evolving rather than fixed.

Thus, by logical extension, Popper did not share the American founders' confident assertion that certain truths were “self-evident,” and that certain rights—such as the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” as referenced in the Declaration of Independence—were “unalienable” and thus not subject to doubt, because they had been granted to mankind by the ultimate authority, the “Creator.”5 George Soros, as he grew to maturity, would likewise reject the founders' premise. To Soros, “Popper's greatest contribution to philosophy” was his teaching that “the ultimate truth remains permanently beyond our reach.”


Soros also happens to figure in the financial underwriting of the non-governmental organization (NGO) that Stiglitz has created to carry his ideas forward. It’s called the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, based at Columbia University. His funders include:

  • Open Society Institute.
  • Ford Foundation.
  • Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • United Nations Development Program.

At an event at Columbia University, Stiglitz appeared on a panel with Soros to discuss globalization. “People who write books generally don’t have time to read them. I actually read this book [Making Globalization Work] … and I’m glad I did,” Soros said. The panel moderator, Tina Rosenberg of the New York Times, declared:

….. Stiglitz was appointed by U.N. General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto to chair a high-level U.N. task force to review the global financial system. D’Escoto is the renegade Catholic Priest and former foreign minister of Communist Sandinista Nicaragua who advocates Marxist-oriented liberation theology and won the Lenin Peace Prize from the old Soviet Union. D’Escoto also claims a Master’s of Science from Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

The New York Times noted that D’Escoto believes the way out of the global financial crisis “should be lined with all manner of new global institutions, authorities and advisory boards,” including the Global Stimulus Fund, the Global Public Goods Authority, the Global Tax Authority, the Global Financial Products Safety Commission, the Global Financial Regulatory Authority, the Global Competition Authority, the Global Council of Financial and Economic Advisers, the Global Economic Coordination Council, and the World Monetary Board.

….  the official U.N. list of “experts” behind the plan included Stiglitz. His name appeared on a separate list of 15 “special advisers” to D’Escoto obtained from the U.N. by Inner City Press. Another name on the list was Noam Chomsky-is on the board of the Communist Party spin-off, the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.

Aides to D’Escoto “point out repeatedly that the president got many of his ideas from a distinguished panel of experts led by an American economist and Nobel laureate, Joseph E. Stiglitz,” the Times noted.

Another one of the “experts” the Times neglected to mention was Robert Johnson, former managing director at Soros Fund Management and board member of the Institute for America’s Future, a sponsor of the annual “Campaign for America’s Future” conferences. Johnson was on the board of the Democracy Alliance, a wealthy liberal group that includes Soros and is committed to “fostering collaboration among progressive leaders and institutions…” But he then moved on to help establish, with $50 million from Soros, the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Johnson is the executive director.

The Governing Board of the group includes:

  • Erik Berglof, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Robert Dugger, Hanover Investment Group
  • William Janeway, Warburg Pincus
  • Anatole Kaletsky, Times of London
  • Drummond Pike, Tides Foundation
  • John Shattuck, Central European University

The advisory board consists of:

  • George Arthur Akerlof, University of California, Berkeley, Nobel Prize in Economics, 2001
  • Erik Berglof, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Tom Bernes, Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Markus K. Brunnermeier, Princeton University
  • Willem Hendrik Buiter, Citigroup
  • Wendy Carlin, University College London
  • Bruce Caldwell, Duke University
  • Paul Davidson, Journal of Post Keynesian Economics
  • Robert Dugger, Hanover Investment Group
  • Barry Eichengreen, University of California, Berkeley
  • Thomas Ferguson, University of Massachusetts
  • Duncan Foley, New School for Social Research
  • Roman Frydman, New York University
  • Ian Goldin, James Martin 21st Century School, University of Oxford
  • Charles Goodhart, London School of Economics
  • Andy Haldane, Bank of England
  • James Heckman, University of Chicago, Nobel Prize in Economics, 2000
  • David Hendry, University of Oxford
  • William Janeway, Warburg Pincus
  • Paul Jenkins, Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Simon Johnson, MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Anatole Kaletsky, Times of London
  • John Kay, Financial Times
  • Richard Koo, Nomura Research Institute
  • Axel Leijonhufvud, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Perry G. Mehrling, Barnard College, Columbia University
  • Sir James Alexander Mirrlees, FBA, University of Cambridge, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 1996
  • Drummond Pike, Tides Foundation
  • Yaga Venugopal Reddy, Formerly, Reserve Bank of India, and currently, University of Hyderabad
  • Carmen Reinhart, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Hélène Rey, London Business School
  • Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard University
  • Jeffrey D. Sachs, The Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Amartya Sen, Harvard University, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, 1998
  • John Shattuck, Central European University
  • Robert Skidelsky, Warwick University
  • Andrew Michael Spence, New York University Stern School of Business, Nobel Prize in Economics, 2001
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz, Columbia University, Nobel Prize in Economics, 2001
  • Andres Velasco, Former Minister of Finance, Chile
  • William White, Bank for International Settlements
  • Yu Yongding, Institute of World Economy, CASS
  • Zhu Min, International Monetary Fund

The Institute for New Economic Thinking sponsored a “Bretton Woods II” conference, in order to lay the groundwork for new global institutions. The speakers were:

  • Anat Admati, Professor of Finance and Economics, Stanford University
  • Phillipe Aghion, Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  • George Akerlof, UC Berkeley
  • W. Brian Arthur, Fellow, Econometric Society
  • Jim Balsillie, Founder and Chair, CIGI
  • Eric Beinhocker, Senior Fellow, McKinsey and Company
  • Erik Berglöf, Chief Economist and Special Adviser, European Bank for Reconstruction & Development
  • Tom Bernes, Executive Director, CIGI
  • Paul Blustein, Brookings Institute
  • Claudio Borio, Bank for International Settlements
  • James Boughton, Historian, IMF
  • Richard Bronk, London School of Economics
  • Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister, United Kingdom
  • Wendy Carlin, University College London
  • John Cassidy, The New Yorker
  • Ha-Joon Chang, Reader, Political Economy of Development, University of Cambridge
  • Barbara Craig, Oberlin College
  • Marcello De Cecco, Professor of Monetary and Financial History, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
  • Charles Dallara, Institute of International Finance
  • Brad Delong, Professor of Economics, University of California at Berkeley
  • Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics and Political Science , University of California Berkeley
  • Alex Evans, Head of Research Program on Climate Change, Resource Scarcity and Multilateralism, Center of International Cooperation, NYU
  • Niall Ferguson, Professor of History, Harvard University
  • Thomas Ferguson, Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts
  • Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Professor of Economics, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris
  • Duncan Foley, Professor, New School of Social Research
  • Jeffrey Frankel, Professor of Capital Formation and Growth, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • Chrystia Freeland, Editor at Large, Reuters
  • Roman Frydman, Professor of Economics, New York University
  • Ian Goldin, James Martin 21st Century School
  • Andy Haldane, Executive Director, Financial Stability, Bank of England
  • Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich, Professor of Economics and Economic History, Freie Universitat Berlin
  • Kevin Hoover, Duke University
  • Thomas Homer-Dixon, Director, Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation, University of Waterloo
  • Yasheng Huang, Sloan School of Management, MIT
  • Joyce Jacobsen, Wesleyan University
  • Harold James, Professor of History, Princeton University
  • William Janeway, Senior Advisor, Warburg Pincus
  • Marleen Janssen Groesbeek, Policy Advisory, Eumedion
  • Paul Jenkins, Distinguished Fellow , Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Robert A. Johnson, INET Executive Director
  • Simon Johnson, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Global Economics and Management, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C
  • Peter Jungen, Peter Jungen Holding GmbH
  • Anatole Kaletsky, Associate Editor, The Times
  • Henry Kaufman, President, Henry Kaufman & Co., Inc.
  • John Kay, Columnist, Financial Times
  • Richard Koo, Chief Economist, Nomura Research Institute
  • Louis Kuijs, Senior Economist, World Bank (Beijing)
  • William Lazonick, Professor, Economics, University of Massachusetts
  • Robert Litan, Vice President for Research and Policy, Kauffman Foundation
  • Barry Lynn, New America Foundation
  • Wolfgang Munchau, Associate Editor, Financial Times
  • Dalia Marin, Professor of International Economics, University of Munich
  • Felix Martin, Thames River Capital
  • Richard McGregor, Financial Times
  • Perry Mehrling, Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University
  • Zhu Min, Special Advisor, International Monetary Fund
  • Alan Murray, Wall Street Journal
  • Daniel Neilson, Bard College, Simon’s Rock
  • Kevin O’Rourke, Professor of Economics, Trinity College (Dublin)
  • Jean Pisani-Ferry, Director, Bruegel, Brussels
  • Y.V. Reddy, Former Governor, The Reserve Bank of India, currently University of Hyderabad
  • William Rees, Professor, University of British Columbia
  • Carmen Reinhart, Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  • Andre Sapir, Professor of Economics, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Orville Schell, Director, Center on US-China Relations
  • Garry Schinasi, Visiting Fellow, Bruegel, Brussels
  • Mario Seccareccia, Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa
  • Andrew Sheng, Chief Adviser, China Banking Regulatory Commission
  • Victor Shih, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University
  • Robert Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy, The University of Warwick
  • John Smithin, Professor of Economics, Schulich School of Business
  • George Soros, Chairman – Soros Fund Management and Open Society Foundations
  • Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor, Columbia University, Nobel Laureate
  • Larry Summers, Harvard University
  • Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
  • Alan Taylor, Director, Center for the Evolution of the Global Economy at UC Davis
  • Gillian Tett, US Managing Editor, Financial Times
  • Niels Thygesen, Emeritus Professor of International Economics, University of Copenhagen
  • Camilla Toulmin, International Institute for Environment and Development
  • Adair Turner, Chairman, Financial Services Authority
  • Leanne Ussher, Assistant Professor of Economics, The City University of New York
  • Andrés Velasco, Chile’s Former Minister of Finance
  • Paul Volcker, Former Chairman, Federal Reserve
  • Christian Westerlind Wigstrom, PhD Candidate, University of Oxford
  • Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times
  • Yu Yongding, Director, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  • Steve Ziliak, Professor of Economics, Roosevelt University


"Manufacturing Dissent": the Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites

The People's Movement has been Hijacked, by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, September 20, 2010

 The WSF defines itself as "an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and inter-linking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neo-liberalism and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a society centred on the human person". (See Fórum Social Mundial, accessed 2010).

The WSF is a mosaic of individual initiatives which does not directly threaten or challenge the legitimacy of global capitalism and its institutions. It meets annually. It is characterised by a multitude of sessions and workshops. In this regard, one of the features of the WSF was to retain the "do-it-yourself" framework, characteristic of the donor funded counter G7 People's Summits of the 1990s.

This apparent disorganized structure is deliberate. While favoring debate on a number of individual topics, the WSF framework is not conducive to the articulation of a cohesive common platform and plan of action directed against global capitalism. Moreover, the US led war in the Middle East and Central Asia, which broke out a few months after the inaugural WSF venue in Porto Alegre in January 2001, has not been a central issue in forum discussions.

What prevails is a vast and intricate network of organizations. The recipient grassroots organizations in developing countries are invariably unaware that their partner NGOs in the United States or the European Union, which are providing them with financial support, are themselves funded by major foundations. The money trickles down, setting constraints on grassroots actions. Many of these NGO leaders are committed and well meaning individuals acting within a framework which sets the boundaries of dissent. The leaders of these movements are often co-opted, without even realizing that as a result of corporate funding their hands are tied.

Global capitalism finances anti-capitalism: an absurd and contradictory relationship.

"Another World is Possible", but it cannot be meaningfully achieved under the present arrangement.

A shake-up of the World Social Forum, of its organizational structure, its funding arrangements and leadership is required.

There can be no meaningful mass movement when dissent is generously funded by those same corporate interests which are the target of the protest movement. In the words of McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation (1966-1979),"Everything the [Ford] Foundation did could be regarded as 'making the World safe for capitalism'".


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