The crisis, capitalism and companies

The thumbnail for the discussion

The April 2019 Ditchley conference ‘The transatlantic community and global finance,’ noted that, with interest rates close to zero, future economic crises would demand mainly fiscal action and potentially even more radical responses. Capital was booming but pressure for change was growing on the roles and responsibilities of companies as inequality increased. It was emphasised though that change would only occur in response to pain.  A year on and the pain is here and then some. This Ditchley discussion will look at the implications of the economic response to the pandemic crisis for the nature of capitalism, markets and the definition of the responsibilities of companies. What does this potentially transformed landscape mean for companies, the way they organise and their roles and responsibilities?  How will the relationship between workforce and company be reshaped? What demands of companies should unions make of companies and in turn what should companies have a right to expect, and freedom to do, in respect of reshaping their workforce to fit the new conditions? What role should governments play in setting the new conditions? How might global capitalism evolve in response to the changes and challenges the crisis has brought?

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