How the human race will survive the new economy of the 21st century

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A plea to Pope Francis for an intervention in New York

Introduction: an article for Christmas 2014

Dear Edouard,

Would you be able to send us an article for the review of the Pontifical Council for Culture? Our next issue is dedicated to the economy…

On 10 September 2014, my friend Laurent Mazas, a priest and executive director of the Cortile dei gentili, sent me this message from Rome. At first, I was going to decline. I already had too much work lined up for the season: new duties in a European think tank, clients to advise in a very uncertain period for global finance, weekly columns for the French business newspaper Les Echos, an already-delayed book and travels in Europe and Asia. Finally, and above all, my children were growing, and two parents are barely enough to watch over them.

But then, it became clear: was this not, on the contrary, the ideal moment, and Cultures and Faith the ideal publication, to openly express my deep conviction about global finance and the global economy? It is a conviction with roots in my own practices, in two senses of the word. I have been a practicing Christian for 44 years, in a country growing ever more uncomfortable with religious freedom. And for 20 years, I have held a professional practice in the world of business and finance, specialising in the anticipation and management of financial crises. My conviction is that, if we do not make radical moves very soon – and I make some suggestions of what can be done at the end of the article – the impact of the next technological and financial crises could reach far beyond our economies to threaten our very humanity. My hope as a Christian is that this plea, published in 12 languages on
Christmas Day of 2014, will be heard. I will explain how and why.

(What follows is a translation by Mike Woods, with VoxEurop, of the article “Will the human race survive the new economy?” published in the Cultures and Faith review of the Pontifical Council for Culture.)