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What Money Can't Buy - the moral limit of markets


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Speaker(s): Professor Michael Sandel, Stephanie Flanders, Professor Julian Le Grand, Rt Revd Peter Selby
Chair: Ann Pettifor

Recorded on 23 May 2012 in St Paul's Cathedral, London.

Is there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don't belong? What are the moral limits of markets?

Noted public philosopher and Harvard professor Michael J. Sandel will explore some of these pressing questions with responses from Stephanie Flanders, Professor Julian Le Grand and Bishop Peter Selby. St Paul's Cathedral is delighted to host a discussion on this vital topic within a sacred space in order to explore the intersection between faith, morality and markets and the power that money has in our lives. Questions and comments from the audience will be taken.

Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught political philosophy since 1980. His recent book, Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? relates the big questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of our time. His new book, What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, has just been published. At Harvard, Sandel's courses include Ethics, Biotechnology, and the Future of Human Nature, Ethics, Economics, and Law, and Globalization and Its Critics. His undergraduate course, Justice, has enrolled over 15,000 students, and is the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on public television. A recipient of the Harvard-Radcliffe Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, Sandel was recognised by the American Political Science Association in 2008 for a career of excellence in teaching. He has been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne (Paris), delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Oxford University, and in 2009 delivered the BBC Reith Lectures. In 2010, China Newsweek named him the "most influential foreign figure of the year" in China.

Stephanie Flanders has been a reporter at the New York Times (2001); a speech writer and senior advisor to the US Treasury Secretary (1997-2001); a Financial Times leader-writer and columnist (1993-7); and an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and London Business School. She became BBC economics editor in April 2008. She has won numerous awards, including the 2010 Harold Wincott Award for online journalism. She blogs at Stephanomics.

Julian Le Grand is the Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, a Trustee of the Kings Fund, and a Founding Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences.

Dr Peter Selby was Bishop of Worcester from 1997 until 2007 and in 2001 was also appointed to Bishop of Prisons, a post from which he also retired in September 2007.

Ann Pettifor is director of Policy Research in Macro-Economics (PriME), and a senior fellow of the New Economics Foundation. She is the author of The Coming First World Debt Crisis which was published in 2006.

St Paul's Institute seeks to foster an informed Christian response to the most urgent ethical and spiritual issues of our times: financial integrity, economic justice, and the meaning of the common good.

JustShare is a coalition of churches and charities committed to global development and social justice.

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