20.02.27 Athens Lecture

Dame Minouche Shafik in Conversation with Mr Costas P. Michaelides: where is the world economy going and what can we do about it?

The world economy has gone through a synchronized slowdown and the recovery looks precarious.  Trade and manufacturing have slowed dramatically while investment and productivity continue to disappoint.  Tensions between the US and China threaten to divide the world along many dimensions – including finance and technology.  Meanwhile, many countries have accumulated levels of debt not seen since the world wars enabled by very low interest rates.  Inequality has gotten worse in many countries and technological changes and automation will change jobs and global supply chains in future.  How can the world economy get onto a healthier growth path and what policies do we need to see for that to happen?  And what would happen if we had a negative shock – would governments, central banks and the international organisations have the tools and political will to address it?  In this conversation with Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics, we discussed the current state of the world economy and how we might get to a better place.


Speaker: Dame Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics & Political Science
Discussant: Costas P. Michaelides, Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of Greece
Welcome Address: Dr Eleni Doundoulaki, LSE Hellenic Alumni Association President
Date: Thursday 27 February 2020
Time: 18:45-20:30
Venue:  Karatzas Auditorium, Eolou 82, 105 51 Athens, Greece


Minouche Shaffik

An economist by training, Dame Minouche Shafik has spent most of her career straddling the worlds of public policy and academia. After completing her BSc in economics and politics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, she took an MSc in economics at LSE before completing a DPhil in economics at St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. 

Minouche’s early research focused on the determinants of investment, the environment and economic growth, the economies of the Middle East and North Africa, trade and migration. 

She taught at both Georgetown University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. During her 15 years at the World Bank, Minouche worked on its first ever World Development Report on the environment, designed reform programmes for transition countries in Eastern Europe, and developed proposals for economic integration in support of the Oslo peace process in the Middle East. 

She became the youngest vice-president in the history of the World Bank at the age of 36. Minouche returned to the UK in 2004 and rose to become the Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Development where she was responsible for the UK’s development assistance efforts around the world. 

She joined the IMF in 2011 as Deputy Managing Director with responsibility for many of the crisis countries in the Eurozone and the Arab countries in transition. She also oversaw the IMF’s university which trains thousands of government officials each year, and was responsible for human resources and an administrative budget of $1 billion. 

From 2014-2017 she was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, responsible for a balance sheet of almost £475 billion, and sat on all of the Bank’s major policy committees (the Monetary Policy Committee, Financial Policy Committee, and Prudential Policy Committee). She also led the Fair and Effective Markets Review which put in place a set of reforms to tackle misconduct in financial markets. 

Minouche currently serves as a Trustee of the British Museum, the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Governor of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, and is Honorary Fellow of St. Antony’s College Oxford. 

She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Warwick, the University of Reading, and Glasgow University. She was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 2015.



Michaelides Costas

Mr. Costas P. Michaelides holds the position of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Νational Bank of Greece (N.B.G.). He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Bank Association. He has extensive experience in the international banking and finance sector. His latest position was Global Head of Strategic Change of UBS Group. For many years he served as Regional Chief Operating Officer of Credit Suisse Group (EMEA). He also held the same position at Credit Suisse First Boston (EMEA). He has held senior positions in other international banking and finance groups, such as Merrill Lynch Europe, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette International and Salomon Brothers International. Mr. Costas P. Michaelides has a BA in Economics and Political Science and an M.A. Ph.D. Economics and International Affairs from University of Denver. He also holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia University.

Welcoming Address


Dr. Eleni Doundoulaki is Regional Vice Governor of Attica responsible for Culture and President of the Hellenic Alumni Association of LSE.

Dr. Eleni Doundoulaki graduated from Athens College.She holds a PhD and a BA in Theatre Studies – both with Distiniction – from the Theatre Studies Department of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She also holds two related MA titles, from the School of Drama of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and from the Theatre Studies Department of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She also holds the following: ΜΑ in European Cultural Policy and Administration από το University of Warwick και MSc in Culture and Society από το London School of Economics and Political Science – LSE.

From 2005 she works in Greece, as a dramaturg, cultural manager and cultural policy consultant, having collaborated with various well known Greek cultural institutions and artistic schemes including Athens and Epidaurus Festival, State Theatre of Northern Greece, Art Theatre, E.R.T.

From 2010 to 2014 she was theArtistic Director of the Regional and Municipal Theatre of Central Greece.

From 2016 until present she is aTeaching Fellow at the Theatre Studies Department of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and a member of the Artistic Consulting Committee of the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation.

From 2006 to 2014, together with her professional carrier, she was actively involved with Greek Local Government. She has elected and served as a Municipal Councilor and Vice Mayor of the Municipality of Psychiko, and as a Municipal Councilor and Appointed Councilor of the Municipality of Filothei-Psychiko.

In 2019 she was elected Regional Councilor of Attica and she was appointed Vice Regional Governor responsible for Culture.

In 2020 she was appointed, by the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Member of the Supervisory Council of the National Library of Greece.