This book is an attempt to understand and interpret the current economic and financial crisis, the most disruptive in recent memory due to the fact that it is also a political, institutional, and cultural crisis. The pre-existing framework of rules, checks, and government activities - that is a necessary complement of a market economy and counterbalances individuals' and businesses' pursuit of profit - evidently failed. In particular, there has been a considerable reduction in the time horizon which guides markets, governments, media, businesses, families, and our psychological outlooks. It is this "short view", this inability to rise above short-term reckoning and contemplate our long-term future, that lies at the origin of the current crisis, as Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa asserts in this extended and intense conversation with Beda Romano.
Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa is the president of the Notre Europe research centre, founded by Jacques Delors. He is a former minister of Economics and Finance in Italy, a former central banker in both Rome and Frankfurt, and an official of the European Commission.