Global Journalism Seminar: the role of business journalism in a financial crisis

From recessions to bank runs, what role do journalists play in times of financial crisis?

‘In 2008 we discovered that problems in one part of the financial system could quickly transmit to a systemic crisis, and that Lehman Brothers going down led to problems with AIG and then the whole system; we realised how fragile it was as a system.’

With the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the below-market sale of Credit Suisse, to say nothing of rising inflation and increasing inequality both within and between countries, the global economic mood is gloomy at best – and that’s without considering the scale of the climate crisis, which has massive systemic implications that are already being felt by individuals, companies and countries.

What is the role of journalists in reporting on and interpreting such challenges, and on facilitating change through raising awareness and speaking truth to power? How can we address the weaknesses in the system that are leading to continuing crises and ever-shorter cycles of ‘boom and bust’?

The Director of Journalism Programmes at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Mitali Mukherjee, is joined by Nobel Prize-winning economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz to discuss these issues from a financial, banking and economics perspective. Their conversation is followed by a lecture from Saïd Business School’s Professor Amir Amel-Zadeh. He highlights the work of the Rethinking Performance Initiative, describing how the role and purpose of modern companies are being redefined, and arguing for new performance measures to assess how they create (and destroy) value beyond financials.

Key ideas discussed in the event include:

  • Continuing failures in regulation and supervision of banks – have the regulators learnt anything since 2008?
  • What’s causing inflation and why the central banks are acting ‘foolishly’ in raising interest rates to try to control it.
  • The concept of ‘stranded assets’, and why the move to net zero needs to be managed carefully.

Read the news story about the event.

Watch the event

Joseph Stiglitz