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Power Lunch with Bernard Gray

Date: Thursday 22 July 2010

Time: 12:45pm - 02:00pm

"Acquisition in the time of Austerity: A perspective on the Strategic Defence and Security Review"

Bernard Gray is Chairman of TSL Education. Bernard joined the business as Chief Executive when it was acquired by Exponent in 2005. Prior to this he was Chief Executive of CMP Information, the UK media arm of United Business Media, for 5 years and in that role was responsible in turning around the company from losses to profits of £40m a year. From 1999-2001 Bernard was Strategy Director of UBM, and was heavily involved in the proposed Carlton-UBM merger, and the subsequent sale of UBM's ITV franchises to Granada for £1.7bn, as well as overseeing some £1.5bn of other corporate transactions. 

Bernard's earlier career involved 2 years at the Ministry of Defence, where he directed the Strategic Defence Review of 1998, almost 10 years as a journalist on the Financial Times Group, including spells as the FT's Defence Correspondent and writing the Lex Column. He started his career with 5 years in investment banking and capital markets working for Bankers Trust and Chase Manhattan in London and New York.

In non-executive roles, Bernard has been a director of Cable & Wireless and Five, the UK broadcaster.

This power lunch will take place from 12.45-2pm. If you are interested in attending please contact Philip at philip@adamsmith.org or on 020 7222 4995.

Power Lunch with Hugh Hendry

Date: Tuesday 13 July 2010

Time: 12:45pm - 02:15pm

"The Gap in the Curtain"

Hugh Hendry is Partner, CIO & CEO of Eclectica. Hugh is the principal portfolio manager and leads both the investment thinking and the research team. He has 18 years' industry experience with Baillie Gifford, CSAM and Odey Asset Management. At Odey he managed a range of funds from $1.0bn of long only European mandates, including the award winning Odey Continental European Fund, to the The Eclectica Fund. Hugh graduated from Strathclyde University in 1990.

All power lunches take place from 12.45-2.15pm in our offices at 23 Great Smith Street, Westminster. These events are by invitation only, but if you are interested in attending please contact Philip at philip@adamsmith.org or on 020 7222 4995.

The Adam Smith Institute Summer Boat Party 2010

Date: Thursday 1 July 2010

Time: 06:15pm - 08:30pm

Embark at Westminster Pier from 6.15pm. The boat (Golden Jubilee) departs promptly at 6.30pm and will return to Westminster Pier two hours later.

Can a big society be a free society?

Date: Tuesday 15 June 2010

Time: 06:30pm - 06:30pm

The Free Society and the Adam Smith Institute present:

CAN A BIG SOCIETY BE A FREE SOCIETY?
Power or persuasion: what’s the big idea?

RSVP contact@forestonline.org

Chaired by Claire Fox (Institute of Ideas), speakers include Dr Eamonn Butler (director, Adam Smith Institute), Tim Evans (chairman, Libertarian Alliance), Martin Kettle (associate editor, Guardian), Shane Greer (executive editor, Total Politics), Simon Hills (associate editor, The Times Magazine), and Heather Brooke (freedom of information campaigner).

The Adam Smith Annual Lecture with Irwin Stelzer

Date: Thursday 3 June 2010

Time: 06:30pm - 08:30pm

Location: Queenborough Room, St Stephen’s Club, 34 Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1H 9AB

"Adam Smith’s teachings on modern economic policy"

ASI and friends gathered yesterday to commemorate the birthday of Adam Smith, our favourite classical economist. The reception was held at St. Steven’s Club, followed by a lecture by Irwin Stelzer, business economist, columnist for the Guardian and the Sunday Times (among others) and the co-founder of The National Economic Research Associates. The topic of the speech was the relevance of Adam Smith’s teachings on modern economic policy.

Mr. Stelzer took an unorthodox approach in his lecture: assuming everyone on the audience was a free marketeer, he argued in favour of some government intervention, and attempted to define the proper role of government within the economy. He highlighted six key areas in which some intervention would be desirable:

  • Fostering competition
  • Regulating when necessary
  • Internalizing externalities
  • Offsetting market failures
  • Preserving Free trade
  • Ensuring fairness of distribution

Mr. Stelzer labelled his approach “neo-orthodoxy”: a free economy with minimal, but well thought-out regulation to counterbalance market imperfections. Referencing Smith, he asserted that if the incentives are chosen well enough, “much good will follow”.

Well, maybe. But I wasn't wholly convinced. As the ASI's Dr. Eamonn Butler pointed out during the question and answer session, many – if not all – of the market failures Mr Stelzer drew attention to have their roots in previous government failure or intervention. He argued that if we got the first point right, and ensured that markets were genuinely free and competitive, government wouldn't really need to concern itself with the five that followed.

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