In one of life’s ironies, around 250 people representing the world’s richest individuals and organisations have sat down in London to talk about how to spread their wealth to everyone else.
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Regardless of their serious intent, a cynic might think that if their intent was serious, they would have divested themselves of their trappings of cash and luxury already.
The conference was on the future of capitalism.
Fresh from his comparison of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Adolf Hitler, Prince Charles took to the stage to call for a far-reaching change to ‘global capitalism’ to minimise the effect on climate change.
His keynote speech was a rallying cry from one of Britain’s richest and cosseted figures to bring the curtain down on capitalism to save the planet.
Putting the planet first
“Business should put the environment and people first otherwise the planet will be destroyed,” said the Prince.
“People said capitalism defeated communism when the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain were torn down, but it’s not as simple as replacing one financial system with another.
“The rich and businesses have to think about the social, community and environmental issues of t5he policies they pursue.”
Other speakers at the conference have included Labour leader Ed Miliband, who more or less echoed the thoughts of Prince Charles, and Bank of England governor Mark Carney.
Carney gained a lot of applause by chastising the banking industry.
He told the conference that many financial institutions lost their way and left greedy workers to make profits at the loss of their customers.
Tough love for banking
“Financial services needs tough rules that give banks and their staff responsibility for their actions,” he said.
“Capitalism putting individuals ahead at the expense of the rest should not be tolerated. Instead we should have a system of social capitalism that makes sure no one is left at a disadvantage by the actions of the few.”
Carney also called on governments around the globe to put stricter controls in place to deal with rate-rigging and spot-fixing scandals that are beginning to emerge from the ashes of the financial crisis.
He was referring to allegations about gold-spot price manipulation and attempts to profit from foreign currency exchange rates.
The Inclusive Capitalism conference delegates control £30 trillion of funds– around a third of the world’s total finance available for investment.
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