5 Dec 2008

Nobel Winning Economist: Financial Crisis a Distraction

The global financial crisis is distracting attention from other pressing issues such as high food and energy prices, and environmental damage, Nobel peace laureate Muhammad Yunus told AFP Wednesday.

The Bangladeshi economist warned that not addressing those other issues would lead to a “much bigger crisis ahead” that would have political and financial implications.

“What we see as a financial crisis is a part of many more crises, which are going on simultaneously in 2008,” Yunus said in an interview while attending a summit of business leaders in London.

“You remember the food crisis? It’s still on, it didn’t disappear. Simply, this (financial crisis) became much more pressing and everybody is paying attention.”

He continued: “Then we have the energy crisis, it’s still there… And then the environmental crisis, we have not solved anything about the environmental crisis.”

Yunus, who along with his Grameen Bank won the Nobel peace award in 2006 for efforts to lift people out of extreme poverty by giving them small loans, said that any solution had to “address simultaneously all these four” crises.

“It’s a framework problem: we have to have a framework which can address these issues about the lifestyle, about food production, technology, pricing, globalisation, tariffs.”

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