||Central Bank Of Barbados
Dr. Simon Johnson Discusses Digital Currencies, the Global Crisis and the IMF with Governor Worrell
In his first event after arriving in Barbados, Dr. Simon Johnson, the Central Bank’s 2016 Distinguished Visiting Fellow sat down for a wide-ranging one on one interview with Governor, Dr. DeLisle Worrell.
The early part of the discussion focused on the rise of digital currencies, one area of Johnson’s expertise. While acknowledging that these currencies are still quite new, Johnson predicted that paper money is on the verge becoming obsolete. At one point likening bitcoin to “digital gold”, he predicted that someday “everything will be on a phone or a mobile device”.
As the interview shifted to other topics, the two economists often expressed contrasting views, which led to lively discussion, particularly about the global financial crisis and the International Monetary Fund:
On the IMF: Dr. Johnson contended that the organization had made significant improvements in their policies. Dr. Worrell concurred, but asserted that that the Fund still does not understand the limited options that small economies have simply by virtue of their size.
On the Global Financial Crisis: In his book 13 Bankers, Johnson theorised that the financial meltdown was the result of excessive deregulation. Stating that he was not anti-bank, he argued that some of the really large banks in the USA had become too big to manage and suggested that the next crisis could be even more disastrous. Dr. Worrell questioned whether, given how interconnected the financial system is, it would actually be possible to break up the large banks.
Dr. Johnson’s interview will be broadcast on March 8 at 8:05 p.m. on CBC TV8 and on March 9 and 16 at 8:00 p.m. on Trident10 TV.