May 27 - The people who control a third of the world's liquid assets have gathered in London for a conference on Inclusive Capitalism. But what does the term really mean and why are they meeting? Ivor Bennett reports.
Between them, they control a third of the world's liquid assets. And for one day only they're gathered in the same room. 250 names, 30 trillion dollars of investable income - the Conference on Inclusive Capitalism knew it had to aim high. Organiser Lynn Forester de Rothschild explains why. SOUNDBITE (English) LYNN FORESTER DE ROTHSCHILD, CEO, E.L. ROTHSCHILD, SAYING: "Willy Sutton was a famous bank robber and he was asked 'Why do you rob banks?' and he said 'That's where the money is'. Well, why did we invite one third of all global investable assets? Because that's where the impact is." Bill Clinton, Christine Lagarde, Mark Carney and even Prince Charles - the names certainly pack a punch. But what does inclusive capitalism really mean? And is it even possible? His Royal Highness says it is. SOUNDBITE (English) PRINCE CHARLES, SAYING: "At the end of the day the primary purpose of capitalism should surely be to serve the wider long term concerns of humanity rather than the other way round. If there is a price to pay for achieving the necessary transformation it will be our abandoning of the next seemingly easy short-term solution that our current form of capitalism thinks is necessary, and instead focussing on approaches that achieve lasting and meaningful returns." Capitalism could certainly do with a makeover right now. High unemployment, and rising social tension among the current associations - symptoms of a financial collapse triggered by a culture of excess. Banking reforms have been designed to change all that of course. But IMF chief Christine Lagarde admits there's still a long way to go. SOUNDBITE (English) CHRISTINE LAGARDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, SAYING: "Progress is still too slow, and the finish line is still too far off. Some of this arises from the sheer complexity of the task at hand. Yet, we must acknowledge that it also stems from fierce industry pushback, and from the fatigue that is bound to set in at this point in a long race." According to Lagarde, some of the biggest problems are the banks deemed too-big-to-fail. A recent study by the IMF shows several of them are still a major source of systemic risk. In the US their implicit subsidy is still 70 billion dollars. In the EU, it's over 4 times that.