World Finance

World Finance

June 19, 2014 05:00 ET

Thomas Piketty: "Inequality is Not a Problem Per Se"

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwired - June 19, 2014) - Inequality has been cited by some, president Obama amongst them, as "the defining challenge of our time," so it's little surprise that Thomas Piketty's book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, has resonated with readers in quite the way it has. After impressive sales and a recent bout of criticism, World Finance spoke to the rock star economist about the book's reception and his ideas to overturn the current "inequality crisis".

"The book tells us that there's no natural force that prevents inequality from rising to excessive levels and that we need to ensure through proper educational and fiscal institutions that somehow we manage to keep track and keep control of how things are changing," he told World Finance.

"Inequality is not a problem per se. Up to a point, inequality is actually important for growth and innovation." However, Piketty goes on to stress that extreme inequality does quite the opposite and tends to reduce mobility. "This is not just of interest to economists, but to everyone."

When asked by World Finance about the FT's recent criticism of his data, Piketty said: "I think anyone spending 30 minutes on the issue will find that they've made a lot of noise about nothing at all... It's a bit sad that they're so afraid of my book. I think they should be afraid of the reality, and try and be a bit more constructive - in my view."

Piketty tells World Finance that he is optimistic about solving the current inequality crisis, and references recent changes made to Switzerland's banking system as one reason to feel hopeful about the circumstances soon changing. "I am confident that we can find a response to the current inequality crisis," he says. "This is difficult, but it doesn't mean it's impossible."

To see the Piketty interview in full, head over to the World Finance website or follow the link below.

http://www.worldfinance.com/markets/thomas-piketty-inequality-is-not-a-problem-per-se-video

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Contact Information

  • For further media information contact:
    World Finance
    Matt Timms
    Editorial Department
    +44 (0)20 7553 4177
    matthew.timms@wnmedia.com