The Halsey Keetch Book Club – Megatrends and What We Owe The Future December 22

Date: December 2022

Description: Believe it or not, the festive period is almost upon us once again. After the success of the last meeting of the Halsey Keetch Book Club, in person at One Lombard Street in late September, we are keen to see you again and to fit in another gathering before this hectic and fascinating year comes to a close. This time around, owing to demanding festive event and work schedules for all in December, we will revert to a virtual format (i.e. via Teams), but are sure it will be engaging and enjoyable, even if we aren’t in the same room together. Christmas jumpers are as recommended, as ever, but entirely optional!

This has been another wild year for UK and global society and the financial services industry and the risks facing us all have been prominently on display – perhaps more so than at any point in the last decade, and that is truly saying something. With this in mind, an obvious choice for our book club, given that risk management is one of our core specialities, is ‘Megathreats’ by Nouriel Roubini, the world-famous economist who predicted the global financial crisis and currently serves as Professor Emeritus at New York University’s Stern School of Business. The newly published book’s title is ‘The Ten Trends that Imperil Our Future, and How to Survive Them’, which, we realise, is not especially festive. That said, as the always wise Martin Wolf of the Financial Times has written: “Forewarned is forearmed. Read and pay attention”.

Nevertheless, it will soon be Christmas, traditionally a time of positivity, togetherness, and occasionally, miracles. We would therefore like to suggest a slightly more optimistic alternative in ‘What We Owe The Future’ by William MacAskill. Also a Professor – an Associate Professor of philosophy at Oxford University in his case – and a champion of the ‘effective altruism’ movement, William MacAskill is described by Rutger Bregman, with whom our regular members will be familiar, as “among the most important philosophers alive today”. His new book is a different take on similar issues to those explored by Roubini, and is described by Stephen Fry as “…a book of great daring… so realistic, so optimistic, so damn readable… a miracle.”