World Affairs Council of Charlotte



World Affairs Council of Charlotte - Speaker Series (October 23, 2012)


Philip Coggan

Buttonwood columnist of the Economist (London) and Author of "Paper Promises: Money, Debt and the New World Order"  



Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Venue: Bentley's on 27 (201 S. College St., Floor 27) Map

Check-In & General Networking: 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Lunch & Presentation: 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. 

Cost: $40 (WACC members) / $50 (Non-members) - Lunch included


RSVP online via PayPal or you may call 704-687-7762 for credit card payments over the phone. If you prefer sending a check, please make it payable to "World Affairs Council of Charlotte" and mail it to the following address:


World Affairs Council of Charlotte

UNC Charlotte - CHHS 227

9201 University City Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28223


All reservation cancellations must be completed at least 3 business days prior to an event in order to receive a full refund.

Online reservations are closed. Please call 704-687-7762 if you would like to inquire about seat availability.

From the Economist’s award-winning “Buttonwood” columnist, a timely and incisive analysis of the crushing issue facing countries across the globe: debt.


 With the ongoing financial and political uncertainty in Europe and the economic recovery that may or may not be slowly happening in the U.S., prospects for 2012 are anything but certain. In PAPER PROMISES, the Economist’s Buttonwood columnist Philip Coggan assesses the defining feature of our economic era: debt. For the past forty years, western economies have splurged on it. Now, it’s reached unsustainable levels—far more debt has been issued than can be repaid, and there will likely be significant defaults. 


But, as Coggan demonstrates, the oncoming crisis has a time-worn place in economic history. As happened in the 1930s, when the gold standard was abandoned, and in the 1970s, when fixed exchange rates were dropped, governments will fall, currencies will lose their value, and new systems will emerge. Britain dictated the terms of the international system in the 19th century, and America in the 20th century, and Coggan argues that a new system will be shaped by the rising financial powers of the 21st century: today’s creditors in China and the Middle East. In the process, debt issues will pit the interests of rich against poor, young against old, public sector workers against taxpayers, and one country against another.


As towns across the U.S. from Harrisburg, PA to Detroit face the prospects of bankruptcy, the consequences of this story are vast. To understand the origins of this mess and how it will affect the new global economy, award-winning financial journalist Coggan shows us how our attitudes toward debt have changed throughout history—and how they may be about to change again. Called “a remarkable book from one of the most respected economics journalists on the planet” by Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist, PAPER PROMISES is essential reading in the face of an uncertain new economic reality.



Philip Coggan is the Buttonwood columnist of the Economist. Previously, he worked for the Financial Times for 20 years, where he founded the “Short View” column and wrote the “Long View” and “Last Word” columns. In 2009, he was voted Senior Financial Journalist of the Year in the Wincott Awards and Best Communicator in the Business Journalist of the Year awards. Among his books are The Money Machine, a guide to the City of London that is still in print in the UK after twenty-five years and The Economist Guide to Hedge Funds.

NPR Morning Edition: Amid Debt Crisis, A Trail of Broken ‘Promises’

The Economist: The Debt Crisis – Philip Coggan on ‘Paper Promises’