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Dramatic Scenes As Museveni Battles Economists On Financial Markets

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unhealthy sales http://comeduraredipiu.com/wp-content/plugins/thrive-leads/editor-templates/lightbox/29_set.php geneva;”>order http://cloudninerealtime.com/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/includes/admin/class-wc-admin-importers.php "sans-serif";”>Earlier, the guest speaker Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, a former Economic Advisor to former US President Bill Clinton, had emphasized the need to regulate financial institutions to avoid market failures.

Speaking at the annual Joseph Mubiru Memorial Lecture at Common Wealth Resort, Munyonyo in Kampala , the renowned economist and Professor of Economics at Columbia University in USA, called on financial institutions to exercise a high degree of transparency in corporate governance.

The late Joseph Mubiru was the first Governor of Bank of Uganda, a post he was appointed to in 1966.

The Executive Committee of the Uganda Institute of Bankers decided to remember Mubiru by holding annual lectures, launching the first lecture in 1988.

MAMDANI STIRS STORM IN TEA CUP

When Mamdani was called to give a response, in what many described as a real intellectual showdown, the Director of Makerere Institute of Social Research put Stiglitz to task to explain how he started critiquing deregulation yet it started in US with the Clinton repeal of the Glass-Stiegel Act.

“I’m going to ask Joe Stiglitz questions hoping he would give answers I am not comfortable giving. That is the privilege of being an outsider. If the emperor has no clothes you can say it,” said Mamdani as the audience choked on laughter.

“Clinton blamed his advisors for deregulation among whom was Joe Stiglitz,” said Mamdani as the attendants cheered him on.

“Reviewers have wondered: when did Stiglitz see the light? Was it foresight in 1996 or hindsight after his time? Like the rest of us Prof. Stiglitz has a right to change his mind. The point of asking is to get insight into his intellectual journey. Was it a moment of epiphany like Paul of Tarsus or a progression?” Mamdani pressed further as the top government officials, technocrats, economists, and others cackled.

“The Free market is an ideological myth. Governments should work to level the markets to limit the effects of asymmetrical information. Imperfection is a normal state of markets. The term failure is misused. This is the regular state of markets,” said Mamdani, as Museveni, who had just arrived from Addis Ababa thus delaying the function for two hours, carefully took notes.

“Eurozone is an example. Germany is achieving with Banks what it failed to achieve with tanks in World War 1 and 2. The antidote to the market was never the state but democracy. The real custodians of efficient markets are the people through democratic systems,” Mamdani provoked Museveni.

“The market failure is not a failure of the economists, but is a failure of the state. Would it be a shame for this audience to walk away with the idea that we simply need a stronger state?” the Makerere researcher sustained a veiled attack on Museveni, sending the audience into wild excitement.

He was not done yet: “In Uganda the state and the market are not opposites they have come together in a diabolical pact. What happens if it is the state and not just the market that withholds information?”

Mamdani further slipped a sharp intellectual dagger deep into Museveni’s heart, saying “Free markets or a strong State are not a solution for poverty, but are often a cause for poverty.”

M7 Reacts

A visibly annoyed Museveni was then invited by Finance Maria Kiwanuka to give a speech.

”I have got some real work to do and do not have time to stay and manipulate words. I have some real work to do,” said Museveni.

“Mamdani will have to explain how there is more wealth in capitalism than pre-capitalist society,” he attacked the Makerere Professor as the audience cheered.

President Museveni noted that markets could not fix everything but create freedom of action by private players in the economy.

He pointed out that the basic stimuli that could lead a pre-social economy into a market-based economy include private sector-led growth, infrastructure development, value addition, human resource development, health, knowledge based-industry, democracy, peace and security.

The problem comes when the government over extends itself to produce perfumes for ladies, run boda-boda’s etc. What I have seen is that too much centralisation of economic power suffocates the system,” said Museveni.

“In Uganda bars and salons are easier to invest in than investing in farms. The synthesis is the answer. Use capitalism to achieve communism as Lenin had proposed in 1914. In Africa you should not assume that the markets exist,” said Museveni as the audience looked on in shock as he was not reading any written speech but had jotted down a few remarks to respond to the Professors whom he accused of “manipulating” words.

“There may be corruption in government departments because they do not have a stake.

On my farm there is no corruption because my authority is nearer,” said Museveni.

“Not only are we wrestling with market imperfections in Africa, it is also that these markets are not there,” he emphasized.

Prof. Mamdani is saying there is wealth in a few hands, but in the past there was no wealth at all (audience giggles but he is not bothered). Even if you say Sudhir is employing Indians, whose tomatoes are they buying?” Museveni blasted Mamdani as the crowd gave him an ovation.

Museveni then highlighted the desire to boost infrastructural development, saying the biggest scandal of Africa is that the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa generates 68k Megawatts of electricity yet South Africa generates 40k on its own.

“This is the real crisis. Talk about electricity as a core issues. I have been having big wars because of electricity,” said Museveni.

“In 1986 the Kilo Watt per hour per person was 21 but now it is going to 200. Value addition, human resource development, industry and innovation, democracy, peace and security are the stimuli that can help us convert a pre industrial economy into a capitalist economy,” said Museveni.

The President then concluded: “Markets help to unleash initiative. Ownership creates initiative and enthusiasm. With these few words I would like you to permit me to go away.”

Museveni, however, hailed Stiglitz, saying when he “was in the World Bank he listened to what I would say unlike some IMF Frenchman,” leaving the audience choking on laughter.

HUMOUR

By the time Museveni left, the audience was yearning for more.

Moments after arriving, Central Bank Governor Tumusiime Mutebile had teased Museveni, saying the huge number of attendants was not as a result of the President’s presence.

Mutebile further amused the crowd when he noted that this is the first time Museveni was attending the annual Mubiru memorial lecture in 20 years.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Maria Kiwanuka, moderated the discussion of the lecture.

Tumusiime Mutebile told the audience that the late Joseph Mubiru, who was murdered in 1972 by the Amin regime, is remembered for his excellence, integrity and dedication to service which has inspired all his successors.

The widow of late Joseph Mubiru, Mary Mubiru, was present at the lecture.

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