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The weekend edition of the Financial Times typically features a lunch discussion between one of their correspondents and a notable personality. In addition to learning what they ate and how much it cost, the conversations are often memorable.
This week’s column was by the FT’s financial editor, Martin Wolf, who lunched with former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. I include the second-to-last paragraph below.
“Elise (Geithner’s daughter) is studying medicine, and we talk about Complications, by surgeon Atul Gawande, given to Geithner by Dr YV Reddy, erstwhile governor of the Reserve Bank of India. “It was a fascinating book, in part because he [Gawande] described how in that profession they do things that in economics we don’t do that well. They have these things they call morbidity and mortality reviews every Friday, where they go over mistakes.” I agree that central banks don’t like analysing their past mistakes but should.”
Here’s a quote from page one of my book WRONG: Nine Economic Policy Disasters and How We Can Learn from Them:
“Hospitals large and small routinely conduct morbidity and mortality conferences in order to understand bad medical and surgical outcomes and to learn from their mistakes. This is something that students of public policy should do; however, a survey of the curricula of a half dozen leading American public policy schools suggests that they do not.”
I’d be delighted to lunch with Martin Wolf any time. I can even recommend a few restaurants.