2009 Annual Meeting of the Market Economy Foundation in Kronberg

For the first time, Professor Theo Siegert, head of the supervisory board of the Market Economy Foundation, kicked off the spring meeting for friends and supporters of the Foundation not on May 1, but rather on the evening of April 17. The traditional yearly meeting in Kronberg was preponed due to a schedule conflict of the speaker of honor. Dr. Lars P. Feld, who was recruited as the newest member of the Kronberger Scientific Council (Kronberger Kreis) was among the guests for the first time. The economist is the chairholder of the Chair of Finance at the Ruprecht Karls University at Heidelberg (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg). The President of the Federal Antitrust Agency (Bundeskartellamt), Dr. Bernhard Heitzer, who was the main speaker at the previous year’s conference, also made his way back to Kronberger this year.

The highlight of the evening was Federal SPD Chairwoman Andrea Nahles, who referred to a research piece by the Kronberger Scientific Council at the outset of her speech. She stands with the saying “more courage for the market,” which, according to her opinion, “suits the times well.” Following from this, she explained her answer to the question of how markets could be again made workable. She subsequently referenced her hosts and referred to the fostering of more freedom, responsibility, and competition, placing a special emphasis on the issue of responsibility. Nahles differentiated between individual and communal responsibility and emphasized the idea of “organized irresponsibility” that had replaced the latter. Here, she said she could not single out the responsible parties, but rather placed blame on a “combination of financial rituals and habits.”

At the end of an animated exchange, Siegert presented the SPD politician with an Oxford Edition of “Poetical Works,” from 1904 by Walter Scott, a well-known Scottish author from the 19th century and the inventor of historical fiction, which was the subject of Nahles’ dissertation. “If, in 2005, it had not been for the early elections called by your fellow party member Gerhard Schröder,” pondered Siegert with an eye to recent politics, “then the work would surely have been done by now.”

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