Arounothay was a survivor of the Laotian holocaust of the 1970s. An economist, he was my upstairs neighbor at the university apartments in Brazzaville, the capital of the Little Congo. It’s hard to imagine a more misplaced individual, but he was teaching economics in a Marxist country. Marxist in name only. Of the horrors of the twentieth century, the Pathet Lao in Vientiane were up at the top in cruelty and murderous social engineering.
Challenges, Lagarde said, are low growth, rising inequality, and falling numbers of jobs. Resolve these three stumbling blocks and we may get the world to work better. The IMF alone cannot do it, nor even the IMF, World Bank, U.S. Government, OECD, European Union, United Nations together. We can’t channel the human mind to a higher level anytime soon, but we’d better tackle those three bugbears or we’re all sunk. The wealthy with the others.
He’s not registered to vote. He’s not even a real person. But on June 23, the deciding vote on “Brexit”—the referendum on whether Britain will remain within or exit the EC—may well be cast by an anonymous chap known only as the Rolling English Drunkard.