How can it be that governments are wealthier than ever, yet fewer citizens enjoy the benefits that such wealth can bring? Never before have so many governments owned so much wealth in the form of financial assets amassed in state-controlled investment funds. Despite this, deficits persist, inequality worsens and the effects of the 2008 crash still reverberate. “Citizens’ wealth” – creating an additional source of revenue by turning states into wealth-owners - is a long-established idea, but we are yet to see this powerful tool used to its full effect.
On 5 April the Lowy Institute hosted for a panel discussion on this topic with Angela Cummine, political theorist and author of Citizens’ Wealth: Why (and How) Sovereign Funds Should be Managed By the People For the People; David Murray, former CEO of the Commonwealth Bank; Paul Cleary, senior journalist at The Australian; and Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow Dr John Edwards.