Three people from RNH will attend the general meeting of the Mont Pèlerin Society in Hong Kong 31 August–5 September 2014, Gisli Hauksson, Chairman of the Board, Jonas Sigurgeirsson, RNH Executive Director, and Professor Hannes H. Gissurarson, the RNH Academic Director and the only Icelander to be a member of the MPS. This annual meeting’s leading theme is “Emerging Asia and the Future of Liberty”. Speakers include UCLA Professor Deepak Lal, Japanese economist Yoshinori Shimizu, Stanford Professor John Taylor (after whom the Taylor rule on monetary policy is named), former Czech President Vaclav Klaus, New York University Professor William Easterly, author of many analyses of the futility of “development aid”, leading security expert Edward Luttwak, Harvard Professor Roderick MacFarquhar, French monetary economist Professor Pascal Salin, and many renowned Chinese scholars, both from mainland China and from Hong Kong. The intellectual legacy of two prominent MPS members who recently passed away, Nobel Laureates Gary Becker and Ronald Coase, will be discussed as well.
The Mont Pèlerin Society was founded in Switzerland in 1947 on the initiative of Professor Friedrich A. von Hayek, the 1974 Nobel Laureate in Economics, whose 1980 visit to Iceland had much impact, helping prepare the ground for the successful 1991–2004 liberalisation programme. Among the MPS founders were Milton Friedman and George J. Stigler from the US and Maurice Allais from France, who all were to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics, but also the distinguised Austrian-American economist Ludwig von Mises, Luigi Einaudi, President of Italy, Chicago Professor Frank H. Knight, and the Anglo-Austrian philosophers Karl Popper and Michael Polanyi. Other prominent members of the MPS in the past include German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, US economist and Nobel Laureate James M. Buchanan, and Otto von Habsburg, the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary. The present President of the MPS is American economist Professor Allan Meltzer, the author of the definitive history of the US Federal Reserve System. Former Presidents include Hayek, Friedman, Stigler and Buchanan, Professor Antonio Martino, Italy’s former Foreign Minister and Defence Minister, and Dr. Ed Feulner, former Director of Heritage Foundation. The participation of the RNH people form a part of the joint project by RNH and AECR on “Europe, Iceland and the Future of Capitalism”.