25:35 minutes (12.28 MB)
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Twenty years ago, when communism collapsed, the countries in the gravitational pull of the Soviet Union were released into their own orbits.
This meant reforming entire social structures, economies, and ideas about Democracy, all at the same time. Leszek Balcerowicz was the man put in charge of reforming Poland’s economy – and his “Big Bang” theory was widely praised for lifting the country over the iron curtain.
Balcerowicz has long been one of the leading economists in the world, and is part of the influential “Group of 30” headed by Paul Volker, which meets behind closed doors to discuss global economic policy.
We spoke with him last week, as he came to New Britain as a guest of the Polish Studies program at Central Connecticut State University. We talked about the roots of the global financial meltdown, the economics of climate change, and about the lessons we’ve learned from the transformation of Poland.