May 13th 2013

Between waltzing bliss and economic crisis.

Reflections on the future of Austria and Europe.
Dr. Ludwig Scharinger, entrepreneur, founder, visionary (and more)

On 6 May 2013 Dr. Ludwig Scharinger, the legendary Raiffeisen manager from Upper Austria, was invited by the Entrepreneurial School® Management Center Innsbruck to give a talk as part of the MCI Alumni & Friends lecture series.

The former bank manager made it clear right from the start that the European debt and financial crisis is first and foremost a “crisis of uncertainty.” People are confused, and as a result necessary measures to boost the economy are not implemented. Yet we need to be careful about how to apportion the blame, as owing to the “crisis of uncertainty” the clear distinction between investment and speculation tends to become blurred. “Greed eats brains,” Scharinger commented on specific types of stock exchange transactions, referring to high-risk speculation as the driving force behind financial crises. According to Scharinger, however, investments made by a conscientious businessman should not be regarded as speculation, and it is important to differentiate between banks which cater to the needs of the real economy on the one hand and various investment banks and financial services providers with a penchant for speculation and a careless approach to handling money on the other.

At the same time Scharinger pleaded for “more Europe” as well as uniform regulations and procedures for everyone, and not for the financial market only. According to the former CEO of Raiffeisen-Landesbank OÖ AG, Europe lacks actual leadership, a genuine control center: “Where is the red telephone for real emergencies, and who is there for the Americans or the Chinese to talk to about issues concerning the EU?”

The lecture was chaired by Prof. Dipl.Kfm. Bernd Kirschner.