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Why French economist won Nobel Prize

Monday, October 13, 2014 - 01:59

This year's Nobel Prize for Economics is awarded to French economist Jean Tirole, for his work on the regulation of powerful firms and markets. Joel Flynn reports.

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France may be struggling to balance the books, but one of the top Nobel Prizes has now gone to a French economist. SOUNDBITE: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Member, Staffan Normark, saying: "This year's prize in economic sciences is about taming powerful firms. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2014 to Professor Jean Tirole, Toulouse 1 Capitole University, France." The Academy says Tirole has shown market regulations need to be carefully adapted across different industries. Generic rules like price caps can do more harm than good. And investment banks in particular need a tougher regime. Committee Chairman Tore Ellingsen. SOUNDBITE: Nobel Prize Committee Chairman, Tore Ellingsen, saying (English): "Jean Tirole is really trying to understand what is it that drives the owners of banks: what are their objectives and what are they driven to do if regulation is very lax. And he then comes to the conclusion that what they are driven to do is to take risks that are far too large from the point of view of the public interest." Tirole appeared at a news conference afterwards at Toulouse Economics School. In the case of France, the Nobel Laureate said investing in its next generation should come first. SOUNDBITE: Nobel Laureate, Jean Tirole, saying (English): "I think there is a lot of potential for France. But it has to modernise itself and basically do a number of reforms, reduce its public debt and all those things, so as to give a brighter future to the young people." Europe's banks may well pay close attention to this particular prize - regulation forcing many of them to change. Tough new stress tests on them were designed to ensure they can withstand another financial crisis The results of those are due in the next two weeks.

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Why French economist won Nobel Prize

Monday, October 13, 2014 - 01:59