Neel Kashkari Talks About Design When Talking About Fixing the Economy

Reading Nelson D. Schwartz’s NY Times story today on European central banks’ coming to the rescue, I couldn’t help but notice the very specific language that Neel Kashkari, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability, used to discuss how the current plan to help the economy get back on track. That language was the language of design.

As he told the Times, “Our toolkit is being designed to help financial institutions of all sizes so they can grow stronger and provide crucial funding to our economy…We will complete the design of these tools and deploy them as soon as they are ready.”

And the suggestion of applying so-called “design-thinking” to addressing the financial crisis is best illustrated by the fact that governments and banks alike are all clearly coming up with prototypes and iterating quickly, much as industrial designers and engineers do when developing new concepts. Not to mention collaborating and creating outside partnerships to speed the process, an open-innovation process that is used by many designers. The rally on Wall Street this afternoon shows that the approach seems to be working.

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