Masters in Business

Jeffrey Sachs on Sustainability and Inequality

A few surprises in store.

This week on our Masters in Business radio podcast, we speak with Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University. He is the author of numerous bestselling books, most recently “Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair, and Sustainable.”

We had a far-reaching conversation, covering everything from globalization to technology to infrastructure development to income inequality.

Sachs describes the strengths and weaknesses of recent U.S. presidents -- and his discussion is likely to surprise you. He discusses how he approached the George W. Bush White House about a $3 billion project to stem the tide of AIDS in Africa, which Bush not only embraced, but also subsequently called his “greatest legacy.”

Sachs also discusses the Easterlin paradox, a concept in “happiness economics,” which notes that a country’s higher level of per capita gross domestic product does not correlate with greater self-reported levels of happiness among citizens of a country. The general economic discontent is fodder for a discussion on government priorities and how we should solve economic problems.

The books we discussed can be found here.


Listen to the show on Bloomberg Radio. The full podcast can be heard on iTunesSoundCloud and Bloomberg. All of our earlier podcasts can be found on iTunesSoundCloud and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Professor Scott Galloway (return appearance!) of New York University’s Stern School of Business.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

    To contact the author of this story:
    Barry Ritholtz at

    To contact the editor responsible for this story:
    Brooke Sample at

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