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Gross Domestic Wellbeing

LONDON – During a 2008 discussion of the global financial crisis at the London School of Economics, Queen Elizabeth II famously floored a room full of financial heavyweights by asking, “Why did no one see it coming?” That question has been haunting economists ever since, as the recognition has slowly taken hold that, in the supposed “golden age” preceding the crisis, they were blind not only to the potential consequences of failure – but also to the true cost of “success.”

That period was, in many people’s view, tarnished by greed, with rapid GDP growth accompanied by increasing inequality of income and wellbeing.