I am really grateful to have the chance to spend an hour with you to talk about a subject of enormous importance. I am particularly gratified to be in London because so much of the global leadership on tackling the links between public health and economic development in the developing world originates in the UK - with its grand and esteemed tradition of leadership in science and in public health. I hope that after this evening I can bring back home to the USA some of that global leadership and transmit it to Washington! When I look down the list of attendees this evening, at both the remarkable individuals and at the number of leading institutions represented here, it makes me especially proud and honoured to be with you.
You may wonder why a macroeconomist is here to talk to you about public health? After all, for most of my academic life I was involved with setting exchange rates, liberalizing trade, or trying to help end hyperinflations. It is really only in the past five years that I have come to understand in some detail the importance of the topic tonight.