October 2018 Meeting: Ann Pettifor

Can society subordinate self-regulating markets in finance to democratic interests?

The lessons of the Great Financial Crisis have not been learnt. The crisis manifested itself as a way of consolidating the existing global financial order. Business is now better than usual for bankers, largely backed by government guarantees and central bank largesse.
There was some tinkering at the margins of the traditional banking system: banks were told by regulators to hold more capital against their risk-taking, but very little was done to curb risk-taking, or to regulate the newly expansive shadow banking system.
Ms Pettifor will seek to answer the question, ‘Can the globalised financial system be
transformed to once again ensure financial stability for nations, and ensure that finance in future acts as servant, not master, of the economy?’
Ann Pettifor is best known as one of the few to predict the Great Financial Crisis in her
book The Coming First World Debt Crisis (Palgrave 2006). She edited the New Economics Foundation’s Real World Economic Outlook (Palgrave) in 2003, and in 2017 she authored
The Production of Money (Verso) – on money, debt and the finance sector, a book aimed at the wider public. In 2018 Ms Pettifor was awarded the Hannah Ahrendt Prize by the Heinrich Boll Foundation, Germany. Also in 2018 she became a member of the Council of the Progressive Economy Forum.
Ms Pettifor is director of a network of mainly Keynesian economists, PRIME economics. In 2015 she was invited by Jeremy Corbyn MP to join the British Labour Party’s Economic Advisory Committee. Ms Pettifor has an honorary doctorate from the University of Newcastle for her work leading an international movement for the cancellation of $150 billion of debt owed by 35 of the poorest countries, and is a trustee of the charity, Promoting Economic Pluralism.

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