Between Debt and the Devil – dinner with Adair Turner
Adair Turner became chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority just as the global financial crisis struck in 2008, and he played a leading role in redesigning global financial regulation. In his new book Between debt and the Devil, he sets the record straight about what really caused the crisis. It didn’t happen because banks are too big to fail: our addiction to private debt is to blame.
Between Debt and the Devil challenges the belief that we need credit growth to fuel economic growth, and that rising debt is sustainable so long as inflation remains low. In fact, most credit is not needed for economic growth, but it drives real estate booms and busts and leads to financial crisis and depression. Turner explains why public policy needs to manage the growth and allocation of credit creation, and why debt needs to be taxed as a form of economic pollution. Banks need far more capital, real estate lending must be restricted, and we need to tackle inequality and mitigate the relentless rise of real estate prices.
Adair Turner is chairman of the Institute of New Economic Thinking and the former chairman of the Financial Services Authority. Before joining the FSA he had worked as a banker with Chase Manhattan and Merrill Lynch, a consultant with McKinsey, and director general of the CBI. He was chairman of the UK government’s Committee on Climate Change and of the Pensions Commission.
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Location: 23 Grafton St