A breakfast conversation with Robert Aliber

Held on Wednesday, October 18, 2017


  • Robert Aliber (University of Chicago)



Bob Aliber has been around since the dawn of time, almost. He joined the faculty at Chicago’s business school (now the Booth School) in 1965, and formally stepped down in 2004 – though, as Emeritus Professor of International Economics and Finance, he is still extremely active both as a lecturer and researcher.

For many of us, he is best known for his collaboration with Charles Kindleberger – and indeed as co-author of recent editions of Manias, Panics and Crashes. He is also to be found in distinguished company as a key player in the Kindleberger-Aliber-Minsky paradigm, which went a long way to explaining the causes of the 2007/08 financial crisis. More prosaically, he is particularly well-known in Iceland for his observation (well ahead of its meltdown) that the number of cranes in use is a pretty good predictor of catastrophe to come. (I wonder if he applies that to post-Brexit London.)

His current research is on the sources of shocks in financial markets, and his biggest concern is probably China – for which he has predicted a lengthy period of Japan-like stagnation. “Then something dramatic will happen” – and growth will collapse.

I am assured (and YouTube confirms it) that Bob is a most engaging speaker – and I am sure that the combination of QE, Trump, Brexit, China and our collective failure to address the growing problem of TBTF will give him plenty of material. Plus, of course, your own thoughts on when/how/where the next financial crisis is coming.

If you (or a colleague) would like to join us for what I am sure will be a lively discussion, please let us know by emailing alex@csfi.org.uk or phoning the Centre (0207 621 1056). As usual, coffee, tea and sticky buns will be provided.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hilton