‘Stolen: How to Save the World from Financialization’ Book Launch
Held on Tuesday, October 15, at Bakers’ Hall, Harp Lane, London, EC3R 6DP
Grace Blakeley (Author)
Richard Portes (LBS)
James Mackintosh (Wall Street Journal)
Most books on finance have an endorsement on their cover by a prominent economist or journalist (Martin Wolf, if you are really lucky). Grace Blakeley’s new book has an endorsement from the Scottish comedian, Frankie Boyle, who calls it “the best thing I’ve read about how we got into this mess…”
It is certainly very different from most of the books about the GFC – but it is not really its analysis of the crisis itself that is so interesting. What is really interesting, and important, is what the book says about the future – particularly the future of Britain if/when the era of Conservative governments comes to an end. Grace is economics commentator at the New Statesman and a research fellow at the IPPR. She also sits on the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum and, though she defines herself as a Democratic Socialist, would also accept that her economic analysis is rooted in Marxism. More to the point, she has clearly caught the moment, which sees the obvious failures of the current system as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for a sharp left turn. For many of the younger activists around Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, Grace’s book is a handbook for how to remodel the financial system.
It may, however, not be to everyone’s taste, and I am delighted that we have two respondents who are likely to take issue with at least some of Grace’s arguments:
- Richard Portes is Professor of Economics at LBS, founder (and Honorary President) of the CEPR and (among many other things) chair of the Advisory Scientific Committee of the European Systemic Risk Board. He has taught at Oxford, Princeton, Birkbeck, Berkeley, Columbia – and just about everywhere in between.
- James Mackintosh is the Senior Markets Columnist at the WSJ, which he joined in 2016 after 20 years at the FT (where he was latterly Investment Editor and writer of the Short View column). Despite his perch at the Journal, he has written perceptively (and fairly sympathetically) on heterodox economics, including MMT.
I hope the discussion will produce light as well as heat. 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 email@example.com or by calling the Centre on 0207 621 1056. As usual, there will be wine and sandwiches to ease the pain.[i]
[i] There will also be signed copies of the book for sale (at a discount, I hope).