The US debt crises and the consequences of default


Should the US default on its debts? Jim Boulder from CNN interviewed me on the advantages and disadvantages of default. Click here to watch video in full.

On the overstated panic in Washington..



I was invited to give a different perspective on the US debt crises on Al Jazeera´s “Counting the Cost”.

Click here to watch the full show.

A National Plan for the UK - from Austerity to the Green New Deal



I am a member of the Green New Deal Group, which now published its fifth anniversary edition – a National Plan for the UK. The first report was published in July, 2008, before the collapse of Lehman’s and was (in our humble view) far-sighted in its analysis and recommendations.

The purpose of this report is to advance a much-needed debate about how to move the UK out of the counterproductive politics of austerity and into the age of the Green New Deal. This is a matter of utmost urgency. If it isn’t introduced rapidly, we are likely to enter another economic slump. A Green New Deal could be implemented now if the political will existed. It calls initially for a £50 billion a year investment programme to boost economic activity, in a way which provides jobs on a living wage in every community in the UK, while reducing our ecological impact.




Ann discusses banking and the economy with Max Keiser



I have been invited to discuss with Max Keiser Britain´s `Alice in Wongaland´economy, the emerging interest rate Apartheid, carry trade and public unrest. Watch it in full here.


The road to recovery or an `Alice in Wongaland economy´ ?

Alice in Wongaland











Photo source: Nicholas Jones via Flickr

Is Britain’s economy once again plunging down a metaphorical rabbit hole into the fantasy world of easy (if dear) money, easy shopping and a re-inflated housing bubble? This was the question I tried to address on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in August, when I expressed concern that we might be turning into an “Alice in Wongaland” economy.

The Guardian subsequently asked me to write this piece. Feedback came immediately from the Telegraph and while Jeremy Warner did not agree with me, Carl Packman from the New Statesman supported my argument –  just as many readers of the Guardian did. Alice may be stuck down this hole for a long time yet!

Has capitalism failed the world?

lord adair turner


Aljazeera’s Mehdi Hasan invited me to join former financial regulator Lord Adair Turner, venture capitalist John Moulton and SOAS’s Professor Costas Lapavitsas in a debate about whether capitalism had failed the world.

You can see the discussion in full here.


From the Observer: A little advice for you, Mr Governor...

Mark Carney, new governor of the Bank of England

Photo source: Guardian

I was asked by the Observer’s economics editor, Heather Stewart to submit a memo to Mr Carney on on 30 June 2013, the day before he takes up office as governor of the Bank of England.

The link here will send you to the Observer’s page with contributions from Lord Myners, Danny Gabay, Andrew Sentance and Pat Mcfadden MP. (Unfortunately in the printed edition the Observer described the 2068 gilt as a five year bond. It is of course fifty five years as corrected in the post below).

“Last week the UK’s gilt market suffered heavy falls and a rise in yields, as a result of turmoil caused by the Federal Reserve’s decision to drop long-term calender guidance on the direction of interest rates in favor of a new, less predictable outcome: the 65% unemployment threshold. Continue reading… ›

Dear Mr Carney: Memo no.2 for the Today programme

I was asked to prepare and record this note to Mr Carney which was then not broadcast. Nevertheless I’m posting it here for the record.

“Welcome Mr Carney to a Britain chilled by both the jet stream’s change of direction, and by the Federal Reserve’s sudden shift in monetary policy.

The impact of this shift on nervous global capital markets has been dramatic. Yields on longer-term UK bonds have reason since May, and will push up rates on mortgages and other debts. Continue reading… ›

Dear Mr Carney....Memo to the new Bank of England governor

Mark Carney

Photo source: Guardian

This article originally appeared on IPPR. Click here to read it in full.

Welcome. I write to urge you to cool expectations that Britain can live by monetary policy alone.

Our political establishment is reluctant to discuss this in public, but Britain ranks alongside Japan as the most indebted of the larger economies. McKinsey estimates UK private debt at an extraordinary 427 per cent of GDP, vastly exceeding gross public debt at 94 per cent of GDP. By contrast, American private debt is half the UK’s, at 198 per cent of GDP. Continue reading… ›

Ten bright ideas to make the banking serve the UK – rather than itself

RBS HQ in London

(Photo Source: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP, via the Guardian)

Following last Friday’s Transforming Finance Conference, the Guardian’s Heather Stewart interviewed me and other participants about the best ways to fix the UK banking system.  Read her article below, or as originally published.

George Osborne and Vince Cable have tried cajoling, coaxing and bribing Britain’s banks to lend more to businesses and help rebuild the economy. Yet the latest official figures show lending to firms still falling, while the reputation of the banks has continued to be undermined by scandals from Libor-fixing to money-laundering. And despite a forest of new regulations and reforms, many officials privately believe that if it came to the crunch, any future chancellor would have little choice but to bail out a big bank that fell into distress.

Continue reading… ›