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posted on 15 December 2015

Documentary Of The Week: What Really Caused The Great Recession?

Written by John Lounsbury

Econintersect: Adair Turner became Chairman of Britain's Financial Services Authority just as the world financial crisis erupted in 2008, and he played a leading role in designing a new global regulatory structure. In his new book, Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit, and Fixing Global Finance, Turner reveals that out-of-control private debt actually caused the crisis, and he explains what to do about it. He is interviewed here by Rob Johnson, President of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET).


Turner warns that we could address too-big-to-fail and put all the rogue bankers in jail, yet excess private debt would still be creating economic malaise and setting the conditions for financial crisis and depression. Most credit, he argues, is not necessary for growth, but actually serves to pollute the economy. Economic theory, says Turner, must acknowledge the conditions of modern finance, particularly the relationships between credit extension and real estate.

Turner calls for radical changes in public policy. He proposes that sometimes we need to be open to running fiscal deficits and financing them with central bank-created money, despite the idea's taboo.


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