The Institute Blog

Big business has corrupted economics

Big business has corrupted economics - Guardian UK

You know the country is in a financial mess when even establishment figures such as Rachel Lomax are calling for revolutionary thinking

by Aditya Chakrabortty

"Rachel Lomax is practically the definition of establishment: Cheltenham Ladies' College followed by Cambridge and the LSE; principal private secretary to then-chancellor Nigel Lawson; deputy governor of the Bank of England for five years until 2008. Which makes what she said on Friday evening all the more startling.

This being a debate on the future of capitalism in the People's Republic of Bristol, the audience were satisfyingly radical – but Lomax was just as bluntly and disarmingly political. The former Treasury mandarin made no bones about admitting that she had been part of a project of "dismantling a version of capitalism" and replacing it with "Anglo-American neo-liberalism". You'd struggle to get scholars of Thatcherism to speak with such straightforwardness, but here it was coming from one of the era's key backroom players.

And now this co-architect of Britain's economic model as good as admitted that the system she had helped create was broken. But Lomax had one question: "Where is the revolutionary thinking?

You surely couldn't ask for a better measure of the economic mess we're in, that even members of the establishment are now calling for revolution...."

Read more



An interesting article. Lomax is right that most Economic faculties have chased out dissenters. However, there are plenty of dissenting voices out beyond Economic faculties. Lomax could look in the Management School, in 'old' institutions where marketisation could not taint the more secure academic posts, and within Finance companies where the efficient market has always been a theoretical fiction. Not least, of course, are those researchers being supported by INET.

The problem is less 'where is the revolutionary thinking' but 'where is the political action'? I don't mean the revolutionary action, such as the Occupy Movement, but the necessary economic action by central banks, governments and the private sector. Quite how neoliberalism got the last dance, after behaving so badly at the party, is a political puzzle that makes little sense. Apparently, it took four years after the Great Depression for a new consensus to emerge. It's nearly 2013... how much longer do we have to wait?


well at least somone is asking some of the right questions. I'd like to know why these aren't asked more often. I don't know if it is true, but these conflicts or potential conlicts need to be fleshed out.

From ECB Press Conference


Mr. President, I have two questions about your membership in the Group of 30.

First, taking your closeness to the private banks and in face of pending conflicts of interest and ethical issues, how do you explain your ongoing G30 membership?

And my second, of the 30 members, five members are formal or present bankers of Goldman Sachs.

This group is co-founded by Goldman Sachs. You're a former fellow of Goldman Sachs. How do you intend to avoid conflicts of interest?

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <blockquote> <br> <cite> <code> <dd> <div> <dl> <dt> <em> <h2> <h3> <h4> <img> <li> <ol> <p> <span> <strong> <sub> <sup> <table> <tbody> <td> <tr> <ul>
    Allowed Style properties: display, float, height, margin, margin-bottom, margin-left, margin-right, margin-top, width
  • You may insert videos using embed codes like these:
    • [video_large:KoqLu5CKx-o]
    • [popupvideo_mini:KoqLu5CKx-o right]
    • [lightboxvideo_mini:KoqLu5CKx-o]
    • [text_popupvideo:KoqLu5CKx-o nostart noicon|Click here to open the video.]
    • [text_lightboxvideo:KoqLu5CKx-o|Open this video in a lightbox.]
    To learn more, please click on the "More information..." link below.

More information about formatting options