Ann Pettifor

Building from ground zero. Doing business in disaster zones

This is a book review for the Times Literary Supplement, published on 17 April, 2020.   Economists are beginning to worry over what comes after Covid-19. The pandemic is having a devastating impact on the global economy, and many expect a prolonged period of depression. Will economies recover? And if so, how will they recover? …

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“The economic mechanism of Europe is jammed”

“The economic mechanism of Europe is jammed.” – J M Keynes [1] The Dutch finance minister Wopka Hoekstra is somewhat brazen. Like his German counterpart, he caused consternation across the Union by rejecting a ‘Coronabond’ – a scheme for raising finance for EU countries tackling the coronavirus crisis; a scheme that would have lowered the …

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Capital subordinated to the interests of labour (society)

We are living through terrifying times. The greatest threat to humanity stems not just from a virulent superbug, but as scary –  the response to it. In Britain, as in the US, policy action is dictated by an ultra-nationalist government, which while pretending to “take back control” remains committed to a free-for-all for the owners …

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Why nationalisation of bailed-out firms is of macroeconomic importance.

In Britain as in the US, governments are tackling the corona virus by undertaking actions that force the closure or collapse of companies large and small. To compensate, they are stepping in with subsidies and bailouts. Because millions of livelihoods are at stake these interventions are welcome and necessary. But we must demand more: not …

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My letter to the Governor of the Bank of England on his appointment.

13th March, 2020 Dear Mr. Bailey, Your predecessor in a speech in 2019 outlined the deficiencies of the International Monetary and Financial System (IMFS). The IMFS was cobbled together after the collapse of Bretton Woods and the 1971 Nixon Shock, and is governed effectively by Wall St. and the City of London – ‘citizens of …

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Investing in the Future: Why Europe Needs a Green New Deal

This interview appeared in the  Green European Journal in January, 2020.In early 2019, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released her plan for a Green New Deal, skyrocketing the proposal for rapidly and fairly decarbonising the economy into the public conversation. The Green New Deal draws on a long history across the Atlantic. We asked Ann …

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The market for dystopia – my choice of a book for our time.

My review of Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation appeared in Nature magazine on 13 December, 2019. From the introduction to the editor’s choice of seven books: “From planetary change to geopolitical recalibrations, 2019 has been convulsive. The year saw millions worldwide protesting against governmental inaction on the cascading crises in the global environment. Anxiety over …

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The City of London’s distress because real change may be coming…

Alarm bells are distress signals. As this election campaign reaches its climax the Financial Times registers high levels of investor distress as its wealthy readers panic over the possibility that real change is coming. The change they fear is not automation and AI. No, it’s the possibility that “If Labour come to power on this …

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Notes for a speech to a meeting of TUC leaders

These rough notes were prepared by me for an informal address to a gathering of British and German trade union leaders, hosted by the TUC and by the German Social Democrat think-tank, the Friederich Ebert Stiftung. The address took place just as Britain’s General Election of 2019 was launched. There have been three big issues …

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Quincy Jones, Bono, Willie Colón – and the burden of sovereign debt.

  On the eve of the 2019 annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF, we are once again alerted to a rise in the debt burdens of low-income countries. Last year the total external debt of both low- and middle-income countries climbed 5.3 percent to $7.8 trillion, while net debt flows (gross disbursements minus …

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