Ann Pettifor

My graph of 2011 – along with top economists

Source - Office for National Statistics

I was asked, along with 9 other top economists, to share my ‘graph of 2011’ with BBC Newsnight as part of their review of the economic year. I chose the chart above:

“This is the chart that struck me most forcibly, both for what it tells us about the debts of the private sector, in particular the private finance sector; but also because of what the Treasury chose not to tell us: that the public debt to GDP ratio is tiny compared to private sector debt to GDP ratio.” 

View a slideshow of all the graphs here:


3 thoughts on “My graph of 2011 – along with top economists”

  1. Good chart, and I thought you “won the battle” of the all-female Newsnight – in terms of getting your points across the most clearly. Congratulations, if that’s the appropriate thing to say in this post-patriarchal context!

  2. I was really pleased to see both you and Gillian Tett on newsnight. I thought you did brilliantly , and came across as confident and astute.You did what I havent seen many ‘progressive’ economists do and interrupt the flow of the discussion when it was fading back into the usual neo liberal comfort zone.
    It’s normally the ‘washington conmsenus’ lot that do this on TV debates so its great to see someone who’s views I respect also being able to hold their own in a TV studio.
    I hope you get onto more TV !

  3. Hi I thought your chart was the best in the Newsnight show, because it reflected what I have been campaigning about for over 10 years that is Personal Debt. Which the political parties and governments have all failed to understand. I was the chairman of a Residents Association in Cardiff for over 20 years and was also the editor of our free newspaper and in all the issues I used to campaign about personal debt.

    I am firmly of the belief that the only way out for most people now is the total scrapping of Council Tax which is a massive burden on people and government now and does not work. Should be replaced with a hike in VAT of 2% which should be ring fenced by the Customs & Excise and used exclusively to fund local authorities. Local Authorities have been allowed to get out of control and need serious pruning. IN Wales we have 22 local authorities with all the heads and deputy heads and different departments plus all those councillors and then all the stuff underneath this. They are unco-ordinated and extremely wasteful. We also have a National Assembly with all those governments officials AMs and the whole cost of this. Then we have those MPs and all that goes with them. We only have a population of 3 Million which is about the size of Birmingham or Manchester, yet these cities would be up in arms if they had this much governance. If a new structure in Wales was built where all the departments were run by one body with very much reduced elected representation based on a new mapping then we would start to get better efficiencies and maybe more accountability and transparency. I currently feel Wales is a doomed nation if it carry s on like this. I also forgot all those MEPs as well and the sooner were out of the corrupt EEC which cannot even get its accounts signed off for the last 15 years. the better of Great Britain will be.
    Jeff Cuffe

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