In December 2009 a British Academy Forum considered what steps might be taken by government agencies to anticipate and prepare for any future shocks to the financial system and the global economy. The two convenors of the Forum, Professor Tim Besley FBA and Professor Peter Hennessy FBA, summarised the discussion in a letter sent to Her Majesty The Queen on 8 February 2010.
A public discussion that looks beyond the ‘credit crunch’, towards more imaginative ways of sharing the benefits and mitigating the risks of volatile housing markets.
Search The British Academy archives for a diverse selection of informative lectures by a broad range of speakers.
On 22 February 2008, the British government nationalised Northern Rock, a mortgage lender which a few years earlier had taken advantage of deregulation to transform its status from building society to bank. Northern Rock was an early victim of the global financial crisis which began in August 2007 with the failure of some hedge funds sponsored by the French bank Societe Generale.
Professor Geoffrey Hosking FBA examines the role of trust in our financial systems, and argues that we need a fundamental rethink.
The state of the public finances, which have deteriorated markedly since the onset of the recession, is a major Election issue. It provoked an exchange of letters in the ‘Sunday Times’ and the ‘Financial Times’, leading to media focus on the pace of tightening in the near term. Fellows of the British Academy were signatories on both sides of the debate. The British Academy Forum on ‘The Fiscal Challenge’, held on 4 March 2010,
brought together participants in this debate, as well as other experts, to discuss the nature of the challenge and the response to it. The chairman, Professor Tim Besley FBA, summarises the discussion.
July 2012 saw the publication of the final report of ‘The Kay Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision Making’. At a British Academy Forum in January 2012, Professor John Kay FBA queried the effectiveness of the financial services sector in satisfying the needs of the wider economy.
On 17 June 2009, a group of leading academics, economics journalists, politicians, civil servants, and other practitioners met at the British Academy for a round-table discussion of the current financial crisis. The question under discussion in this British Academy Forum had been framed by Her Majesty The Queen on a visit to the London School of Economics in November 2008, when she had asked: if these things were so large, how come everyone missed them? A purpose of the Forum was to provide the basis of an ‘unofficial command paper’ that attempted to answer this question. The discussion inevitably ranged more widely – touching on the social fall-out of the crisis, and including a plea for a greater emphasis on the teaching of economic history in universities. But it was with The Queen’s question in mind that the two convenors of the meeting, Professor Tim Besley FBA and Professor Peter Hennessy FBA, subsequently drafted a letter summarising the discussion: it was sent to Buckingham Palace on 22 July.