Nine Crises: Fifty Years of Covering the British Economy from Devaluation to Brexit by William Keegan - review by David Edgerton

David Edgerton

Money Talk

Nine Crises: Fifty Years of Covering the British Economy from Devaluation to Brexit


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The economic journalist William Keegan is no mere hack: he has had not only readers in high places, but friends too. His career has taken him from the Financial Times, with interludes at the Daily Mail and the Bank of England, to The Observer, where he has been from 1977 to the present. His work has marked him out as a serial non-believer in Thatcherism and its descendants. He coined the term ‘sado-monetarism’ to describe its principal economic nostrum and memorably noted that the Tories so loved small businesses that they kept turning big ones into little ones. He was sceptical about the timing and speed of the UK’s entry into the ERM, New Labour giving control of interest rates to the Bank of England, the Iraq War and the economic policies of the coalition government. He rightly bashes George Osborne and David Cameron for blaming the government deficit in 2010 on Labour spending and rightly castigates comparisons made at the time of the financial crisis between the states of the British and Greek economies, not least by the Liberal Democrats. On Brexit he is, as one would expect, scathing.

His columns are a beacon of solid confidence in economic verities of a particular kind. He has been a proud and consistent Keynesian from his time as an undergraduate at Cambridge in the early 1960s. He continues to believe that by expanding demand one can get the economy

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