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Expansionary Fiscal Contraction

When Nov 29, 2011
from 07:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Where Cambridge Union Society, Main Chamber
Contact Name
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The Centre for Financial History in association with the Cambridge University
History Society presents: ‘Expansionary fiscal contraction and the 1981 Budget’. Our
panel of experts will put the government’s current policy of austerity in the context of
the most controversial Budget in recent British history. In 1981, Mrs Thatcher’s
Chancellor, Sir Geoffrey Howe, raised taxes in the depths of the worst recession since
the 1920s, prompting 364 economists to write in an open letter to The Times that there
was ‘no basis in economic theory’ for the government’s policies which threatened
‘social and political stability’. Today, George Osborne tells us that ‘there is no
alternative’ to the government’s spending cuts. Is he right? Was Mrs Thatcher right
in 1981?

Sir Adam Ridley was a member of the Government Economic Service from 1964 to
1975, Economic Adviser to the Conservative Party Shadow Cabinet from 1974 to
1979, Assistant Director and Director of the Conservative Research Department from
1974 to 1979 and Special Advisor to the Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1979 to

William Keegan is the senior economics correspondent of The Observer newspaper.
In addition to a long and distinguished career in financial journalism, Mr Keegan has
worked at the Bank of England and served on the advisory board of the Department of
Applied Economics at the University of Cambridge. Amongst his many published
works is ‘Mrs Thatcher's Economic Experiment’ (1984).

Anthony Hotson joined the Bank of England in 1978 and worked in the Economics
Division, Governors’ Office and Money Markets Division. After serving as Assistant
Commissioner of the Building Societies Commission in 1987 he was employed by
McKinsey & Company and then at UBS Warburg as Managing Director and head of
Financial Institutions Group.

Ben Ashby is Managing Director and head of credit research at HSBC. Prior to
joining HSBC, Mr Ashby spent several years at JP Morgan where he was head of
European financials credit research and then a credit trader in JP Morgan’s proprietary
positioning business. Mr Asbhy is an alumnus of the Judge Business School and
Jesus College.

The event will be chaired by Dr Bill Janeway, senior advisor at Warburg Pincus and
Founder, Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance.

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