What is finance really for? How much of it do we need, and what kind? Does creating a safe and useful financial sector require much more radical reform than governments have yet been prepared to contemplate?
The financial sector has been through a bruising period since the crash of 2008/9. But not as bruising as the real economy, with public deficits and unemployment rising and living standards falling in the aftermath of the banking crisis. Have we really got to the heart of what went wrong and how we could prevent it happening again?
Adair Turner and John Kay think not. Two of the UK’s most respected public thinkers on finance and the wider economy, in the past year they have each written books which have made a substantial contribution to the debate around the purpose and value of the financial sector, and how it can better serve us.
In this exclusive ‘in conversation’ event at the RSA, they will respond to each other’s work and to the sometimes contrasting, sometimes complementary conclusions and policy recommendations they arrive at – and tackle the key questions: What does ‘good’, socially useful finance look like? Is banking too important to be left just to bankers? Do we need to revisit our understanding of money and debt? Or should we stop treating finance as special and demand that a much simpler industry conform to the same market disciplines as other industries? What are the regulatory and institutional reforms that we’d need to enact to get us there?