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Adair Turner on the Politics of Finance

Tom Sutcliffe discusses financial disasters with economists Adair Turner, Charles Calomiris and Harris Irfan and writer Maggie Gee.

Tom Sutcliffe discusses money with the American economist Charles Calomiris, who looks back at the history of financial disasters and argues that they're caused more by government failures, than individual bankers. The former head of the Financial Services Authority, Adair Turner, might agree on the need for structural changes, but famously said 'heads should roll' in the banking industry, and has damned much of the banks' trading activities as 'socially useless'. If there has been a moral vacuum at the heart of the banking industry, are there lessons to be learnt from Islamic banking? The financial advisor Harris Irfan believes it's a system that is more equitable and transparent. Seventy five years ago Steinbeck's great depression novel, Grapes of Wrath, was published and Maggie Gee explores its legacy and asks where the wrath is now?

Producer: Katy Hickman.

Available now

43 minutes

Charles Calomiris

Charles Calomiris is the Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions at Columbia Business School and a professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.


Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit by Charles W. Calomiris and Stephen H. Haber is published by Princeton University Press.


Charles Calomiris

Adair Turner

Adair Turner, former Chairman of the Financial Services Authority, is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for New Economic Thinking.


His book on debt will be published later this year.


Adair Turner

Harris Irfan

Harris Irfan is the founder and managing partner of Cordoba Capital, an independent Islamic finance advisory firm.


Heaven’s Bankers will be published by Constable in May.


Harris Irfan

Maggie Gee

Maggie Gee is a novelist and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.


She is taking part in a debate, ‘Where’s the Wrath Now?’, at the LSE celebrating the 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath on Tuesday 25 February at 6.30pm.


Where's the Wrath Now?


Role Contributor
Presenter Tom Sutcliffe
Interviewed Guest Charles Calomiris
Interviewed Guest Maggie Gee
Interviewed Guest Harris Irfan
Interviewed Guest Adair Turner
Producer Katy Hickman


  • Mon 24 Feb 2014 09:00
  • Mon 24 Feb 2014 21:30