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Paul Mason's master analysis of the economic crisis at the LSE:"The Ross and Rachel era is over"

Sarah Shin 4 February 2011

Paul Mason's lecture at the LSE entitled 'Phase Three of the Global Crisis' was delivered to a packed hall.

The BBC Newsnight economics editor's book Meltdown gives his account of the 2008 crash from the front row on Wall Street and the Square Mile as the "weatherman in a hurricane." But London's West End Extra reports that the audience was most interested in Mason's "constant references to a once obscure economist Hyman Minsky."

Mason said no world leader, including any British politician to his knowledge, had seriously engaged with the late Amercian economist known for his theories about private debt and the fragility of financial markets. Although "Mervyn" - King, our great Bank of England Governor - is apparently a fan.

While Mason lowered expectations about his wisdom (likening himself speaking at LSE to Woody Allen giving a clarinet concerto at Carnegie Hall), he held forth on Minsky's theories in atomic detail. Endless graphs were produced to show what happens when the state intervenes and what Minsky would have to say about what he calls "phase three of the crisis".

The outlook, if you believe Mason, is bleak. As he put it "the Ross and Rachel era" is over. The world will never be the same.

Mason closed his lecture by inviting "the audience to order some pizzas and thrash out a protectionist policy for the UK with him overnight."

The lecture is available as a podcast. Visit the LSE website to listen. 

Visit West End Extra to read the article in full.

Filed under: articles, broadcast