Adair Turner is the jewel in the crown of British public servants.
He is one of a tiny minority in public life today capable of thinking and acting at the highest level. Economics after the Crisis, based on three lectures he delivered at the London School of Economics in 2010, is a thinking person’s delight, not least for the clear and lucid way in which Turner sets out his arguments.
His book challenges the three main planks of what he calls the “instrumental conventional wisdom”. The first is that the object of policy should be to maximize Gross Domestic Product per head; the second, that the primary means of doing this is to create freer markets; the third, that increased inequality is acceptable as long as it delivers superior growth.
The attack is devastating, leaving little of the policy edifice of the past thirty years standing.