John Kay

Finance for the people

Watch Prof. John Kay speak on making finance work for people in this KAPTalks.

Monday 16.10.2017

The finance sector of Western economies is the product of a ‘bottom-up’ process, in which institutions evolved to serve the local needs of households for payments, savings, and the mutual sharing of risks. These institutions were adapted over time to meet the developing needs of merchants and business.

But that was a long time ago. America and Western Europe today have a finance sector excessive size; a sector that has lost touch with the real economy, and which trades with itself, talks to itself, and judges itself by its own criteria. The outcomes have proved catastrophically unstable. What lessons for developing countries can be learned?

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John Kay is one of Britain’s leading economists.  His work is centred on the relationships between economics, finance and business.  His career has spanned from academic work and think tanks, business schools, company directorships, consultancies and investment companies.   Today his main focus is on writing and he is renowned for his ability to express complex ideas clearly and succinctly. He has been a Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford since 1970 and has held chairs at London Business School, the University of Oxford, and the London School of Economics.  He is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.  He has been a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers and chaired the Review of Equity Markets and Long Term Decision Making, which reported to the UK government’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.  Following the outcome of the referendum on British membership of the European Union in June 2016, he was appointed a member of the Standing council on Scotland and Europe appointed by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. He became Commander of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year Honours List of 2014.  He has been elected an honorary fellow of the Society of Investment Professionals and the Chartered Institute of Taxation and received the Daniel J Forrestal III award for Leadership in Professional Ethics and Standards of Investment Award from the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute.  He has been awarded honorary degrees by Heriot Watt University, and his alma mater the University of Edinburgh.  The Truth about Markets was declared Politics Book of the Year in 2005 by the Political Studies Association.  He received the Senior Wincott Award for Financial Journalism in 2011 for his Financial Times columns; Other People’s Money was a book of the year for The Economist, Financial Times, and Bloomberg and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing.

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