Since the 1970s, credit has become increasingly easy to acquire. We have become a consumption-based society driven by our wants, supported by credit, rather than a sustainable society driven by our needs. In this compelling interview, renowned economist and author Ann Pettifor discusses the impact of deregulation of credit on consumption, and the environment, and shows how the globalization of our financial system undermines our ability to solve the climate crisis. She also discusses the impact of credit, and more particularly, interest rate levels, on the environmental problems in the global south. Ann argues that the monetary system is a vital public good which needs to serve society, rather than a small financial elite. She suggests that the way in which central banks responded to the financial crash, creating trillions of dollars credit overnight to bail out banks, has drawn public attention to the power central bankers have—and the very secretive way the financial system operates. Ann also shares her vision for a future with high levels of public investment, low real rates of interest, and government support for a green economy.
Ann Pettifor is a UK-based analyst of the global financial system, director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME), a network of economists concerned with Keynesian monetary theory and policies; an honorary research fellow at the Political Economy Research Centre at City University, London (CITYPERC) and a fellow of the New Economics Foundation, London. She is an influential political economist with a record of achieving real changes in public policy, especially in relation to sovereign debt. She correctly predicting the global financial crises in several publications including in a book The Real World Economic Outlook, and summarised later in the New Statesman. This was followed by her September, 2006 book The Coming First World Debt Crisis. Ann is currently working on the relationship between economic policy and the climate, and her next book will detail how it’s possible to finance a Green New Deal.