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The most truthful answer to the Queen’s question

from Nat Dyer

Famously, Queen Elizabeth II asked professors at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2008 why they did not notice the crisis coming. The moment has become a founding story of ‘new economics’. In the aftermath, the net was cast wide to catch those who did anticipate parts of the crisis. Many names have been put forward including Dean Baker, Steve Keen, Nouriel Roubini, Ann Pettifor, Raghuram Rajan, and Hyman Minsky. But, a name that’s missing from virtually every list was much closer to home, hiding, like the credit boom, in plain sight. Strange arguably foresaw more aspects of the crisis than anyone else. Ironically, in light of the Queen’s question, she taught global economics and politics for almost thirty years at the LSE.

Of all the answers to the Queen’s question from economists, commentators, and academics, one of the simplest and most truthful would have been: “The LSE’s Susan Strange saw the financial crisis coming, Your Majesty”. If the Queen had got that answer, we can imagine she may have asked: “Really? How? What else did she say?” This paper offers some answers through a close reading of Strange’s writing, and of those inspired by her, ending with a call for renewed engagement with a unique and undervalued thinker.

“Susan Strange saw the financial crisis coming, Your Majesty”

  1. Edward Ross
    January 26, 2022 at 11:04 pm

    Having read the full post before and my non academic, but practical view and experience of the real world. I think the story of Susan Strange is of the utmost importance for academics and the public at large if they want to understand the need for change in the economic and political system. As i have often said before many of my old friends who had lived through the great 1930s depressions were aware that the road we were on was leading to a repeat of that depression. Furthermore from my mature age studies i think there were a number of academics like Frank Stillwell who were aware of the need to reform economics so that it gave justice to all. But were ignored or ridiculed and removed from the conversation. this is why i try to participate in the conversation even though i have had a very limited education.Ted

  2. Ken Zimmerman
    February 25, 2022 at 8:59 am

    Two reasons Strange’s work and conclusions were/are ignored or marginalized, aside from the more obvious reason. She is not an economist. Not a member of the club; where’s the math? And she’s the wrong gender. And the obvious reason. The very existence of her work threatened the wealth and power of those controlling the emerging casino. People have been/are murdered for presenting this kind of risk. In this case her gender may have saved her life. It would not save her today.

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