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In the aftermath of the banking crisis, which in turn led to the global recession, there is still much anger towards the City of London for its role in exacerbating the situation. Our latest publication, “In Defence of the City: A Collection of Essays“, is designed to elucidate the role of the City and its place in the UK economy. The book was officially launched at a session of the 2013 Freedom Zone, an event organised by The Freedom Association at the Conservative Party Conference. The session was entitled “The City fiddles while the UK burns” and featured four of the authors in this book as panellists.
The book is a publication of six essays – all by esteemed authors who each focus on a certain aspect of the City and its contribution to the UK economy. The format of the book is as follows:
Introduction by Mark Littlewood (Director General of the Institute for Economic Affairs)
Chapter 1: On the social usefulness of Lord Turner by Professor Tim Congdon
Chapter 2: In Defence of a Free Market City: Time to separate banking and money from the state by Professor Tim Evans
Chapter 3: The City of London: a unique democracy, and our greatest economic asset by Deputy Alex Deane CC
Chapter 4: The importance of the City Legal sector to the UK economy by Duncan Flynn
Chapter 5: Britain needs a healthy City and Fund Management industry by Anthony Wilkinson
Chapter 6: An engine room, not a casino: the City’s role through history by Abhishek Majumdar
At just a few days short of the 5-year anniversary of the partial nationalisation of RBS and HBOS, these essays aim to instigate a more balanced, dispassionate debate about the future of the City. Much of the political debate up to this point about the wrongdoings of City bankers has been, as Mark Littlewood puts it, “ill informed and unedifying.” The time has come for a rational and reasoned debate with important questions asked: how should the mistakes of the City be dealt with? Is there too much, too little or simply misdirected regulation of the City? Is the financial services industry in the UK too large? How can growth in the UK economy be encouraged through the City?
The Freedom Association published this book in order to answer these questions and many more, to bring this debate forward so that governments can encourage economic growth rather than restrict it.
Among the many aspects which are discussed in this book, the highlights include :
- Professor Tim Congdon’s criticism of Lord Turner, the head of the FSA who has seemingly been on an anti-finance crusade
- Professor Tim Evans’ detailed proposal for the future of a safe, independent financial services industry
- Alex Deane’s discussion of the City’s contribution to all manner of public life – diplomacy, open spaces, public health, arts and heritage as well as numerous charitable foundations, which are run on City funding
- Anthony Wilkinson’s explanation of the problems of excessive regulation and the threat of Asian markets to British financial success
- Abhishek Majumdar’s focus on the historical purpose of the City and his take on the concentration of graduates and skilled workers in London
The book is truly unmissable for anyone interested in the future of the City of London and the government’s policy towards the financial industries. Not only is it essential for workers in the financial services, but it is also easily understandable. It is rare to have a collection of six such erudite, concise and thought-provoking articles by such esteemed authors. As Mark Littlewood says in his introduction:
“In Defence of the City” is an important document. Some five years on from the financial crash, perhaps the fog is finally clearing and a more reasoned, rational and informed debate about the future of our financial services sector can begin. This publication is an important contribution to that debate.
Let us hope it may even mark a turning point at which we begin to generate greater public understanding of the vital role the City plays and how we can create the right policy framework for it to flourish in the years to come.
If you would like to have a copy of the book, then please e-mail Rory Broomfield at firstname.lastname@example.org . The book is priced at the fantastic value of just £10.00. For any related news, you can like The Freedom Association on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to show your support and ensure you receive all TFA news and events notices. Our thanks go to all the authors and to Bretwalda Books, our publisher.
We hope that this new publication will inform the debate, which will ensure a more free, prosperous and future for financial services in the UK, which remain a vital asset for the UK in a global economy.