Bankruptcy, Bubbles and Bailouts

Author(s): Aeron Davis
Publication Number: ECES-SB220
Issued in: 2022


The Treasury is one of Britain’s oldest, most powerful and secretive institutions, one that has played a central role in shaping the country’s economic system. But all too often it has escaped public scrutiny when it comes to investigating the ups and downs of the UK economy.
Its public image is one of stability in times of crisis, repeatedly rescuing the nation’s finances from the hands of posturing politicians and the combustions of world financial markets. However, there is another side to the story. In between the highs there have been many lows, from botched privatisations to dubious private finance initiatives, from failing to spot the great financial crisis to facilitating austerity and ever-growing inequalities.
Davis takes the reader behind the scenes to offer an inside history of the Treasury, in the words of the chancellors, advisors and civil servants themselves. Bankruptcy, bubbles and bailouts shows the shortcomings as well as the successes, the personalities, ideas and conflicts that have shaped Britain’s economy since the mid-1970s. Based on interviews with over fifty key figures, it offers a fascinating, alternative insight on how and why the UK economy came to function as it does today, and why reform is long overdue.