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The most truthful answer to the Queen’s question

Summary:
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

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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”

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