Ann Pettifor

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Ann Pettifor
Ann Pettifor Jonathan Draper Recycling the Minster's candles (Pettifor cropped).jpg
Ann Pettifor in 2000
OccupationDirector of Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME)
Known forPredicting the financial crisis of 2007–08

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 Chair of the Goldsmiths College Political Economy Research Centre's Advisory Board. As executive director of the consultancy Advocacy International, Pettifor has advised governments and organisations on sovereign debt restructuring, international finance and sustainable development. She is a trustee of the PREP Foundation for Pluralist Economics.

Pettifor is best known for correctly predicting the global financial crises in several publications including in a book The Real World Economic Outlook,[1] and summarised in the New Statesman in an article published on 1 September 2003 entitled "Coming soon: The new poor”.[2] This was followed by her September, 2006 book The Coming First World Debt Crisis.[3]

Pettifor is a member of the Green New Deal Group of economists, environmentalists and entrepreneurs that published The Green New Deal in July, 2008. The group argued that "The triple crunch of financial meltdown, climate change and ‘peak oil’ has its origins firmly rooted in the current model of globalisation. Financial deregulation has facilitated the creation of almost limitless credit. With this credit boom have come irresponsible and often fraudulent patterns of lending, creating inflated bubbles in assets such as property, and powering environmentally unsustainable consumption."

On 27 September 2015, it was announced that she had been appointed to the British Labour Party's Economic Advisory Committee, convened by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and reporting to Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn,[4] regarding which she stated that she was honoured to be asked to serve with such distinguished colleagues and that she hoped to play her part in overturning the Chancellor’s deficit fetishism, and his employment of it as a smokescreen for an attack on the state.[5] She currently resides in London, England.

Pettifor's background is in sovereign debt. She was one of the leaders of the Jubilee 2000 debt cancellation campaign. The UK’s Independent newspaper described her as ‘the genius’ behind the Jubilee 2000 campaign – which led to the cancellation of approximately $100 billion of debt owed by 35 countries. She played a leading role in designing and promoting the MamaYe campaign which made life-saving changes for mothers in five African countries.


Pettifor was born in South Africa in 1947, and graduated with a degree in politics and economics from the University of the Witwatersrand.[6] In the 1980s she held several posts as adviser to Frances Morrell, the leader of the Inner London Education Authority and later advised Greater London Council, Ken Livingstone. She also advised the Right Hon. Margaret Beckett MP who went on to serve in the 1997 Labour government. She also worked as a lobbyist for Ian Greer Associates.

Pettifor co-founded the Jubilee 2000 worldwide campaign for the cancellation of the debts of the poorest countries. In 1998 Jubilee 2000 organised a human chain of approximately 70,000 people, which surrounded the 1998 G8 summit in Birmingham, United Kingdom.[6] In 1999 at the Cologne G8 Summit the G8 agreed to write off approximately $100 billion of third world debt, in large part due to the campaign, which had supporters such as Pope John Paul II, Muhammad Ali, Bono, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Bill Clinton.[7]

At the conclusion of the Jubilee 2000 campaign Pettifor joined the New Economics Foundation in London where she headed their research unit on global macro-economics. In the 2010 general election Pettifor attempted to stand for Parliament as a Labour candidate and was shortlisted in the North West Durham selection process but lost to Pat Glass.[8] She has also unsuccessfully stood as a local election candidate for the West End ward on Westminster City Council.

Pettifor contributed an article to the Labour in the City Anthology in October 2018, which was launched at the City Corporation by Alistair Darling. Pettifor argues that far more radical reforms are needed to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 crisis.[9][10]


Pettifor was granted the freedom of the city of Callao in Peru in 1999 (for her work on debt cancellation for Peru); and the Pax Christi International Peace Prize in 2000. In 2001 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Lord Chris Patten, Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, and in the same year was honoured with a Masters of Letters Degree (a Lambeth Degree) by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The President of Nigeria, President Obasanjo made her a Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) for her work in leading the campaign to write off billions of dollars of debt owed by Africa's poorest countries. In 2018, she is awarded with the Hannah Arendt Prize.


  • 1996: Debt, the Most Potent Form of Slavery: : a discussion of the role of Western lending policies in subordinating the economies of poor countries. Debt Crisis Network.[11]
  • 2000: Kicking the Habit: Finding a Lasting Solution to Addictive Lending and Borrowing and Its Corrupting Side-Effects (Joseph Hanlon & Angela Travis). Jubilee 2000 Coalition.[11]
  • 2001: It Takes Two to Tango: Creditor Co-Responsibility for Argentina's Crisis – and the Need for Independent Resolution (with Liana Cisneros & Alejandro Olmos). New Economics Foundation.[11]
  • 2002: Chapter 9/11?: Resolving International Debtcrises – The Jubilee Framework for International Insolvency. New Economics Foundation. ISBN 978-1-899407-44-6
  • 2003: The Real World Economic Outlook Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4039-1794-2
  • 2006: The Coming First World Debt Crisis. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-00784-0
  • 2008: "The Green New Deal" : Joined up policies to solve the triple crunch of credit crises, climate change and high oil prices. New Economics Foundation. ISBN 978-1-904882-35-0
  • 2013: A National Plan for the UK: From Austerity to the Age of the Green New Deal New Economics Foundation
  • 2014: Just Money: How Society Can Break the Despotic Power of Finance. Commonwealth Publishing.
  • 2017: The Production of Money - How to Break the Power of Bankers, published by Verso 2017. ISBN 9781786631374


  1. ^ "The Real World Economic Outlook". Palgrave Macmillan. 2003.
  2. ^ "Coming soon: The new poor". The New Statesman. 1 September 2003.
  3. ^ "The Coming First World Debt Crisis". Palgrave Macmillan. 2006.
  4. ^ "Labour announces new Economic Advisory Committee". Labour Press. 27 September 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  5. ^ Smith, Jeremy (27 September 2015). "Ann Pettifor invited to join Labour Leader's new Economic Advisory Committee". Prime. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Ann Pettifor". Helsinki Process. Archived from the original on 6 July 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2007.
  7. ^ "Our Advocacy". Advocacy International. Archived from the original on 16 May 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2007.
  8. ^ "'An honour' as Labour chooses its candidate". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Ten Years On Banking Beyond the Crisis" (PDF).
  10. ^ Clark, Andrew (1 November 2018). "We must turn the page on the public perceptions of finance". Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  11. ^ a b c "Ann Pettifor". Carnegie Council. 6 September 2001. Retrieved 28 May 2007.

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