The Storm

Published by Atlantic on 16th April 2009

Vince Cable has been described as the “sage of the credit crunch” (Daily Telegraph) with good reason. He warned about the collapse in the housing market before prices started to fall; argued for the nationalization of Northern Rock before it became government policy; predicted the banking crisis before banks stopped lending money; and, for many years, was alarmed by the growing amounts of personal debt in Britain.

In The Storm, Cable explains the causes of the world economic crisis and how we should respond to the challenges it brings. He shows that although the downturn is global, the complacency of the British government towards the huge “bubble” in property prices and high levels of personal debt, combined with increasingly exotic and opaque trading within the financial markets, has left Britain badly exposed.

Yet we need to be vigilant in our response to the dangers confronting us. Times of crisis inevitably bring forth false prophets who offer easy panaceas and identify scapegoats. However, Cable suggests that an insular response to the current crisis would be a disaster and urges us to resist the siren voices that promote isolation and nationalism as the answer to economic woes. He argues that policy makers must keep their faith in the liberal markets if the remarkable advances in living standards, which are now being extended to the world’s poorer countries, are to be maintained.

In THE STORM, Vince Cable transcends party politics, to show with authority, clarity and humour, that we must acknowledge and endorse the expansion of the economic centre of influence beyond the West if we are to move forward into calmer waters. It is essential reading.