Department of Political Science


HYBRID. Who are 'The Markets' and What Determines Their Reaction to Policy?

02 February 2023, 6:15 pm–7:30 pm

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Who are the key actors that drive market sentiment? What are the ideas - the normative values and causal stories - that underpin their reactions to governments' economic policy decisions? And how have these ideas changed over time and across contexts? Join our panel discussion to find out.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Eleanor Kingwell-Banham


Roberts Building
Gower Street
United Kingdom

This event will be in-person and online. Please choose a ticket for "general admission" when booking and the information to join both in-person and online will be sent to you. In-person attendance will be first-come first-served. We usually have space for all in-person attendees.

In September last year, then-Chancellor Kwarteng's "mini budget", which was predicated on the idea that tax cuts for the rich would fuel economic growth, provoked a financial crisis in Britain that brought the newly-installed Truss government swiftly to its knees. The government had committed the cardinal sin in our era of globalised finance: it had lost the confidence of "the markets". Countries outside the core of rich democracies are well accustomed to having their policy autonomy constrained by the imperative to appease this amorphous flock of footloose financiers. Ironically, such countries had long been disciplined to implement the trickle-down economic playbook of which the markets apparently now disapproved when mooted in Britain. So, who are the key actors that drive market sentiment? And what are the ideas - the normative values and causal stories - that underpin their reactions to governments' economic policy decisions? And how have these ideas changed over time and across contexts? To explore these questions, we will be joined by a panel of experts who have participated in and chronicled these powerful but puzzling dynamics at the crucial interface between democracy and capitalism.

Meet the Speakers
Dr Ioana Petrescu is Senior Research Fellow at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the President of Simply Green (Pur si Simplu Verde), a Romanian environmental NGO. Dr Petrescu is a former Finance Minister of Romania. She also served in the government as an economic adviser to the prime minister and head of his delivery unit. Her forthcoming book is Adolescent Democracies: a Former Finance Minister’s Guide to Policymaking. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

Vicky Pryce is Chief Economic Adviser at the Centre for Economics and Business Research and a former Joint Head of the UK Government Economic Service. She was previously Partner and Chief economist at KPMG after senior economic positions in the private sector. She is co-founder of GoodCorporation, a company set up to advise on Corporate Social Responsibly, and is a Visiting Professor at BCU and King’s College, London. She has written and co-authored numerous books, including, most recently, Women vs Capitalism: Why We Can’t Have it All in a Free Market Economy (Hurst Publishing) and How to be a Successful Economist (with Ross, Birdi and Harwood, Oxford University Press).

Sir John Gieve has had a distinguished career in the UK public service including as Deputy Governor for Financial Stability at the Bank of England, and Member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee from 2006-09. In that role, he was a key player in the UK’s response to the credit crisis and efforts to stabilise the UK and international banking systems during the 2008/9 financial crisis. From 2001-05, he was permanent secretary at the UK Home Office, and before that spent 20 years at the UK Treasury. This included being private secretary to three chancellors. He is currently Chair of Homerton Healthcare in the NHS.

Dr Lucy Barnes is Associate Professor in Comparative Politics in the UCL Department of Political Science and School of Public Policy. Lucy’s research focuses on the politics of economic policymaking in rich, western democracies. She holds a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship, in which she is researching people’s “mental models” of how the economy works.

This seminar will be followed by a drinks reception. All are welcome to attend.

This event is organised by UCL Department of Political Science and UCL Policy Lab.

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This event will be recorded and the video will be uploaded to our YouTube channel.

Can't make it on the day? Register for the event and you will be sent the link to the video as soon as it is available.


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