Contrary to political group think it was actually access private debt not public debt that brought the economy crashing down. But today private debt is again raging and nobody seems to want to address the issue. On the 10-year-anniversary of the Global Financial Crisis, anthropologist and author, David Graeber and former chairman of the now abolished Financial Services Authority, Lord Turner sits down with co-founder and presenter, Ross Ashcroft, to discuss what is preventing us from talking about the taboo that is Britain’s private debt problem.
Your car gets counted once when it is built, not when it is driven. Your clothes, your bicycle, your furniture, all get counted once when they are manufactured, and not again when they are worn, ridden, or sat on. But homes are counted twice in GDP, writes Dr Cameron Murray: Once when they are constructed, and again when they are occupied. If we are going to count housing in GDP, shouldn’t we count it just once?
Ever since the Global Financial Crisis, living standards have split between those who own their own home and those who do not. Inability to find work is no longer an indicator of poverty. In fact more than half of those living in poverty come from a household where someone is in work. The property-owning democracy was meant to make people more conservative, but the rise in home ownership exacerbated the rise in inequality. What effect its reversal might have on our politics is anybody’s guess.
With rising rents, a housing shortage, record house prices, spiralling private debts, wage stagnation and rising inflation, are properties still a good place to put your money or is the UK’s obsession with home ownership going to end in economic tears?
About two weeks ago whilst preparing for teaching our photography students I took a walk in the quiet backstreets of Tbilisi in a neighbourhood full of beautiful decaying 19th century buildings.