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A collapsing pound, spiralling oil prices, near-rationing of electricity… over the past half-century, Britain’s economy has lurched from one crisis to another, though it somehow always survives – or at least it has done until now.

Veteran financial journalist William Keegan has seen it all, from the 1967 devaluation to the three-day week, from Black Wednesday to the global financial crash of 2007–08. In a career that has seen him hop from Fleet Street to the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and back again, he has nurtured connections with Chancellors of the Exchequer, Governors of the Bank of England, influential economists and Fleet Street legends.

Now, in this lively and wide-ranging account, he takes us on a tumultuous journey through the past fifty years of our economic history – and looks ahead to explain why Brexit poses the biggest existential threat the British economy has yet faced.

Peppered with anecdotes and memories from the author’s illustrious career, Nine Crises offers a fresh insight into Britain’s past, present and future for economic expert and novice alike.


“William Keegan shows yet again why for decades his economic commentaries and insights have been essential and brilliant reading."

Gordon Brown

“As a high-profile journalist Keegan has always been close to those at the centre of events. This is history as written by someone with an excellent contact book rather than something assembled from dusty archives. The book is especially strong on explaining how key participants viewed each crisis as it unfolded and what they hoped to achieve … An insightful look back over 50 years of economic history that policymakers would be well advised to read when pondering the next crisis.”

Duncan Weldon, Financial Times

“‘History embraces everything,’ writes William Keegan, and there is no living journalist who embraces more history, and has been more closely engaged in it, than him. From the devaluation crisis of the 1960s to today’s Brexit crisis, he has known and observed all the key participants with unique insight and elegance, including every Chancellor and Governor of the Bank of England for fifty years. This is the memoir of the year.”

Andrew Adonis

“Anybody who wants to understand British economic history over the last fifty years should read this book. William Keegan had a ringside seat at every crisis from the 1967 devaluation to the 2016 referendum and he explains each of them with lucidity and wit. Keegan is Britain’s leading economic commentator. As a journalist who learnt his trade in the old Fleet Street, he has always maintained the highest standards of accuracy and integrity while also knowing how to enjoy a good lunch.”

Nicholas Macpherson

“Bill was reporting on the major economics events that have shaped our world before most of us were born. And he’s been more right in his commentary than any economic journalist I know. For facts, wit, insight and a ringside seat there’s no one to beat Bill Keegan.”

Ed Balls

“Nobody distils the frenzy of British economic policy-making better than Bill Keegan. He has an anthropologist’s eye for when the people, the institutions and the events collide. He writes with the thrill of the chase always in his pen."

Peter Hennessy
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  • eBook
  • ISBN: 9781785903939
  • 24 January 2019
  • £16.99

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