Inside Thatcher’s Monetarism Experiment by Tim Lankester


21 May 2024
Policy Press

In 1979, Margaret Thatcher’s new government was faced with rampant double-digit inflation, rising unemployment and flatlining economic growth. In response, Thatcher pursued an economic policy which rejected the old orthodoxies and was promoted by only a minority of economists: a policy based on the doctrine of monetarism. Tim Lankester was the private secretary for economic affairs to Thatcher during the early years of her government. His insider’s account explains her attitudes and decisions and those of the other main players in this deeply damaging experiment in economic policy making, which promised much but completely failed to deliver. Offering fascinating insights into one of the most unsuccessful episodes of British economic history, he also examines the legacy of monetarism for the economy today.

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