The City of London publishes regular reports showing the sector’s “contribution” to the British economy, in terms of taxes paid and jobs created. The Finance Curse analysis shows these numbers to be useless — for the simple fact that they show a gross contribution, airbrushing out the costs, instead of what policy-makers need: the net contribution, after the costs of oversized have been taken into account.
The first systematic attempt to put a number to the net figure was by Andrew Baker, Gerald Epstein and Juan Montecino. They came up with a negative number: oversized finance has cost the UK economy a cumulative $4.3 trillion over 20 years.
And there’s another question here: are the gross figures put forward by the City of London even correct? Continue reading