Tuesday 2 July 2019


Financial crises and private debt

Richard Vague, author of 'A Brief History of Doom'

Financial crises happen time and again — and they are extraordinarily damaging. Building on insights gleaned from many years of work in the banking industry and drawing on a vast trove of data, Richard Vague argues that such crises follow a pattern that makes them both predictable and avoidable.

In his latest book, he examines a series of major crises over the past 200 years and argues that the story of financial crisis is fundamentally the story of private debt and runaway lending.

Convinced that we have it within our power to break the cycle, Vague provides the tools to enable politicians, bankers, and private citizens to recognise and respond to the danger signs before the next crisis arises.

This event is held in partnership with INET, the Institute of New Economic Thinking.

Richard Vague

Richard is currently managing partner of Gabriel Investments, an early stage venture capital fund, and chair of The Governor’s Woods Foundation. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of Energy Plus, and also co-founder and CEO of two consumer banks, First USA and Juniper Financial.

Richard currently serves on the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees and the Penn Medicine Board of Trustees, on the Governing Board of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, and on a number of business  and non-profit boards (including the Franklin Square Energy, Power Fund, the Franklin Institute, the Museum of the American Revolution).

Richard is also the author of The Next Economic Disaster, a book on the global economy, and the editor of a blog on non-fiction literature.

"Debt is always the biggest indicator of where financial crises will strike next. But while most people focus on government debt, private debt has been overlooked as a risk factor. Richard Vague rectifies that problem."

Rana Foroohar, Financial Times