Grace Blakeley, is a research Fellow for the Commission on Economic Justice at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and the economics commentator at The New Statesman. She also sits on the Labour Party's National Policy Forum.
As a journalist, economist and campaigner, Grace specialises in international economics and macro economic policy, with a particular focus on financial regulation, regional economics, housing and infrastructure, and advocating for radical policies to transform our economy.
She has authored several reports for the IPPR, including “On Borrowed Time: Finance and the UK's Current Account Deficit”, “Fair Dues: Rebalancing Business Taxation in the UK” and “Paying for our Progress: How the Northern Powerhouse can be Financed and Funded”. In September 2019, Grace publishes her first book, about the financialisation of the British economy, “Stolen: How Finance Destroyed our Economy and Corrupted our Politics” (PenguinRandomHouse).
Educated at Lord Wandsworth College and the comprehensive Sixth Form College, Farnborough, Grace graduated from Oxford in 2014 with a First Class Honours Degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, after which she studied for a master's degree in African Studies.
Having completed her education, Grace joined KPMG's Public Sector and Healthcare Practice as a management consultant. She then spent a year working on regional economic policy for IPPR North in Manchester to research and write about regional economic inequality in the UK, before relocating to London in 2016.
Grace’s research has been covered in both print and broadcast media, including spreads in the Guardian, the Times and the Independent. She is a prominent voice in the UK media, and features frequently on both radio and TV.
She has appeared on numerous high-profile political programmes, including Question Time, Politics Live, and BBC This Week – as well as more popular shows such as Frankie Boyle's New World Order and BBC Breakfast. She has also appeared extensively on radio, including several appearances on the Today Programme and LBC.
Grace has written for various media outlets including the Independent, VICE, and Tribune. She featured in John McDonnell’s recent book Economics for the Many with a chapter on the UK’s regional problem and how it relates to UK macroeconomic policy. In January 2019, she was appointed economics commentator at the New Statesman, where she has a weekly column on UK and international economic affairs.
Her first publication in 2019, Stolen, is a readable economic history of the UK since 1970, which analyses the financialisation of the British and American economies. The book shows that a new economic model – finance-led growth – emerged in Anglo-America in the 1980s, and has deeply impacted all areas of economic activity – from households experiencing rising debt levels, to corporations' focusing on shareholder value, to governments increasingly outsourcing their spending to the private sector. This model ultimately collapsed in 2007, and Stolen traces many of the UK's current economic and political problems back to the growth and demise of finance.
Grace believes in the importance of working on social infrastructure, investing in people through housing, education and health care. Which are just as important as transport and energy in allowing people to fulfil not just their economic potential but their social potential.
Grace Blakeley is a prominent public speaker, and has spoken at many conferences, panels and roundtables on issues related to politics and economics.
In 2018, she spoke at the Change Finance conference in Brussels, addressed the United Nations in Geneva at the launch of UNCTAD's Trade and Development Report; she addressed academics at the University of Oxford on financial regulation since the crisis on a panel with John Vickers, former chief economist of the Bank of England; and she spoke at numerous panels at Labour party conference and The World Transformed Conference in Liverpool, including chairing a panel with John McDonnell.
In 2019, Grace addressed the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountants (CIPFA), the GTR trade conference, and the Progressive Economy Forum's conference on reforming the Bank of England.
She has also been invited to speak at numerous international conferences and summits, including in Norway, Germany, and the United States.
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