27th March 2015

How it became easier to borrow than to save

Book launch, discussion & drinks reception

6.00 – 8.15pm, Wednesday 29th April 2015
St Luke’s Community Centre, 90 Central St, London EC1V 8AJ (near Old Street / Barbican)

The savings rate in the UK has been falling steadily since the 1960s, with borrowing increasingly taking its place. This has affected the poor more than most. Where once contributions to private saving and insurance schemes were widespread among lower socio-economic groups, the last fifty years have seen attitudes towards financial planning change dramatically. People now borrow far more readily than they save; visits from door-to-door insurance premium collectors have now often been replaced by threats from debt collectors.

How did this happen and what are the consequences? This debate accompanies the launch of two books that set the history of these changes in practical context. What impacts do the marketing devices and financial instruments of the insurance, credit and debt industries have on the way people manage their spending? What can we learn about the relationship between these future-focused financial products and how we make economic decisions? What challenges do they pose that societies and governments have yet to adequately address?

The debate turns on the arguments in two recently published books in Routledge’s CRESC Culture, Economy and the Social series; Joe Deville’s ‘Lived Economies of Default: Consumer Credit, Debt Collection and the Capture of Affect’ (see here) and Liz McFall’s ‘Devising Consumption: Cultural Economies of Insurance, Credit and Spending’ (see here​) and explores their academic contributions and implications for contemporary policy.

The debate will open with brief contributions from

Liz McFall, The Open University
Don Slater, London School of Economics
Joe Deville, Goldsmiths
Noortje Marres, Goldsmiths 

There will then be an open discussion, followed by a drinks and snacks reception.

If you would like to attend, please register here.

The event is sponsored by Journal of Cultural Economy and The Centre for Citizenship, Identity and Governance (CCIG), with support from the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP) and the Political Economy Research Centre (PERC).