Thomas Piketty [Image: Getty].

Here’s some excellent news – John McDonnell has appointed major anti-austerity economists to a new panel that will advise on the way forward.

Among the big names is Simon Wren-Lewis, whose Mainly Macro blog is excellent reading matter for the expert economist and the student alike.

The so-called rock star economist Thomas Piketty and Nobel prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz are among the top economists recruited to a new Labour group designed to put some weight behind the party’s economic policies.

Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell has named a six-strong group of economists, known for their anti-austerity leaning, to a new panel which will advise the party on financial policy, the Sunday Times reports.

In addition to Piketty, author of best-selling book the Capital in the 21st Century, and Stiglitz, the group includes academics from Oxford, Sussex and City universities.
•Simon Wren-Lewis, an Oxford university economics professor who started as a Treasury economist and headed up macroeconomic at NIESR.
•Mariana Mazzucato, an economics professor at Sussex and author of The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Private v Public Sector Myths.
•Ann Pettifor, a City university professor and researcher at the New Economics Foundation who advised Ken Livingston and Margaret Beckett.
•Anastasia Nesvetailova is director of the City university Political Economy Research Centre (CITYPERC) and a professor of International Political Economy, researching political economy of financial innovation, liquidity and international financial governance.

The group will meet four times a year “to guide him [McDonnell] and give lectures in Westminster to MPs sceptical about the direction in which he wants to take Labour policy,” according to the report.

Source: Thomas Piketty and Joseph Stiglitz signed up to Labour’s economic advisory panel by John McDonnell | City A.M.

Update: Labour has put out a press release with comments as follows:

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“I was elected on a clear mandate to oppose austerity and to set out an economic strategy based on investment in skills, jobs and infrastructure. Our economy must deliver security for all, not just riches for a few.

“I am delighted that John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor has convened this group to advise the leadership as we set out our economic vision.”

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, added:

“I am delighted to convene this Economic Advisory Committee that will assist in developing a radical but pragmatic and deliverable economic policy for our country.

“Our Economic Advisory Committee will assist in developing a fairer and more prosperous economic alternative based upon investment and growth which reaches all sections of society.

“Austerity is failing the people of this country. Working alongside world leading economists Labour will present the coherent alternative our country desperately needs.”

Member of the new Committee, Professor Thomas Piketty, said:

“I am very happy to take part in this Economic Advisory Committee and assist the Labour Party in constructing an economic policy that helps tackle some of the biggest issues facing people in the UK.

“There is now a brilliant opportunity for the Labour party to construct a fresh and new political economy which will expose austerity for the failure it has been in the UK and Europe.”

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