Adair Turner or Baron Turner of Ecchinswell is a British businessman, academic and was Chairman of the Financial Services Authority until its abolition in March 2013.
He is the former Chairman of the Pensions Commission and the Committee on Climate Change, as well as the former Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry. He has described himself in a BBC Hardtalk interview with Stephen Sackur as a ‘technocrat’.
He is a loud advocate of the so-called “Helicopter money” idea whereby central banks would finance directly government spending or cash distribution to citizens.
He taught economics part-time after university. His career with BP started in 1979 and he worked for Chase Manhattan Bank from 1979-82.
He became a director of McKinsey & Co in 1994 after joining in 1982. Turner was Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry from 1995-9. In this role he became one of the leading proponents of British membership of the euro – a stance he later said was mistaken. From 2000-06 he was Vice-Chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe.
He lectures part-time at the London School of Economics, where in 2010 he delivered three lectures on “Economics after the Crisis”, later published by MIT Press as a book under that title: this criticised conventional wisdom that the object of policy should be to maximise GDP, that the way to do this is to promote freer markets, and that inequality is an acceptable price for growth.
In 2002, he chaired a UK government enquiry into pensions. In 2007, he succeeded Frances Cairncross as Chairman of the Economic and Social Research Council and Baroness Jay as Chair of the Overseas Development Institute’s Council.
In 2008 his Building a Low-carbon Economy was published, and the same year Turner was appointed as first Chairman of the British Government’s newly established Committee on Climate Change. He stepped down from this position in Spring 2012.
On 29 May 2008, it was announced that he would take over as Chairman of the Financial Services Authority. He took up this post on 20 September 2008 for a five-year term to succeed Callum McCarthy.
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“Adair Turner was awesome at the Insurance Summit this afternoon” – Karen Snell, Global Head of Marketing, Hogan Lovells