FACES OF FINANCE: MARK LITTLEWOOD

by | Jan 29, 2016

Mark Littlewood, Director General of IEA, told us about his experience of his role in one of Britain’s premier economic think tanks and what he likes the most about his day job.

Mark frequently comments on political and economic issues on television and radio including BBC Question Time, Any Questions, Newsnight, Channel 4 News, Sky News, Radio 4’s Today Programme and LBC. Prior to the IEA, Mark was Head of Media for the Liberal Democrats before going on to found Progressive Vision, a classical liberal think tank. Mark was educated at Balliol College, Oxford.

He is the Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs and the IEA’s Ralph Harris Fellow. Under his leadership, the IEA has continued to communicate the benefits of free markets to an even wider audience around the world. In 2014, Mark was ranked 38th on The Times’ ‘Right-wing Power List’, and in 2011 was named ‘Liberal Voice of the Year’ by the Liberal Democrat Voice.

A rundown of the IEA

The IEA is the UK’s original free-market think-tank, founded in 1955. Their mission is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

Through its promotion of free market theorists like Milton Friedman it provided an intellectual rationale for business friendly political and economic reforms introduced by the Thatcher government in the UK – a political programme which later came to be known as ‘neoliberalism’.

From their website: ‘The IEA is the UK’s original free-market think-tank, founded in 1955. Our mission is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.’

‘Given the current economic challenges facing Britain and the wider global environment, it is more vital than ever that we promote the intellectual case for a free economy, low taxes, freedom in education, health and welfare and lower levels of regulation. The IEA also challenges people to think about the correct role of institutions, property rights and the rule of law in creating a society that fosters innovation, entrepreneurship and the efficient use of environmental resources.’

‘The IEA is an educational charity (No CC 235 351) and independent research institute limited by guarantee. Ideas and policies produced by the Institute are freely available from our website for any individual or organisation to adopt, but we do not “sell” policy. The Institute is entirely independent of any political party or group, and is entirely funded by voluntary donations from individuals, companies and foundations who want to support its work, plus income from book sales and conferences. It does no contract work and accepts no money from government.’

‘Established in 1955 by the late Sir Anthony Fisher and Lord Harris, the IEA’s first Director General, and joined by Arthur Seldon as the first Editorial Advisor, the IEA has a long and proud history.’

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