Chris Giles

Economics Editor, Financial Times

Clear and incisive commentary on the European and international economic landscape.

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Biography

Chris Giles has been at the forefront of analysis on the global economy, the Brexit debate and the Eurozone debt crisis. As the Financial Times’ Economics Editor since 2004, and their leader writer on UK economics before that, he has been uniquely privileged in his access to the facts and his influence on their worldwide perception. Chris has twice won the Royal Statistical Society’s prize for excellence in journalism in 2008 and 2012, he was named business journalist of the year in 2012 and was awarded the senior Wincott Award for financial journalism in 2015, the most prestigious UK prize in economics journalism.

Chris has extensive experience as a keynote speaker, panelist, and conference chair. He has spoken and moderated at the IMF, Davos, and the World Bank, among others. He can speak with assurance on all matters relating to global trends, the UK economy, its relationship to Europe, drawing out the links and common themes.

He brings a deep understanding of the crucial factors of the economy — interest rates, inequality, innovation, productivity and public finances — and their roles in shaping the landscape in which business operates.

His accessible style seeks to steer clear of dry economic presentations, bringing the subject of economics alive to a general audience with anecdotes and the most up to date information. This makes him a compelling speaker on what might in other hands be difficult material to follow.

Mr. Giles brings 25 years of on-the-ground economic experience to his speeches. Before his time at the FT, he worked for a year at the communications regulator Ofcom, reported for the BBC, and served for seven years as an economist with the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He knows what he’s about. With his guidance, you can get a clear view of today’s economy at any scale — be it the whole world, the UK or Europe.

Books

The Central Contradiction of Capitalism?

A collection of essays on Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Chapter 4 by Chris Giles

Topics

Chris specializes in understanding what a client needs and creating a unique talk for a general business audience, interacting with his audience and using his Financial Times newsroom experience to ensure the material is fresh, accurate and informed by the current thinking of business, government and international organizations. The following subjects have proved valuable to audiences, but please ask about any subjects that interest you as we are sure we can accommodate you.

Business and the global economy

In the fall of 2016, the fashionable word for the global economy is “mediocre”. Growth has been reasonable for five years with five more stable years predicted. These headlines mask fascinating changes beneath the surface that make all the difference to business. The rise of emerging economies in Asia; the new frontiers in Africa; disappointments in the rich world. Chris harnesses the power of FT reporting to bring the subject of the global economy alive for business, showing the importance of their role in ensuring the years ahead defy mediocrity and spread prosperity far and wide.

Britain and Brexit

Britain’s economy off the west coast of the European continent is in flux. Uncertainty rages over what Brexit means for the country, for companies and for business. Having led the FT reporting of the EU referendum, Chris brings an insider account and the most up-to-date information of the business implications. He has spoken widely on the implications for the economy and business. Brexit is of huge importance, but is a rapidly moving subject in which business can benefit from Chris’ insights, which will always be tailored specifically for the audience's interests.

Inequality and discontent

Never has the world been more prosperous; never has there been a period of such rapidly falling global inequality, but rarely have societies been so unhappy with their circumstances. Whether it is rising income inequality within many rich countries, disparities of wealth, the rise of populist political forces proves the power of discontent, threatening the foundations of many successful companies. Chris believes passionately that some of the current concerns reflect dangerous myths and which led him to exposing some errors in the work of Thomas Piketty, work which won Chris the most senior UK journalism prize in 2015. But he also has a message to business that it cannot ignore the more justified concerns and must act if it wants to prosper in a discontented world.

Central banks and interest rates

Rarely has the world been so obsessed by central banks. Financial markets turn on their every announcement on interest rates or more exotic efforts to control the economy and central bankers are seen as the new masters of the universe. Sometime they are exceeding their powers in ways that will antagonize the populations, such as new ideas to ban cash and charge people to hold money in banks. Sometimes, monetary policy genuinely improves the functioning of economies. Often, central banks are far less powerful than everyone thinks and it is business that shapes the economic landscape. Chris separates fact from fiction in an entertaining and insightful discussion of the drivers of success in a modern economy.

What is the future for Europe?

Five years after the euro crisis, Europe remains stuck in a low growth, low confidence trap. Investment is weak and prospects look dim, especially as baby boomers begin to retire in large numbers. Although the political landscape appears bleak, there are silver linings to the clouds. Chris can explain the economic and political landscape of Europe, highlighting the opportunities as much as the threats. Times of greatest pessimism are often those also of the most interesting possibilities for smart companies to innovate and prosper, Chris thinks.

Videos

Productivity, austerity and the £30bn tax black hole in the public finances | CIPFA Conference 2014

Orwell Prize Launch

Feedback

A European global private equity firm:
Chris — We just wanted to thank you again for attending our Global Conference.

Your presentation has been extremely insightful, and the feedback from the audience has been extremely positive.

An international financial services group:
I thought your contribution was excellent: very clear, and the insights from your long nights at the summits were particularly well appreciated. So thank you for making it such a success — I really enjoyed the discussion and I hope you did too.

An international organization for economic, social and governance challenges:
The economic outlook debate was one of the highlights of the event and we are very grateful for your personal contribution to the discussions.

A major building company:
Just a quick note to thank you for your input and contribution to our conference on Wednesday. I have had some great feedback on your presentation, thoughts and interaction from many of our team over the last couple of days which, when unsolicited, is always a good sign!

I hope we can work together again in the future.

A UK business news source:
On behalf of [...], thanks so much for your super contribution to last night's Hot 100 Dinner. I know that we, and the guests, found your speech (and Q&A) fascinating, insightful and genuinely valuable. You really made the evening.

A global insurance company:
Many thanks for your presence last night and for moderating what we feel was a very successful event. It is clear to us that the mention on the invite of both the FT and Chris Giles, Economics Editor were key to [...] being able to secure the attendees who turned up.

A major conference organiser group:
Thanks again for doing such a masterful job moderating and hosting the dinner on Tuesday. I really appreciate your efforts and the thoughtfulness you brought to them. The event was a success and I thank you for making it so. We had very pleased clients and guests.

Articles

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