Aston's business expert to outline reasons behind the financial crash in prestigious lecture

Professor George Feiger

The bad financial practices and poor risk assessment models revealed by the 2008 global economic crash will be discussed by a leading Birmingham business expert.

Professor George Feiger, Dean of  Aston Business School, will explain the market structures, systems and damaging incentives he feels were to blame for the crash and subsequent depression. 

He will argue that no statistical model used by financial institutions were capable of predicting the behaviour of asset prices and interest rates that emerged during the economic crisis, because they were flawed in content and in process. 

Regulatory measures taken since 2008 to mitigate the risk of another crash are also called in to question by Professor Feiger, who believes that some of the most important risk drivers remain little affected. 

Professor Feiger, with a long background in advising and managing financial institutions, and who latterly founded and was the CEO of a $3.4bn wealth management company headquartered in San Francisco before joining Aston, said: “In my lecture, I hope to outline the reasons behind the financial crisis, which very nearly brought the world economy to its knees. The repercussions of the crisis are still reverberating today and yet it appears as though little has been learnt. 

“I am not, however, advocating despair but realism. We need to deal with the situation we are in, not the one we wish we were in. I will make some suggestions on how best to proceed, such as by investing in social sciences to understand how market participants actually form anticipations and by recognising the difficulties we have in predicting systemic risk events and planning accordingly.” 

Drawing on his years of experience in the financial industry, Professor Feiger will also discuss some deeply rooted but deeply bad incentives that spurred the taking of dangerous risks. 

Chief among his concerns is the short term attitude of the institutional shareholders of listed companies. He asserts that both shareholders and management of these businesses prioritise making money quickly rather than making money sustainably, leading to excessive gambling with investments. 

Professor Feiger will also make the case that no society is willing to pay private sector salaries for its regulators, resulting in top talent being drawn to investment banks. Moreover, the good regulators frequently end up working for the firms they once regulated at a high level and on a good salary, a phenomenon known as ‘the revolving door’. 

The speech is set to be delivered as the Lunar Society Boulton and Watt Commemoration Lecture. It will take place on Tuesday 28 October at Aston University from 6.30pm. 

The Lunar Society, established in 1765, provides a lively forum for members to influence change through stimulating ideas, broadening debate and catalysing action. The annual Commemoration Lecture has previously attracted major speakers from business and industry, such as Aston University Vice Chancellor Professor Dame Julia King. 

To book free tickets please register here: 



For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or