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Complex world economic problems inspired John Lanchester

28th January 2010

John Lanchester was inspired to write an account of the financial crisis while researching a new novel.

The author told Reuters that he started to look into financial affairs when researching his fourth novel, but then decided to write Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay and put his work of fiction on hold.

Lanchester, whose novels include The Debt to Pleasure and Fragrant Harbour, attempts to explain the history of the world's financial system and the causes of the global downturn to readers who are not economics experts.

'The story struck me as important to tell and very interesting in its own terms, but it's something that just wouldn't fit in a novel. You can't dramatise a credit-default swap or a collateralised debt obligation,' the 47-year-old told the press agency.

He also predicted that the British public will become 'absolutely livid' in the coming years about the cuts to pay, pensions and jobs and tax hikes that will need to be made to address budget shortfalls.

Reviewing the book, author Will Self praised it for being 'lucid, beautifully contrived [and] comprehensible'.

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