Gillian Tett (born 10 July 1967) is a British author and award-winning journalist at the Financial Times, where she is a markets and finance columnist and U.S. Managing Editor. She has written about the financial instruments that were part of the cause of the financial crisis that started in the fourth quarter of 2007, such as CDOs, credit default swaps, SIVs, conduits, and SPVs. She became renowned for her early warning that a financial crisis was looming.
In 1993, Tett joined the Financial Times as a correspondent from the former Soviet Union and Europe. In 1997, she was posted to Tokyo, where she later became bureau chief. In 2003, she became deputy head of the influentialLex column. Tett was then U.S. managing editor at the FT, before working as an assistant editor and columnist before returning to the U.S. Managing Editor position. She is also the chairwoman of the board of trustees for the Knight–Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism with Columbia University.
During the years 2005–2007, Tett applied her skills in ethnographic research to J.P. Morgan and discovered that the insular culture was leading to the creation of financial instruments that had little basis and that could cause severe economic disruption. In 2006, she predicted the financial crisis. Her 2009 book Fool's Gold recounts the lead-up to the economic crisis and the eventual collapse. She also played a significant role in the 2010 documentary Inside Job about the financial crisis of 2008.
Tett's 2009 book Fool's Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe was widely reviewed throughout the English-speaking world and won the Spear's Book Award for the financial book of 2009.
Awards and recognition
In 2014, Tett was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards, with judges describing her column as “provocative, revealing, often counter-intuitive” and commending her for covering “a gloriously eclectic range of themes”. In 2012, she received a Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) Award for best feature article, “Madoff spins his story”.
Her other awards include a President’s Medal by the British Academy (2011), being recognised as Journalist of the Year (2009) and Business Journalist of the Year (2008) by the British Press Awards, and as Senior Financial Journalist of the Year (2007) by the Wincott Awards.
2012 – Business Communicator of the Year (UK Speechwriters' Guild)
2012 – Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) Award for best feature article, “Madoff spins his story”
2014 – Columnist of the Year (British Press Awards)
Fool's Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a CatastropheISBN 978-1-4087-0164-5 (in some markets called Fool's Gold: How the Bold Dreams of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a CatastropheISBN 978-1-4165-9857-2)
Saving the Sun: How Wall Street Mavericks Shook Up Japan's Financial World and Made Billions (ISBN 978-0060554255).