Anthony Hilton: Making sense of morality and money

Tea in the House of Lords on Thursday with Brian Griffiths, the economist who, back in the 1980s, was a close adviser to Margaret Thatcher in her Downing Street years.

But he combined his rigorous approach to monetary economics with deeply held religious beliefs. Indeed he wrote an acclaimed book, Morality and Markets, which sought to reconcile these religious convictions with the robustness of the free-market capitalism then coming back into vogue.

And Lord Griffiths is still grappling with the problem. His next work, which was what we were discussing, will grapple with the problem of how the pay levels in investment banking and elsewhere can be reconciled with social justice. I am not sure when he will begin writing; I don't think he has yet quite got the answer.