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Concerns about cuts to literary magazines that showcase Maritime writers / Phone-in: John Lanchester, author of "I.O.U.: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No-one Can Pay". Question : Do you believe the financial system is safer than it was before the crash ?

From time to time, when John Lanchester is cruising down a traffic-free country road, he entertains a curious thought : what would happen if he suddenly threw the gearshift into reverse ?
Well, you don't have to do much imagining to conclude that it would have a devastating effect on that smoothly-running vehicle, and possibly, as collateral damage, on its driver.
Now don't worry - he's not going to do that. The author of such memorable fiction as "A Debt To Pleasure" and "Fragrant Harbour" still has a lot of writing to do, but he's taken time away from fiction to write about the crash of another smoothly-running machine : the world's financial system.
It's called  "I.O.U.: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay". It documents how governments, regulatory bodies, businesses and investors all abandoned common sense and threw the world's credit system into reverse. Taxpayers and the hundreds of thousands of people who lost homes and jobs were the collateral damage of that 2008 crash.
And while there's been much talk about a chastened financial sector and the need for more government oversight of what the banks and bond rating agencies and credit-swappers are doing with our money, John Lanchester's not convinced we're much more secure that we were before  the spectacular flameout.
John Lanchester was in our CBC London studio as we asked : "Do you believe the financial system is safer than it was before the crash ?"


Their publications may not have huge circulations of Chatelaine or Maclean's, but they have international reputations and punch 'way above their weight. They even refer to themselves as "little magazines".
Literary periodicals such as The Fiddlehead - published in New Brunswick for the last 65 years - and The Antigonish Review - celebrating its 40th anniversary  - have given many of Canada's best-known writers their start (Alistair MacLeod, David Adams Richards, Wayne Johnstone, Lynn Coady, et al.)
But both periodicals are reeling from what - to them - are massive cuts.  The Department of Canadian Heritage  has made changes to funding assistance for magazines. The Canada Periodical Fund will not provide money to publications with an annual paid circulation of 5,000 copies. The subsidy amounted to about 10% of The Fiddlehead's budget and 25% of The Antigonish Review's.
Producer Deborah Woolway dropped into the studio with your reactions to our January 27th interview with the editors of The Fiddlehead and The Antigonish Review.

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