Sir John was educated at Eastbourne Grammar School and, Oxford, culminating in his graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford.
After a period working in the oil industry, he taught economics at Oxford University and was Drummond Professor of Political Economy from 1991 to 2008. His visiting academic posts have also included the London Business School, the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He was President of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2003–2007, and of the Royal Economic Society, 2007-2010.
From 2000 to 2005 he was Director General/Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading.
He was knighted in 2005. Since October 2008, he has been Warden of All Souls College, Oxford.
In June 2010, he became Chair of the United Kingdom"s newly created Independent Commission on Banking (ICB). The ICB"s task is to consider structural and related non-structural reforms to the United Kingdom banking sector to promote financial stability and competition (in the aftermath of the banking crisis of 2008).
The commission made its recommendations to the United Kingdom government in September 2011, recommending a number of important measures, namely the introduction of the ring fencing of retail from investment banking, keeping 17-20% of certain assets as "loss-absorbers", using Lloyds branch sale as opportunity to bring in competitor and the implementation of a new system to help customers switch current accounts.
The reforms are to be implemented by 2019 at the latest at a cost to the banks of between £4bn-7bn. In the autumn of 2011, he returned to teaching at Oxford. He currently teaches the first-year undergraduate Introductory Macroeconomics course.
(This comprehensive analysis of the British privatization ...)
(Regulatory reform had its beginnings in the United States...)
From 1998 to 2000 he was Chief Economist at the Bank of England and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee.
Married Maureen Freed, 1991. Children: James, Zoe, Hannah.