Meghnad Jagdishchandra Desai, Baron Desai (born 10 July 1940), is a British economist and Labour politician. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India, in 2008.
Currently, he is chairman of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) Advisory Board, an independent membership-driven research network. It focuses on global policy and investment themes for off the record public and private sector engagement and analysis. He is the current chairman of the Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics, a post graduation institute in Mumbai.
Previously, he has worked as an Associate Specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics, University of California, Berkeley, California. He then became a lecturer at the London School of Economics in 1965. At the LSE, he taught econometrics, macroeconomics, Marxian economics and development economics over the years.
Desai has written extensively publishing over two hundred articles in academic journals and had a regular column in the British radical weekly Tribune during 1985–1994, in the Indian business daily Business Standard (1995–2001) and in Indian Express and Financial Express. From 1984 to 1991, he was co-editor of the Journal of Applied Econometrics. A selection of his academic papers was published in two volumes as The Selected Essays of Meghnad Desai in 1995.
He has written over thirty books on subjects as varied as Econometrics, Money, Marx, Globalisation, Financial Crisis, Bollywood, Ezra Pound and a novel Dead On Time. At LSE he was the founder director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance 1991-2005 and Development Studies Institute 1991-1996. He is a Honorary Fellow of the LSE and has received Honirary doctorates from four UK universities and Monash University of Australia.
He has been active in the British Labour Party, becoming chairman between 1986 and 1992, and was made Honorary Lifetime and President of Islington South and Finsbury
Constituency Labour Party in London. He was made a life peer as Baron Desai, of St Clement Danes in the City of Westminster, in April 1991.