New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has weighed into the credit squeeze debate, calling for financial prudence amid an imminent economic downturn.
Mr Bloomberg is a supporter of conservative fiscal policies
The billionaire businessman warned years of excessive borrowing in the US and UK by individuals and at national level could spark a global recession.
"The sun is rising on our borrowing bacchanalia," he told delegates at the Tory conference in Blackpool.
A slowdown would be worse than in 2001 because of high debt levels, he added.
"In New York, the economic uncertainty our two countries face today is beginning to feel similar to the economic downturn we experienced six years ago, " he said.
"But this time, the stakes are higher because more people owe more debt and so do our governments," he added.
Historically low interest rates over the past few years have fuelled a massive expansion of personal debt but as they have climbed steadily back up, many have paid the price of borrowing beyond their means.
Mr Bloomberg is a former Wall Street banker and founded the media and financial data firm Bloomberg LP.