He said Mr Brown had "squandered" the economic growth he inherited as chancellor from the Tory government in 1997: "They have spent and spent and spent."
Sir John, who was faced with a rising tide of unemployment during the recession of the early 1990s, said: "I fear we are going to have an avalanche of job losses in the first three or four months of next year."
He said it was ironic that Mr Brown, the man who had been in charge of the nation's finances since 1997, was leading the response to the turmoil.
Sir John said: "If a burglar has ransacked your house, you don't normally invite him back to fix the security locks. The concept that Gordon Brown, who has presided over this train wreck, is the person to put right what he got wrong strikes me as being ironic to say the least."
Sir John said the government paid £262 million interest every day on the debt and commented: "It's a frightening scenario."
He said other countries were better placed to afford a fiscal stimulus package because they had stronger reserves.
"If we continue borrowing like this, the world will be coming out of recession and we will have a huge amount of borrowing that will force up interest rates. In three years' time, as the world comes out of recession, in the United Kingdom we will have higher interest rates, we will have higher National Insurance contributions because the government have already implemented that, and we will have higher taxes."
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Yvette Cooper, said she "completely disagreed" ..
The government's actions would "help us come out of this stronger and faster", she added.
I fear Mrs Balls is talking balls and the boring grey accountant knows of what he speaks. I wish I was wrong, I don't want a recession and I don't want us to be the last out of it, it is a frightening prospect.