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The Great Economists by Phil Thornton

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Chapter 5

John Maynard Keynes – the rise, fall, rise … and fall

‘This ‘long run’ is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.’

John Maynard Keynes, A Tract on Monetary Reform, 1923

Of the ten economists in this book, none has enjoyed such a posthumous revival of interest in their work as Keynes. In the wake of the global financial crisis which began in 2007–8, politicians, central bankers, financial analysts and journalists have all blown the dust off the cover of their copies of his major work, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, to revisit his lessons from the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was this that provided the furnace in which the British economist forged his theories.

Keynes’s main ...

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