Saturday, December 20, 2008

Keynes - RSA podcast review

An impression that I took with me from economics classes in secondary school and university was that Keynes was hardly relevant any longer. His models were nice to explain economics and to understand anti-cyclical policy, but with those policies firm in place there were no longer the depressions Keynes had developed his ideas on.

Not surprisingly, even if the above idea was a crude misconception, just as we enter economic depression today, Keynes is back on the lips of economists and others who need to comment on the current situation. The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) invited several of those to speak of Keynes. From this wide variety of speakers one receives the impression Keynes should not have been abandoned at all. As one of the speakers puts it: "with all of the spending you do and with asset prices going up, Keynes would have said: you are going to get a depression." So a more prolonged attempt is made to apply Keynes to today. Let Keynes and his influence on the Bretton Woods agreement be a model for today to conjure up a similar international system to keep heavy fluctuations in the economy in hand.

Keynes is credited to have discovered 'the grammar of economics', but what also is discussed is the more contemplative, poetic as it were, side of his thinking. Keynes seemed to have envisioned a limit to economic policy and economic strive. His ideas, so it is presented, were to ascertain a level of security for all and not to be applied ad infinitum for wealth without end. Terms like usury and avarice go over the table. Have I ever heard those words used by economists before? Asking the question is giving the answer.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Post a Comment