Thinkpieces The confrontation between John Maynard Keynes, and his Austrian born free market adversary and friend, Friedrich August von Hayek, is one of the most famous in the history of contemporary economic thought. The debate took place during the Great Depression of the s about the causes and remedies of business cycle downturns in market economies. As Keynes and Hayek were building their economic models at the same time, their debate was very much dominated by terminological definitions. This work became probably one of the most influential economic treatises immortalizing Keynes as one of the greatest 20th century economists.
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Shelves: political-social-science This book is at once biography, covering the lives of J. Keynes and F. Hayek, and an exposition for popular consumption of their respective economic theories. On the latter score it makes for an entertaining, often informative, read. On the former there are some flaws. Wapshott is a journalist, not an economist, not even a financial journalist. Consequently, some of his exposition of theory is inadequate. I should therefore be able to follow everything in a book intended for the general public.
The later material on macroeconomics was, constrastively, clear enough and the exposition of fiscal and monetary policies in Britain the the USA from the war up until the first Obama term was well handled.
The discussion is interesting and well informed and does not attempt to oversimplify the differences between these individuals or the nuances in each of their body of work as it developed over the course of their long lives.
For those interested in economic history, this is good stuff -- on This is a dual intellectual biography that discusses the lives and work of Keynes and Hayek and the influence that their work has had and continues to have on economic policy and general policy discussions.
For those interested in economic history, this is good stuff -- on target, filled with interesting details, and geared to engage even knowledgeable readers. The book does a good job at taking fairly detailed and abstract discussions and presenting them so that nonspecialists can follow and know what issues were at play.
The coverage here is very well done and interesting in how it shows the interplay of ideas, writing styles, and academic and institutional politics enters into these exchanges. The book is also a good examination of the difference between how economic ideas develop on their own through discussions among economists and their camp followers and how these ideas affect economic policy of large nations. This is the distinction between the "ivory tower" and its practical applications into the world of domestic politics.
The motivation for the book is clearly looking backwards from the current policy debates between liberals and conservatives, socialists versus free market people, socialists versus tea partiers, etc. The author clearly makes the case that this debate is still current and the exposition helps to clarify some of the ideas behind the rhetoric.
It can be on the base of theoretical arguments. It can also be on the basic terms of economic discussion - whether one is pursuing a "macro economic" or a "micro economic" approach. It can also be on a comparison of the economic versus the political aspects of the theory. It flows very well, however, and is well organized so that the reader knows how to move around if that is desired. Overall, a very good book. Wapshotts commendable work does an excellent job rendering the writings of Keynes, Hayek and their followers into understandable prose.
This is no easy job, for, as Mr. Wapshott notes, many economists themselves found the academic writings of Keynes and Hayek to be incomprehensible at times. I notice that at times, authors are more noted for what is said in their name than for their Mr. I notice that at times, authors are more noted for what is said in their name than for their own words. I believe this so with both Keynes and Hayek, a thought Mr. Wapshott effectively captures. I am quite critical, if not downright angry, for where the economics profession has led us.
With respect to monetarism, often associated with Hayek, here too, we have evolved into a system with nations of addicts, addicted to national central bank cheap money policy.
Further, I believe that with near-zero, zero, and negative interest rate policies, there is quite a bit of off-roading going on, leading to unappreciated, yet very tangible and significant, risks. It seems economic models are based on prior experiences, yet we live in a constantly evolving, dynamic world. They have the ability to pull on economic levers with a force and duration unaffected by the silly political antics that imbue supposedly democratic nations.
Shelves: political-social-science This book is at once biography, covering the lives of J. Keynes and F. Hayek, and an exposition for popular consumption of their respective economic theories. On the latter score it makes for an entertaining, often informative, read. On the former there are some flaws. Wapshott is a journalist, not an economist, not even a financial journalist. Consequently, some of his exposition of theory is inadequate.
Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics
Readers are led from the outset. As the exchange value of sterling came under pressure, many European sovereign debt auctions are shunned. With business investments, resources are redirected to create desirable goods and services with desirability signalled by revenue that conserves value through capital amortisation. With deficit-financed investment, sovereign debt ever accumulates.
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