"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist" - JMK
- I've always been disappointed that there aren't a lot of videos or recordings of Keynes online. I had never come across one before, but recently I did here. It's very short. Keynes begins speaking at 00:31. The rest of the video is some nice music and pictures. I can't tell what it's from, but he's talking about Britain as the center of a new currency system, so I imagine it is early to mid-forties. Pretty neat. If anyone else knows of any videos or recordings of Keynes please let me know!
- And speaking of videos, SlowTV has four lectures on Keynes from 2009 from prominent Keynes scholars that aren't named "Skidelsky" or "Krugman", which is kind of nice. I've only listened to the first one so far by Don Markwell - it's very good. He starts by discussing how hard it is to pin down Keynes - the many variants of "Keynesianism" that there are out there. He relates a story of Keynes coming back from a conference in America and remarking "I was the only non-Keynesian there". This is reminiscent, of course, of Marx's declaration that he was not a Marxist. I think that kind of reaction is part wittiness and part frustration that theories tend to develop a life of their own that may be somewhat different than what you intended. Markwell goes on to talk about Keynes's views on international relations, which is also the subject of Markwell's book.
- Joan Bakewell has a very short paean to Keynes in The Guardian entitled simply "My Hero John Maynard Keynes". What I like about her piece is that she tries to round out what Murray Rothbard once described as "Keynes, The Man". She emphasizes his personality, his interest in the arts, etc., and concludes with Hayek's observation that Keynes was "the only really great man I ever knew".
- In the same vein of more rounded appreciations of "Keynes, The Man", the Austrian blog "Natural Order" favorably reviews two important Keynesian insights: "five minutes is a very long time", and "I wish I had drunk more champagne". It seems to me that anyone who, on his deathbed, can only complain that he did not drink enough champagne has lead quite a good life.
- Getting back to Don Markwell's interest in Keynes and international relations, Russ Roberts is put off by Keynes's essay "National Self-Sufficiency". I confess it's been about two years since I've read the essay, so my memory may be hazy - but I frame how I think it should be understood in the comment section here.
- Finally, two articles that don't exactly mention Keynes but are quite relevant to his project. First, the Washington Post reports that "Companies pile up cash but remain hesitant to add jobs". They might have well gone with the title "There's an awful lot of liquidity preference out there". And in The Nation, German philosopher Jürgen Habermas discusses Germany and the Euro-crisis, and grapples with the very Keynesian question of the inter-relationship of fiscal policy and exchange rates. Which raises an interesting question - what would Keynes have thought of the European monetary union? I honestly don't know. Krugman was skeptical of it, and feels vindicated by Greece, but that's not necessarily the end of the discussion. I honestly don't know enough about open economy macro and the international monetary system to say decisively either way.
For the Weekend...
1 hour ago