Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Some post-WWI and Keynes links

- Keynes framed as pro-reparations, by Roger Meyerson (HT Tyler Cowen). Meyerson makes the point that Keynes only objected to the magnitude of the reparations, but was not opposed to the concept itself. He also highlights one very unique quality of the WWI reparations: they were the first reparations imposed without direct occupation.

- Keynes on psychology and capital accumulation, by Richard Green (also from Economic Consequences of the Peace). The effective demand theme comes out strong here, as does an early reference to pyramid building (an often misunderstood metaphor from the General Theory... people think the point he was making was "any government spending is good" - if you read the passage its actually about subjectivist value theory).

- Krugman on the misuse of the Weimar inflation episode, and making steam come out of Niall Ferguson's ears.
UPDATE: And Evan just shared this fascinating looking paper from a couple years ago with me on the argument between Henri Bergson and Albert Einstein in the early 1920s over the nature of time. I've only read the first several pages, but it looks very good. What's the connection with the other links besides the dates involved? The paper largely deals with relations between Bergson and Einstein and its role in the history of Commission for Intellectual Cooperation (CIC), a scientific commission of the League of Nations. The CIC's dissolution, due in no small part to the disagreements between the two men, is used as a sort of microcosm of the wider breakdown of the League of Nations and the tenuous interwar peace.

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