Anna Schwartz

Milton Friedman – economic visionary or scourge of the world?

The Keynesian economist Nicholas Kaldor called Milton Friedman one of the two most evil men of the 20th century. (Friedman was in distinguished company.) The ‘scourge’ he inflicted on the world was monetarism, a product of what Kaldor called Friedman’s Big Lie – of which more later. Moral judgments aside, how does Friedman rank in the world of 20th-century economists? By common consent, he stands with Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes at the apex of his profession. All wrestled with the defining problem of their age: the radical economic and political instability of the 1920s and 1930s. Their responses reflected their national situations. Keynes, economically secure and confident in