John maynard keynes

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

Why Boris Johnson’s ‘New Deal’ won’t save us

John Maynard Keynes looks down and smiles, recalling his own perhaps too-often quoted remark that ‘when the facts change, I change my mind’. Boris Johnson’s £5 billion ‘New Deal’ of school and hospital projects to stimulate the pandemic-torn economy is pure Keynes, as well as a conscious reference to Franklin Roosevelt. And like the totality of the Treasury response to Covid, it represents a 180-degree change of mind from the modern Conservative belief in squashing state spending while letting the private sector drive. But in dire circumstances, most commentators accept it’s right to park ideology and try anything that looks like it might work. And for a while — I’d