Robert Skidelsky
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Niall Ferguson was wrong about Keynes
Robert Skidelsky
Washington Post | Friday, May 10, 2013

 
Speaking to an investors’ conference early this month, historian Niall Ferguson was asked what John Maynard Keynes meant by his famous statement that “in the long run, we are all dead.” In an ad lib response, Ferguson suggested that Keynes’s philosophy reflected the fact that the “effete” economist was gay and childless, and therefore did not care much about the fate of future generations.
 
The audience reportedly went quiet at the remark, but once the comments became public, the backlash was anything but quiet. After undergoing heavy criticism online from economists and historians — many of whom pointed out that Keynes wrote a famous essay titled “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” in 1930 — Ferguson issued an “unqualified

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Essay: We Forgot Everything Keynes Taught Us
Robert Skidelsky
Washington Post | Monday, October 13, 2008

 
No one can complain of a shortage of information about the Great Financial Meltdown. The biggest growth industry today is words: A whole new vocabulary has spread from board tables to kitchen tables. Superannuated whiz kids planting cabbages to offset their newly straitened means can blame their troubles on collateralized debt obligations, special investment vehicles, credit default swaps. Subprime mortgage holders find themselves censured for a new and virulent disease called toxic debt.
 
But what is in even shorter supply than credit is an economic theory to explain why this financial tsunami occurred, and what its consequences might be. Over the past 30 years, economists have devoted great intellectual energy to proving that such

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