Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Masters of Money: BBC Documentary on Marx, Keynes, and Hayek

The one on Keynes below. I already noticed before that Hayek is not really an intellectual of the same stature of Keynes, or Marx one might add. In terms of Austrians, in fact, Schumpeter might be the only one that is on the same league (even if I disagree with almost everything he wrote, the exception being his discussion of the Tax State).

A few interesting people are interviewed. Peter Clarke and Will Hutton, for example, the former author of a really good book on the political struggle to develop Keynesian policies. They also have some less interesting ones, like Mervin King, the ex-governor of the Bank of England, and Ken Rogoff, of Rogaine and Braveheart fame, complaining of very high debt levels now which preclude the space for fiscal expansion ("there is no magic bullet," he says).

The outcome is not particularly good. The discussion of Treaty of Versailles and German hyperinflation is completely biased presenting a Monetarist interpretation that is not dominant among historians. It also spreads the myth that the fact that the New Deal helped end the Great Depression is a myth. Worse, the interpretation of Keynes is based on chapter 12 of the GT. It's also about confidence, animal spirits and uncertainty.

There is also a discussion of Bretton Woods, and although they do suggest that deficit countries could not do the whole adjustment, there is no discussion of the role of capital controls and financial regulation. Oh well.

1 comment:

  1. Estoy de acuerdo.

    Lo mas interesante, además de la presentadora, que en mi opinión es bastante atractiva, es ver las habitaciones de Keynes en el King´s –las pinturas son bastante reveladoras de sus tendencias sexuales.

    Algo que no me cuadra es la casa de campo de Keynes, que yo pensaba se llamaba Tilton y en el reportaje se menciona Charleston. En otro reportaje, creo que presentado por Blaug, se indica que la casa es ahora de Robert Skidelsky.

    Saludos y enhorabuena por el blog.



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