Skip to main content

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. 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.



Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

What is the 'Classical Dichotomy'?

A few brief comments on Brexit and the postmortem of the European Union

Another end of the world is possible
There will be a lot of postmortems for the European Union (EU) after Brexit. Many will suggest that this was a victory against the neoliberal policies of the European Union. See, for example, the first three paragraphs of Paul Mason's column here. And it is true, large contingents of working class people, that have suffered with 'free-market' economics, voted for leaving the union. The union, rightly or wrongly, has been seen as undemocratic and responsible for the economics woes of Europe.

The problem is that while it is true that the EU leaders have been part of the problem and have pursued the neoliberal policies within the framework of the union, sometimes with treaties like the Fiscal Compact, it is far from clear that Brexit and the possible demise of the union, if the fever spreads to France, Germany and other countries with their populations demanding their own referenda, will lead to the abandonment of neoliberal policies. Aust…

A brief note on Venezuela and the turn to the right in Latin America

So besides the coup in Brazil (which was all but confirmed by the last revelations, if you had any doubts), and the electoral victory of Macri in Argentina, the crisis in Venezuela is reaching a critical level, and it would not be surprising if the Maduro administration is recalled, even though right now the referendum is not scheduled yet.

The economy in Venezuela has collapsed (GDP has fallen by about 14% or so in the last two years), inflation has accelerated (to three digit levels; 450% or so according to the IMF), there are shortages of essential goods, recurrent energy blackouts, and all of these aggravated by persistent violence. Contrary to what the press suggests, these events are not new or specific to left of center governments. Similar events occurred in the late 1980s, in the infamous Caracazo, when the fall in oil prices caused an external crisis, inflation, and food shortages, which eventually, after the announcement of a neoliberal economic package that included the i…