Keynesian scale

September 5, 2013

It is erroneous of Kitty Stewart to declare that J. M. Keynes’ famous quote “In the long run we are all dead” had anything to do with the idea that economies left alone recover from recession on their own (Books, 22 August). What he meant was that history is made up of a series of “short runs”, and that accurate long-term predictions are impossible. As the 2008 economic crisis clearly demonstrated, long-run prosperity can turn to recession very easily through the machinations of some nasty short-run animal spirits. Keynes’ solution involved effectively taming these spirits as well as strategic government intervention.

Vincent Barnett
Harrow

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