Talk:John Maynard Keynes/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Other economists section.

Firstly I think it should be known that Keynes repudiated his previous views on Marx recorded here and later exclaimed he saw most of his ideas in Marx.

Secondly does Murray Rothbard really warrant a section? Can I include my economics lecturers opinion? How about my dad who has a bachelor's degree?

As always there is an American style libertarian bias and over-presence in this wiki. I doubt it will be changed but the first point at least deserves editing, I will try and find the source. Euro a (talk) 00:56, 18 February 2008 (UTC)


Keynes is renowned for having made Kings College, Cambridge a significant amount of money. Without knowing the details, or precise history of this, I would suggest that this should be included in his biography by someone who knows more about Keynes than I do - either documenting or refuting the 'legend'. Also, the section on Keynes' investment in Spanish Pesetas is woefully written - cornering a market in something does not increase the supply of said good, as any vaguely competent economist knows. The paragraph suggests otherwise. Again, I don't claim to be an expert on Keynes' life, but this is clearly wrong.

Main Contributions to Economic Thought

"The errononeous assumption entertained by Keynes that inflation can only occur near full employment is still maintained in modern macroeconomics (NAIRU, New classical economics)." I don't think it is at all accurate to say this assumption is "still maintained" in modern macroeconomics, and the links provided don't support this claim.

This sentence needs to be rewritten - "The view of given prices and wages income determines demand (see IS-LM), pre-dates Keynes." - (I'd amend it myself but am not confident I know what it's trying to say.) Jamestplunkett (talk) 11:08, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Fallacious Criticism

The mention of the name of somebody, whether famous or not, constitutes a fallacy of authority. A statement does not become true or false on account of who made it. The validity of the statement must rest on empirical proof (when matters of fact are concenred)and with validity of logic (where arguments or meanings are at issue.) No matter how famous or obscure Henry Hazlitt may have been, his words have no validity merely because he has a name. The proper critic must discuss the issue and exhibit the flaw in either logic or in statement of facts. Why would we care what Hazlitt said?

Keynes is famous, but that fame is no proof of his intellectual ability. All people at all times may see that the earth lies still while the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and yet everybody is making a false statement. The validity of the statement must be judged by epistemic methods of proof. Even if everybody on planet earth were to support Keynes, that would still not mean that he is correct. So it is not useful to be overawed by celebrity status (or authority status). Gani 20:05, 6 April 2006 (UTC)Gani

Will someone who is more knowledgeable on this subject please add something comparing/contrasting Keynes work and influence with that of the recently departed and massively influential Milton Friedman? After all, despite Nikita Kruschev's assurances, the Soviet "planned economy" has NOT buried the West and much of that can be thankfully ascribed to Friedman!

Friedman would be amazed to hear this astonishing fact. NaySay (talk) 19:07, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Henry Hazlitt has criticized Keynes

It should be noted that Keynes had no education in economics (a single undergrad term), and prided himself on not reading much on the subject. The General Theory is a mass of contradictions, of which Henry Hazlitt was "unable to find in it a single important doctrine that is both true and original. What is original in the book is not true; and which is true is not original". Hazlitt has written a thorough and devastating chapter-by-chapter critique in The Failure of the New Economics

who the hell is henry hazlitt - some random. we're talking about KEYNES here you know 00:05, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

It does not matter who he is (btw - he is a popular economist in the austrian theory group), the point was that there is serious falsities that need to be addressed with the Keynesian theory, and wither or not someone said it, none of what the above poster quoted was opinion, it was " 'so-in-so' found that he has no formal education / nothing in the original content in his book is true", which you can deny it but it is a logical statement of facts. He simply states the main error in the Keynesian theory's basic principle, which is that the government can make the economy grow by pumping money into it; it defies the laws of economics / physics because it has to take the money out of the economy to work in the first place - this is kind of an important point.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:56, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

At the very least Hazlitt should be mentioned in the critiques section so people can make up their own mind. Hazlitt's work is the most extensive critique of the General Theory ever written. He should be noted here if only because he took the effort to read this very turgid work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BloodOnTheirHands (talkcontribs) 12:27, 2 April 2009 (UTC)


I added a see also to Simon Kuznets, a contemporary, whose is sometimes credited with facilitating the "Keynesian Revolution".

'Early Life' and homosexuality.

The first thing the reader of this article sees in Keynes' biography as it was is that he was homosexual. This item does not warrant having such a prominent and unnecessary placement in this article. First and foremost, Keynes was a brilliant economist - let us not cloud people's understanding of him by first telling them he was gay. It introdues unnecessary bias right off the bat.

I have not deleted the 'information' in the 'Early Life' section, I merged it all into the 'Marital Life' section, where it's inclusion is warranted, and indeed, the information was pretty much already there.

Note that I did not remove the 'Early Life' section so much as the information that was in it and now there is nothing left in the early life section. Perhaps something about his childhood would warrant the section's return?

As far as I know, Keynes wasn't gay, but he liked to experiment without shackles and didn't matched the "modern" Westerner's view of black and white painting. Stern 12:38, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

I think Stern say he wasn't gay because he wasn't an activist, but that he wouldn't deny that he was homosexual. To be clear, he was ENTIRELY HOMOSEXUAL until his marriage and I don't believe he was entirely heterosexual after that.

Limitorder 18:53, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Influences on Keynes' works

There should be a brief description on how this authors have influenced Keynes works.

Please see the article 'Rescuing Keynes from Jevons and Marshall'Gani 20:05, 6 April 2006 (UTC)Gani

Career Section

Something seemed to have happened there, and indication was a good part of it was removed. Checking through the last few edits I could not find where this was done, so I merely snipped off part of it and left the rest. Could someone fix this? Wally 12:41, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This is a very poor article. I am currently ploughing through Skidelsky's biography. When I have finished I will rewrite this article. Adam 07:50, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Please consider amending the text about 'vague stagflation criticisms' at the end. Even if it were a meaningful thing to say, Keynes's legacy is dealt with in other articles. Wragge 00:25, 2005 May 12 (UTC)

Any discussion on Keynes that leaves out the American economic advisor to FDR, Kenneth Galbraith, and Keynes' influence on Galbraith and Galbraith's adoption of Keynes' theories and the application of said theories on the most powerful economy of the 20th century, is surely missing one of Keynes' most influential contributions to history. a proper discussion should leave the reader with a legacy with which they can continue their study of keynes. Galbraith is that legacy.

No, I think Alvin Hansen and Adolf Berle might have been key Keynesian influences on FDR. Hansen likely taught or mentored Galbraith when the latter was at Harvard. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Haberstr (talkcontribs) 23:00, 6 December 2007 (UTC)


What is the correct pronunciation? Seemingly, the pronunciation in the German Wikipedia differs from which is given here. Stern 12:34, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

In England, we pronounce it as 'Canes'.

Dr. Barry Worthington

And that's the pronunciation given in the "Pronunciation of Titles and Surnames" section in Debrett's Correct Form (except that it transcribes it "Kaynes"). Proteus (Talk) 19:08, 1 March 2006 (UTC)


I changed the sentence "ideas had a major impact on modern economic and political theory as well as on UK and US government fiscal policies" to one that reads "ideas had a major impact on modern economic and political theory as well as on many governments' fiscal policies."

I did this to correct the usual UK/US-centrism that was present in the original.

Good article review

I have to note that this article misses the mark for being considered a Good article on a couple of grounds: 1. Need for sources matched to specific statements; remember, not only should Wikipedia provide a means to verify statements, but hopefully allow readers to advance their own research. Most notably the following statements need sourcing:

  • Keynes' homosexuality. I would assume that this is thoroughly documented somewhere; can we have a cite to a book or a chapter in a book for this?
  • Who is Robert Lekachman, the person quoted about Keynes' nerve & mastery? Is he a biographer, a friend, or Keynes' milkman?
  • The details about Keynes' investment skills & actions. Again, this shouldn;t be that hard to provide a source for.
  • Keynes is quoted several times. Where did he say or write these comments?

2. Keynes cornering the market in pesetas. When I read that "he managed to put together—with difficulty—a small supply of Spanish pesetas", I can't help thinking that we are talking about at most a few hundred coins. And even if he managed to gain control over the equivalent of a few million Sterling/Dollars' worth of pesetas, I don't see how this would affect the value of the peseta in a significant way. This example needs more elaboration -- & a cite. 3. Despite all of the above, the final section -- "Critique" -- was the decisive element. As it now reads, this is little more than a list of people or works that disagree with Keynes. (Although the brief discussion of his feud with von Hayek is entertaining.) Either get rid of it, or make an effort to explain their POVs.

Having said that, the current material is strong enough to build either a Good article or a Featured article from; it just needs more work. Good luck with the writing. -- llywrch 21:33, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

thanks for the excellent advice on this article llywrch. I hope we've now addressed all your points. Probably the story about pesetas is meaningful now its been expanded, but I'll just explain further as you was interested. The reason why a fairly small supply of pesetas would have been sufficient to break the market, is that the price for the currency would have been inflated by speculators hoarding and buying it on the expectation that its price would continue to rise because they thought demand would exceed supply. A key factor in the speculators thinking would have been the expected demand from the British government. When they saw a representative of the Government (Keynes) not buying but selling, some of them would have panicked and started selling while the price was still high, hence triggering others to sell. Keep in mind Keynes' supply was small in relation to government purposes, but it was still significant enough for the Treasury to see it as big enough to supply a short term solution to their needs. Having said that there are other ways for a small sale to trigger a rapid decline in price. For example even today with a level 2 trading account, if you get the last sale of the day you can set the price overnight for a particular stock by selling just one share at a low price. A lot of factors have to align for you to trigger a sharp decline and it would have no effect on major stocks which are protected by pre market correction ect, but basically there are various other tricks someone like Keynes could have employed. FeydHuxtable (talk) 20:41, 20 November 2008 (UTC)


The short para on his death repeats information about his brother already stated at the start of the article. I think it should be in one place or the other, my preference would be at the start. Any opinions? Beest 15:22, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

The article does not give the year or date of this death, at least as far as I could find. This should be prominent - either in this section or at the top. Stevemidgley 05:10, 10 February 2007 (UTC)


"The erroneous assumption entertained by Keynes that inflation can only occur near full employment is still maintained in modern macroeconomics (→NAIRU)." This is not assumed in modern economics and I do not belive it was assumed by keynes. Inflation can occur at or near zero cyclical unemployment. Structural unemployment is a different issue and is fully dealt with in modern macroeconomics. Long term unemployment and high inflation are normally because of structural problems according to modern theory.


Was his a hereditary title? I've not seen internet sources made before 12 October 2004 which say "1st Baron". The internet pages which do add "1st Baron" are mainly encyclopedia sites, which I am reluctant to use as evidence, and the links at the bottom of the article don;t make mention of the ordinal. Would it not be all right to remove the ordinal until a link/source which mentions it be found? 13:03, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Seem to have found something, though far from official: NY Times article of April 22, 1946, "His place in economics and finance was formally recognized in 1942 with publication of the King's Birthday Honors naming him first Baron of Tilton." 13:03, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Gazette PDF for anyone who wants it. I'll remove the ordinal for the mean time.

It was a hereditary peerage. The first modern (non-Law Lord) life peerages weren't created until the passage of the Life Peerages Act 1958. Proteus (Talk) 18:41, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Succession Box

What do the "New creation" and "extinct" in the succession box mean? 09:34, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

It means he was made a hereditary peer but did not have any sons to pass the peerage onto. — Dunc| 09:46, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Skidelsky's biography says that Keynes had a fig tree in his garden, over which he was heard to ruminate: "barren fig tree, Baron Keynes". Chelseaboy (talk) 09:55, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Keynes & Schacht

Does anyone know the relationship between Keynes and Hjalmar Schacht? Their economic policy seems to be the same to me.--Nemesis1981 20:17, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Cultural depictions of John Maynard Keynes

I've started an approach that may apply to Wikipedia's Core Biography articles: creating a branching list page based on in popular culture information. I started that last year while I raised Joan of Arc to featured article when I created Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc, which has become a featured list. Recently I also created Cultural depictions of Alexander the Great out of material that had been deleted from the biography article. Since cultural references sometimes get deleted without discussion, I'd like to suggest this approach as a model for the editors here. Regards, Durova 17:52, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

A Revision of the Treaty

Does anyone care to de-redden the link to his post-WW1-paper A Revision of the Treaty, that is, create an article about that? I believe it to have been a rather important and influential publication at the time. I might get around to writing the article myself eventually, but it may take some months still - so feel free to do it before, if you are so inclined! :-) -- 11:25, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Keynes, Hayek, and Debate

Cadr removed an earlier parenthetical note on Hayek's refusal to debate Keynes on the grounds that the note was “speculation”. I have removed the explicitly speculative aspect of that note. It might be argued that the note is still implicitly speculative (by way of what it might suggest); and perhaps it is, but no more so than is the passage:

Keynes had a fearsome reputation as a talented debater, and Friedrich von Hayek refused to discuss economics matters in person with him on several occasions.

which plainly implies that Hayek's motive for refusal was fear of being thumped in debate. What would perhaps be best is to remove suggestions one way or another as to why Hayek didn't debate Keynes. —SlamDiego 19:15, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

The section reads: "However, this repeated refusal came after Hayek had extensively critiqued Keynes's 1930 Treatise on Money, only to have Keynes assert that the Treatise no longer reflected his thinking" -- Any evidence for this? Or is it simply Hayek's claim? And some post-Keynesians have argued that Hayek's silence was due to the defeats his business theory had suffered at the hands of Kaldor and Sraffa. Given these successful critiques, he was too scared to discuss the General Theory... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:55, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Keyne's Works

Keynes authored some books. Is it possible to list them all out.

I have attempted the ones I am sure of. .Kendirangu 14:11, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

did he really go by "baron"?

Did Keynes really ever go by the name "Baron Keynes"? "John Maynard Keynes" seems like a more natural name for this article, but if he went by Baron Keynes at all then I guess the page is correctly named. --Allen 03:21, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

He may have gone by it briefly (he only held the title for his last four years) but overwhelmingly he is known to economics and history as "John Maynard Keynes". Certainly far more than Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare is known as "Jeffrey Archer". The page had been at the untitled form for ages before it was moved without discussion here on the basis of the peerage guidelines, which do contain grounds for exceptions, and really should have been discussed here first. I'll move the page back to "John Maynard Keynes" in 72 hours unless there are objections, in which case I'll initiate an RM. Timrollpickering 20:53, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I object. Too late. The correct spoken form for "Baron" is Lord, by the way. So, yes, he was known as Lord Keynes. --Counter-revolutionary (talk) 09:24, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Not that often, and that's not how he is remembered. One use of it on the page is enough. Relata refero (talk) 09:52, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

But there isn't one use of it on the page. At no point is his correct form of address reflected. --Counter-revolutionary (talk) 10:05, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
The first line is where alternative names are generally placed. Relata refero (talk) 10:09, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
That reads well, thanks. Relata refero (talk) 10:52, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Crtique section is unbalanced

The critique section is unbalanced. First, none of the critics that have an article on wikipedia have their own list of critics. Second, most of the critics disagree with each other. Take the Austrians Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard. Mises believed in a minarchists state, Hayek was willing to endorse a minimal regulatory/welfare state, and Rothbard was an anarcho-capitalist. All three would disagree with Milton Friedman's thought that the Federal Reserve should have stopped the contraction of the money supply that caused the Great Depression(supposedly).All four of them disagree with the Marxist economics of Paul Mattick

Actually, as I understood it, Mises, Hayek and Rothbard all were unified against central banking and interventionist economics. - (talk) 04:08, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't think that Keyne's economics shouldn't be critiqued on Wikipedia. However, the proper place for such critques would be the article on Keynesian economics, not the article on Keynes the man.--Weaklygodlike 04:07, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

You're right, the proper place is on the Keynesian economics page. However, of course his economic opinions should be critiqued on Wikipedia. His work is highly controversial and other great Economists in direct opposition to much of his work such as Milton Friedman have made contributions to modern macroeconomics that conflict with Keynes' earlier work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:22, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Category quest

Why is John Maynard Keynes in Category:Top-priority biography (royalty) articles when his ultimate title was "1st Baron Keynes". I'm not seeing anyone else below king or emperor of a major nation in the cat. MBisanz talk 04:30, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Name above pic: Rt. Hon. or just John Maynard?

I've also seen Baron Keynes of Tilton, John Maynard Keynes. The Winston Churchill entry has "The Right Honorable" in smaller type above "Winston Churchill" Haberstr (talk) 01:46, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

John Maynard Keynes quote on tedium of stock-trading

I seem to recall a quote by John Maynard Keynes that stock-trading is tedious and only people with a certain kind of disposition can tolerate it. Could someone find the exact reference please? Cheers. – Kaihsu (talk) 15:50, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

"He who controls the currency..."

Just watching an old episode of BBC Question Time, in which Peter Hitchens ascribed this quote to Keynes:

"He who controls the currency, controls the country."

Interested about the context of this quote, I went online looking for it, searching high and low in various quotebanks and search engines. However, I have been unable to find any source that credibly links this quote to Keynes. ALL search results link to British eurosceptics/anti-euro campainers! It appears to have surfaced first during William Hague's embarrassing 'twelve days to save the pound' madness in 2001. Surely, this isn't an example of eurosceptics just making stuff up (again...)?! If anyone can nonetheless shed light on this (i.e. either verify this quote with credible sources, or show that it was indeed just made up by eurosceptics) I would be very grateful for that!

p.s. note that there is also an alternative that substitutes "government" for "country".

Vlaflipje1982 (talk) 11:02, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Economic thought

This is a very confusing section which leaves the impression that Keynes was a relatively minor as well as largely derivative and misstaken economic theorist rather than sticking to a neutral point of view. The effect is doubly unfortunate when the section comes at the beginning of the article, which seems illogical, rather than allowing the biography to follow a chronological course. For the moment, I have simply moved it, which at least makes one of the more problematic parts of the article no longer the most prominent. Cheers. Chelseaboy (talk) 11:03, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

The only reference to JMK's A Tract on Monetary Reform is that Milton Friedman liked it. Since the monetary policy of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank (and the central banks of most other highly developed nation) is built on this work, it might be worth more prominent mention. Qebono (talk) 03:29, 23 August 2008 (UTC)


It's not clear from the picture which of the two gentlemen is Keynes. (talk) 15:54, 10 May 2008 (UTC)


All but one source note refer to secondary sources. The source note for Keynes' forward to German edition of his "General Theory..." refers to a partisan website page with un-sourced content. The article sections referring to Keynes' ideas and theories seem to be sourced primarily from the works of authors who were ideologically hostile to Keynes.

Qebono (talk) 02:22, 23 August 2008 (UTC)


The text of the section titled British Eugenics society constitutes nothing more than a "guilt by association" ad hominem attack. The writer equates Keynes' purported involvement in the British Eugenics Society with Nazi atrocities. The term "Eugenics" has long been broadly and ill-defined and has maintained a volatile emotional load. This section needs either a detailed, primary sourced precis of Keynes' views on the subject or it should be removed. The gratuitous Nazi reference should be removed one way or the other. Pres. Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were proponents of Eugenics along with many other prominent persons of the day- are they all to be equated with Nazi Death Camp commandants? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Qebono (talkcontribs) 03:08, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes! :P —Memotype::T 17:04, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

"Eugenics has since fallen into disfavor, owing to its association with the Nazi movement in Germany." Somehow, I don't think that this is entirely true. The fact that Eugenics is pseudo-scientific & not founded on sound principles has something to do with its 'disfavor'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:06, 9 February 2009 (UTC)


Did Keynes have any children? None are mentioned in the article, but it isn't stated that he didn't either. —Memotype::T 17:03, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

No he didn't, have addressed this in the article, thanks for raising the point. FeydHuxtable (talk) 17:01, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Rediting needed?

It would be nice to get this article up to featured or at least good article status. If no one objects Im probably doing to re-arrange the article a little. I’ll try not to remove anyone’s contributions, except I might slightly change the von Hayeck criticism if I can’t find a source for the OR tag. I will be moving some of the contributions to different sections, in order to hopefully create a nice cohesive article. FeydHuxtable (talk) 17:07, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Lord Keynes?

I have seen him be called this, why that? --Lindberg47 (talk) 15:14, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Keynes was born to a middle class family, but he was made a Lord (specifically a Baron) in 1942 for services to his country. FeydHuxtable (talk) 18:39, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Link to Real versus nominal value

In the "Criticism: From Friedman" section, the term "nominal" is linked to the article Real versus nominal value. However, there is also the article Real versus nominal value (economics), which appears, to my unschooled eye, to provide a definition of the term that is more appropriate in this context. I'd like to change that link, but, not having any special knowledge of economics, I don't want to do that without input from other editors. Please let me know what you think. --Tedd (talk) 15:20, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Looks like its correct as it is. I havent read the Friedman article, but I have the general theory and to me it would only make sense for Friedman to be talking about the generic distinction between nominal and real. Im not sure the distinction in the Real versus nominal value (economics) article even had much currency back in the 30s. FeydHuxtable (talk) 18:45, 19 January 2009 (UTC)