Martin Vander Weyer

How to Spend It

Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics

By

W W Norton 382pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Capitalism is on trial in the aftermath of the great financial meltdown, but we’re a long way from a verdict. Witnesses whose focus is the United States tend to blame market behaviour, especially on Wall Street, for the worst economic upheaval since the Great Depression; some but not all praise Barack Obama’s fiscal stimulus programme as a catalyst for what might be the beginning of a real recovery. By contrast, most observers of the continuing crisis in the Eurozone point the finger of blame at excesses of government borrowing, spending and market interference. Some but not all argue that bankruptcies of over-borrowed euro nations should be allowed to happen, whatever the short-term social cost, in the expectation that something better will arise from the ruins, and in preference to successive bail-outs backed by newly printed money.

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