x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

He knew, you know: John Maynard Keynes

The "science" of economics has failed to predict, remedy or even explain the recent global financial crisis, according to Robert Skidelsky. Indeed, you know things are bad when the recent narrative of global economics reads like a cheap airport novel.

Keynes: The Return of the Master
Robert Skidelsky
Penguin Books
Dh65

The "science" of economics has failed to predict, remedy or even explain the recent global financial crisis, according to Robert Skidelsky. Indeed, you know things are bad when the recent narrative of global economics reads like a cheap airport novel.

Skidelsky is widely adored for his ability to cast complex economics issues in laymen's terms.

He is back on form here, exploding the absurd mathematical models and unrealistic assumptions of conventional neoclassical economics, before proceeding to argue that John Maynard Keynes provided the most appropriate model for a solution to our current financial woes, by acknowledging the possibility of fiscal uncertainty and advocating vigourous state intervention.

But after so thoroughly dismantling earlier financial models, readers should be sceptical of the new framework Skidelsky constructs.

Indeed, this book is best viewed as a primer for Keynesian economics theories and, as such, is a worthwhile read only for those who want to know the theories behind the recent crisis, even if they do not always want to believe them.