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Keynes v Hayek


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Speaker(s): Professor George Selgin, Professor Lord Skidelsky, Duncan Weldon, Dr Jamie Whyte
Chair: Paul Mason

Recorded on 26 July 2011 in Old Theatre, Old Building.

How do we get out of the financial mess we're in? Two of the great economic thinkers of the 20th century had sharply contrasting views: John Maynard Keynes believed that governments could create sustainable employment and growth. His contemporary and rival Friedrich Hayek believed that investments have to be based on real savings rather than fiscal stimulus or artificially low interest rates. BBC Radio 4 will be recording a debate between modern day followers of Keynes and Hayek.

George Selgin is Professor of Economics at The Terry College of Business, University of Georgia. Selgin is one of the founders of the Modern Free Banking School, which draws its inspiration from the writings of Hayek on the denationalization of money and choice in currency. He has written extensively on free banking, the private supply of money and deflation. George Selgin is the author of The Theory of Free Banking: Money Supply under Competitive Note Issue (1988), Less Than Zero: The Case for a Falling Price Level in a Growing Economy (1997), and Good Money: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage (2008).

Robert Skidelsky is Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick. His three-volume biography of the economist John Maynard Keynes (1983, 1992, 2000) received numerous prizes, including the Lionel Gelber Prize for International Relations and the Council on Foreign Relations Prize for International Relations. He is the author of The World After Communism (1995) (American edition called The Road from Serfdom). He was made a life peer in 1991, and was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1994. His latest book is Keynes: The Return of the Master.

Duncan Weldon is a former Bank of England economist and currently works as an economics adviser to an international trade union federation. He has a long standing interest in and admiration for Keynes but also a respect for Hayek. He blogs at Duncan's Economic Blog.

Jamie Whyte was born in New Zealand and educated at the University of Auckland and then the University of Cambridge in England, where he gained a Ph.D. in philosophy. Jamie remained at Cambridge for a further three years, as a fellow of Corpus Christi College and a lecturer in the Philosophy Faculty. During this time he published a number of academic articles on the nature of truth, belief and desire, and won the Analysis Essay Competition for the best article by a philosopher under the age of 30. Jamie then joined Oliver Wyman & Company, a London-based strategy consulting firm specialising in the financial services industry, for which he still works, as the Head of Research and Publications. Jamie has published two books: Crimes Against Logic (McGraw Hill, Chicago, 2004) and A Load of Blair (Corvo, London, 2005). Jamie is a regular contributor of opinion articles to The Times (of London), the Financial Times and Standpoint magazine. In 2006 he won the Bastiat Prize for journalism.He is on the advisory board of The Cobden Centre.

The debate will be chaired by Paul Mason, economics editor of BBC 2's Newsnight and author of Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed.

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