Joseph Stiglitz reviews ‘Keynes’ by Robert Skidelsky · LRB

Keynes: The Return of the Master

Keynes: The Return of the Master (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This book review, by Nobel Prize winning economist, Joe Stiglitz, is a MUST READ, if you are interested in understanding the financial crash of 2008 and the aftermath. In the article published by the London Review of Books, Joe Stiglitz reviews Robert Skidelsky‘s book entitled “Keynes: The Return of the Master“.

via Joseph Stiglitz reviews ‘Keynes’ by Robert Skidelsky · LRB 22 April 2010.

Let introduce Joe Stiglitz a little by quoting from his Wikopedia profile:

Stiglitz is the 3rd most influential economist in the world today based on academic citations,  and in 2011 he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.  Stiglitz’s work focuses on income distribution, asset risk management, corporate governance, and international trade, and is the author of ten books, with his latest, The Price of Inequality(2012), hitting The New York Times best seller list.

Reflecting on the lengthy article, the thing that impressed me most was the importance of effective regulation of financial markets and banks. Based upon my own political beliefs, I am fundamentally a neoliberal, but believe, like Stiglitz, that their must be effective checks and balances. I am also a Keynesian in that I passionately believe that the Governments in the US and Europe should be using aggressive fiscal policy to restore growth and jobs. For me, the Financial Services sector has become far too powerful and ineffective in the last twenty years; this has contributed to a divided society based on wealth and privilege, rather than meritocracy.

Let me conclude by re-stating with an open question:

Has the Financial Services sector has become too powerful and ineffective in the last twenty years, contributing to a divided society based on wealth and privilege, rather than meritocracy?

Any thoughts?

 

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19 responses

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  15. Has the Financial Services sector contributed to a divided society based on wealth and privilege, rather than meritocracy? My view is that it has created societies divided by psychology.The real story of the financial crisis is how neoliberal ideology enabled people with dangerous personality disorders to rise to positions of responsibility at all levels of the financial system. Once in positions of authority, these individuals simply did what comes naturally to them. They pursued their own self-interest with no regard for the consequences of their actions. It is true that the construction of a global financial system characterised by greed-without-consequences required the participation of a great many psychologically normal people. That should not blind us, however, to the fact that without the catalytic role of a relatively small number of people with dangerous personality disorders such a blatantly immoral system would never have been constructed at all.

    • Ian,

      Many thanks for a thoughtful and interesting posting. Personally, I tend to agree with you. In my career, I have come across a number of people with personality disorders and they caused a lot of pain.

      Would you like to develop this into a blog article? I would be happy to publish it or reblog it.

      aLF

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