John Maynard Keynes on the Fischer Black theory of business cycles

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Just remembered this, in reference to the previous post. It’s from Keynes’ Tract on Monetary Reform, right after the famous line about us all being dead in the long run:

Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is past the ocean is flat again.

Black’s theories, and the other rational-expectations attempts to explain business cycles, arose at a time (the 1970s)  when economic policy-makers had probably come to overemphasize the storm-mitigation aspect of their jobs at the expense of long-run considerations like growth and productivity. But again, the Keynesian attitude seems more appropriate to our current situation than the Blackian one. (Emphasis on seems. I certainly don’t know this.)

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