29 November 2010

The primacy of politics over markets

In a preface written for the French edition of his Tract on Monetary Reform (1924), Keynes described the attitude of the French government in terms that apply with even greater force to Angela Merkel:
Each time the franc loses value, the Minister of Finance is convinced that the fact arises from everything but economic causes. He attributes it to the presence of a foreigner in the neighborhood of the Bourse or to the mysterious and malignant influences of speculation. This is not far removed intellectually from an African witch doctor’s ascription of cattle disease to the "evil eye" of a bystander and of bad weather to the unsatisfied appetites of an idol. - From Liaquat Ahamed, Lords of Finance (2009)
Hat-tip: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

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