John Maynard Keynes Quotes

Keynes is one of the most famous economists of all time and the one whose ideas will get us out of this recession. So here is a collection of some of his best quotes.


The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity at the Treasury.

Look after unemployment and the Budget will look after itself

In the long run we are all dead.

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.

Professional investment may be likened to those newspaper competitions in which the competitors have to pick out the six prettiest faces from a hundred photographs, the prize being awarded to the competitor whose choice most nearly corresponds to the average preferences of the competitors as a whole

We reach a condition where there is a shortage of houses, but where nevertheless no one can afford to live in the houses that there are.

This is a nightmare, which will pass away with the morning. For the resources of nature and men’s devices are just as fertile and productive as they were. The rate of our progress towards solving the material problems of life is not less rapid. We are as capable as before of affording for everyone a high standard of life … and will soon learn to afford a standard higher still. We were not previously deceived. But to-day we have involved ourselves in a colossal muddle, having blundered in the control of a delicate machine, the working of which we do not understand. The result is that our possibilities of wealth may run to waste for a time — perhaps for a long time.

(When accused of changing his position on an issue) “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others.

The classical theorists resemble Euclidean geometers in a non-Euclidean world who, discovering that in experience straight lines apparently parallel often meet, rebuke the lines for not keeping straight

If you owe your bank a hundred pounds, you have a problem. But if you owe a million, it has.

It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.

For my part I think that capitalism, wisely managed, can probably be made more efficient for attaining economic ends than any alternative system yet in sight, but that in itself it is in many ways extremely objectionable.

Thus public works even of doubtful utility may pay for themselves over and over again at a time of severe unemployment

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.

The decadent international but individualistic capitalism in the hands of which we found ourselves after the war is not a success. It is not intelligent. It is not beautiful. It is not just. It is not virtuous. And it doesn’t deliver the goods. In short we dislike it, and we are beginning to despise it. But when we wonder what to put in its place, we are extremely perplexed.

By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.

Marxian Socialism must always remain a portent to the historians of Opinion — how a doctrine so illogical and so dull can have exercised so powerful and enduring an influence over the minds of men, and, through them, the events of history.

Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.

The right remedy for the trade cycle is not to be found in abolishing booms and thus keeping us permanently in a semi-slump; but in abolishing slumps and thus keeping us permanently in a quasi-boom.

The outstanding faults of the economic society in which we live are its failure to provide for full employment and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes.

The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.

Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.

There is nothing so disastrous as a rational investment policy in an irrational world

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One response to “John Maynard Keynes Quotes

  1. Pingback: My Favourite Quotes | Unlearning Economics

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