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A collection of thoughts and quotations by John Maynard Keynes on deficits, treaty, economics, science, politics, wisdom, opinions and banking.

62 Notable John Maynard Keynes Quotes That Prove His Genius

Famous As: Economist
Born On: June 5, 1883
Died On: April 21, 1946
Born In: CambridgeApril
Died At Age: 62
John Maynard Keynes was a British economist who lived from 1883 to 1946 and is often regarded as one of the most influential economists to have ever lived due to his stupendous contributions towards macroeconomic theories. Keynes went to the elite Eton College on a scholarship and then graduated in mathematics from the University of Cambridge. After a short stint in India as a civil servant, he returned to England and started working on economic theories. He wrote for ‘The Economics Journal’ and his first book, ‘Indian Currency and Finance’ got published in 1913. Over the years, he became one of the most influential economists of his time and beyond, and expounded theories on macroeconomics that included the theory of business cycles, liquidity preference, deficit spending, spending multiplier and AD-AS model among others. Keynes advocated greater governmental involvement in the economy of nations and his school of economics is broadly regarded as Keynesian. Some of his noted works include ‘The General Theory of Employment’, ‘Interest and Money’, ‘The Great Slump of 1930’, ‘How to Pay for the War’ and ‘The Means to Prosperity’ among many others. Keynes’s theories influenced plenty of prominent economists who came after him. Here are some of his most important quotes. The below collection of John Maynard Keynes’s most famous quotes have been excerpted from his writings, papers and thoughts. We bring to you a collection of sayings and quotes by John Maynard Keynes on government, facts, ideas, history, assumptions, wages, Keynes, compromise, negotiation and mathematics.

The social object of skilled investment should be to defeat the dark forces of time and ignorance which envelope our future.

John Maynard Keynes

When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?

John Maynard Keynes

The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.

John Maynard Keynes

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

John Maynard Keynes

It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.

John Maynard Keynes

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

John Maynard Keynes

There is no harm in being sometimes wrong - especially if one is promptly found out.

John Maynard Keynes

The day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the heart and the head will be occupied or reoccupied, by our real problems - the problems of life and of human relations, of creation and behavior and religion.

John Maynard Keynes

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

John Maynard Keynes

Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

John Maynard Keynes

Most men love money and security more, and creation and construction less, as they get older.

John Maynard Keynes

I do not know which makes a man more conservative - to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past.

John Maynard Keynes

Education: the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent.

John Maynard Keynes

It would not be foolish to contemplate the possibility of a far greater progress still.

John Maynard Keynes

If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid.

John Maynard Keynes

Like Odysseus, the President looked wiser when he was seated.

John Maynard Keynes

The disruptive powers of excessive national fecundity may have played a greater part in bursting the bonds of convention than either the power of ideas or the errors of autocracy.

John Maynard Keynes

Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking.

John Maynard Keynes

For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still.

John Maynard Keynes

One blames politicians, not for inconsistency but for obstinacy. They are the interpreters, not the masters, of our fate. It is their job, in fact, to register the fact accompli.

John Maynard Keynes

The master-economist must possess a rare combination of gifts. He must reach a high standard in several different directions and must combine talents not often found together. He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopher - in some degree. He must understand symbols and speak in words. He must contemplate the particular in terms of the general, and touch abstract and concrete in the same flight of thought. He must study the present in the light ofthe past for the purposes of the future

John Maynard Keynes

The political problem of mankind is to combine three things: economic efficiency, social justice and individual liberty.

John Maynard Keynes

Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back

John Maynard Keynes

The markets are moved by animal spirits, and not by reason.

John Maynard Keynes

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.

John Maynard Keynes

If farming were to be organised like the stock market, a farmer would sell his farm in the morning when it was raining, only to buy it back in the afternoon when the sun came out.

John Maynard Keynes

The biggest problem is not to let people accept new ideas, but to let them forget the old ones.

John Maynard Keynes

Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.

John Maynard Keynes

When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exulted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the highest virtues.

John Maynard Keynes

But my lord, when we addressed this issue a few years ago, didn't you argue the other side?" He said, "That's true, but when I get more evidence I sometimes change my mind. What do you do?

John Maynard Keynes

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done

John Maynard Keynes

Once doubt begins it spreads rapidly.

John Maynard Keynes

Ideas shape the course of history.

John Maynard Keynes

When the final result is expected to be a compromise, it is often prudent to start from an extreme position.

John Maynard Keynes

The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward.

John Maynard Keynes

A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the emancipation of the mind.

John Maynard Keynes

The love of money as a possession-as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life-will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease

John Maynard Keynes

By this means the government may secretly and unobserved, confiscate the wealth of the people, and not one man in a million will detect the theft.

John Maynard Keynes

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

John Maynard Keynes

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

John Maynard Keynes

So it is not an accident that the Nazi lads vent a particular fury against (Einstein). He does truly stand for what they most dislike, the opposite of the blond beast intellectualist, individualist, supernationalist, pacifist, inky, plump... How should they know the glory of the free-ranging intellect and soft objective sympathy to whom money and violence, drink and blood and pomp, mean absolutely nothing?

John Maynard Keynes

In the long run, we are all dead!

John Maynard Keynes

The businessman is only tolerable so long as his gains can be held to bear some relation to what, roughly and in some sense, his activities have contributed to society.

John Maynard Keynes

Whenever you save five shillings you put a man out of work for a day.

John Maynard Keynes

When somebody persuades me I am wrong, I change my mind.

John Maynard Keynes

How long will it be necessary to pay City men so entirely out of proportion to what other servants of society commonly receive for performing social services not less useful or difficult?

John Maynard Keynes

If, however, a government refrains from regulations and allows matters to take their course, essential commodities soon attain a level of price out of the reach of all but the rich, the worthlessness of the money becomes apparent, and the fraud upon the public can be concealed no longer.

John Maynard Keynes

When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, Sir?

John Maynard Keynes

In the long run we are all dead.

John Maynard Keynes

[People] will do the rational thing, but only after exploring all other alternatives.

John Maynard Keynes

The importance of money flows from it being a link between the present and the future.

John Maynard Keynes

Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work together for the benefit of all.

John Maynard Keynes

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

John Maynard Keynes

Nothing mattered except states of mind, chiefly our own.

John Maynard Keynes

I find economics increasingly satisfactory, and I think I am rather good at it. I want to manage a railroad or organise a Trust or at least swindle the investing public

John Maynard Keynes

With the breakdown of money economy the practice of international barter is becoming prevalent.

John Maynard Keynes

I work for a Government I despise for ends I think criminal.

John Maynard Keynes

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

John Maynard Keynes

Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others.

John Maynard Keynes

Men will not always die quietly.

John Maynard Keynes

[People] will do the rational thing, but only after exploring all other altertives.

John Maynard Keynes

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.

John Maynard Keynes