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Sunday, 5 June 2011

June 5: John Maynard Keynes, Economist

b. June 5, 1883
d. April 21, 1946

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

John Maynard Keynes founded an entire school of modern thought known as Keynesian Economics. He helped establish the Bretton Woods system in 1944, a system which oversees international money management. Keynes's ideas form a large and important part of modern macroeconomics.
Keynes attended King's College in Cambridge, England where he originally studied mathematics and philosophy, but later decided to pursue economics. After receiving his degree in 1906, Keynes moved to London and worked for the government treasury. After WWI, he attended the Paris Peace Conference. In response to the Treaty of Versailles, Keynes published "The Economic Consequences of Peace" to highlight Germany's heavy burden and the probable consequences the terms would have on Germany and the rest of the world. The book provided a brilliant analysis and Keynes subsequently influenced the Marshall plan, instituted by the U.S. to rebuild Europe following WWII.
Keynes is best known for two publications, "The Treatise on Probability" (1921) and "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" (1936), which he published in response to the Depression. Ideas in "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" form the foundation of modern nations' economies.
In 1908, Keynes fell in love with Scottish painter Duncan Grant. Their relationship lasted only a few years, but they remained close friends for the rest of their lives. Previous to Keynes' marriage to Lydia Lopokova in 1921, Keynes' relationships and sexual encounters were exclusively with men. After his marriage Keynes remained friends with many of his previous homosexual friends and partners.
The stress Keynes experienced during WWII caused his health to decline considerably. On April 21, 1946, Keynes died of a heart attack.
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