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John Authers

Whatever Keynes Said, Let’s Follow His Advice

If you’re not rethinking the economic outlook, you should be after the new facts in the US employment report. Meanwhile, Japan hints at continunity.

John Maynard Keynes at work in 1940. 

John Maynard Keynes at work in 1940. 

Photographer: Tim Gidal/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty

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John Maynard Keynes was one of the most influential and also divisive economists who ever lived, but almost everyone cites one of his quotations with approval. “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir?” As Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal has revealed, it’s not at all clear that the great man ever said this, but we can all agree with the sentiment. However clear our ideas, we need to be ready to admit that they were wrong if factual evidence shows up to disprove them.