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Financial Fragility and Investment in the Capitalist Economy

The Economic Legacy of Hyman Minsky, Volume II

Edited by Riccardo Bellofiore and Piero Ferri

Hyman Minsky is renowned for his theoretical and empirical investigation of the capitalist economy. In this book, a distinguished group of contributors provides an authoritative account of his contribution to the analysis of capitalism and, more particularly, to the fields of monetary and post Keynesian economics.
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Chapter 3: Investment expenditure, unrealized expectations and offsetting monetary policies

Geoffrey Harcourt


Geoffrey Harcourt* INTRODUCTION I first met Hy Minsky at the 1979 AEA Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, the first (and only) time I have been to the Meetings. The highlights for me (apart from meeting Hy, of course), were Bob Solow’s courageous Presidential Address (Solow, 1980), which caused outrage amongst the new classical macroeconomists and their clones; Tibor Scitovsky’s Ely Lecture (Scitovsky, 1980); the receipt by Joe Stiglitz of the J.B. Clark Medal; the session on postKeynesian economics at which Jim Crotty, Lorie Tarshis and Janet Yellen were the principal speakers (I commented on Janet’s paper, so recording another first and only, a paper in the American Economic Review, albeit the May 1980 Supplement); and meeting over two of the largest chocolate sundaes I have ever seen, Carol Heim and Rhona Wilensky, who were then two of the best and brightest graduate students at Yale, exhausted after n interviews on the slave market which accompanies the Meetings. I had reviewed Hy’s 1975 book on Keynes in Economica (1977) and we arranged to meet in order to discuss the review. He also gave me his interpretation of the meaning and significance of the results of the capital theory controversies (an interpretation which, I must admit, I did not understand). We then met regularly at the annual International Summer Schools at Trieste in the 1980s and the Minskys and the Harcourts became firm friends. I owe Esther and Hy a non-repayable debt for, in effect, saving my life. At the conference in...

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