The Elgar Companion to John Maynard Keynes
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The Elgar Companion to John Maynard Keynes

Edited by Robert W. Dimand and Harald Hagemann

The most influential and controversial economist of the twentieth century, John Maynard Keynes was the leading founder of modern macroeconomics, and was also an important historical figure as a critic of the Versailles Peace Treaty after World War I and an architect of the Bretton Woods international monetary system after World War II. This comprehensive Companion elucidates his contributions, his significance, his historical context and his continuing legacy.
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Chapter 8: World War II

Donald Moggridge


Keynes’s last period of public service was as an unofficial adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Treasury from the summer of 1940 to his death in April 1946. This chapter discusses his enormous influence in four areas: (1) internal war finance; (2) post-war internal economic policy planning; (3) external war finance; and (4) post-war external economic policy planning. Area (1) covers How to Pay for the War and the Keynesian budgets from 1941; (2) describes his role in the preparation of the 1944 Employment Policy White Paper and his recommendations for a post-war cheap money policy in the 1945 National Debt Enquiry; (3) was a successful search for external funds to finance defence expenditure and imports and involved Keynes in several missions to North America; and (4) focuses on his idea for an international Clearing Union which led eventually to the creation of the International Monetary Fund following the Bretton Woods conference of 1944.

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