Walter Mencken 10:06 a.m., Feb. 6
Economist regrets remarks about Keynes's sex life
Slurs made at presentation in Carlsbad
Harvard professor and economist Niall Ferguson, a stern critic of Keynesian economics, has apologized profusely for linking the late economist's alleged sex life to his economic ideas, according to today's (May 7) New York Times. At a Strategic Investment Conference in Carlsbad Thursday, Ferguson was asked about Keynes's oft-quoted statement "in the long run we are all dead." Ferguson cracked that Keynes was "effete" and that his marriage to a Russian ballerina was probably more about "poetry" than procreation. The implication was that since Keynes did not have children, he was indifferent to the long-term future. It has always been reported that Keynes had homosexual experiences. On his blog post, notes the Times, Ferguson says that people without children do care about the long term, and he noted that Keynes's spouse had once had a miscarriage. Said a contrite Ferguson, "It is simply false to suggest, as I did, that [Keynes's] approach to economic policy was inspired by aspect of his personal life."