In his 1936 book ‘The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money’ John Maynard Keynes outlined how rather than being independently rational, investors were often prone to erratic herd-like behaviour. He argued that macroeconomic stability is inherently vulnerable to the ‘animal spirits’ of speculators. The recent deflation of the post Global Financial Crisis (GFC) gold price bubble is a prime example of this phenomenon.
By Collin Li
When an economic debate descends into something along the lines of “the economy exists in order to benefit the people – not the other way around,” you should reply:
But what is an economy other than many millions of people interacting daily?
Let’s not understate the reach and application of economics – it infects every facet of society.
(By definition in economics, individuals in a marketplace trade according to their “utility” – a term used to capture the personal values of each individual, thus allowing the individuals to maximise their well-being in the marketplace.)