Augusto Graziani’s legacy retains its currency

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I was going to write a ret­ro­spec­tive on Ben Bernanke this week, since his tenure as Fed­er­al Reserve chair­man ends soon, and it’s time to look back on his peri­od in office – as he him­self did on his pre­de­ces­sors dur­ing the Great Depres­sion. But a far more impor­tant depar­ture occurred last week: the Ital­ian econ­o­mist Pro­fes­sor Augus­to Graziani died at the age of 80.

Augus­to who, you may ask? Graziani’s name is not wide­ly known even among econ­o­mists, let alone the gen­er­al pub­lic, because he was out­side the neo­clas­si­cal main­stream – and also out­side con­ti­nen­tal Amer­i­ca, which has a pseu­do-monop­oly on fame in eco­nom­ics these days. His Wikipedia entry empha­sis­es his cur­rent obscu­ri­ty: it is a mere stub.

But with­in the post-Key­ne­sian com­mu­ni­ty, and espe­cial­ly with­in its Euro­pean branch, Graziani was a giant. He deserves to be much bet­ter known, and I hope that his­to­ry is far more thor­ough in its praise of him than the con­tem­po­rary world has been, where the chat­ter of neo­clas­si­cal econ­o­mists like Bernanke drowns out the wis­dom of true sages like Graziani.

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About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.