I was approached by Canvas, the Flemish national TV station, to contribute to the making of a documentary on the British economist and intellectual John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946). As the father of modern macroeconomics, he is widely considered as one of the seminal thinkers of the twentieth century. Keynes almost singlehandedly shifted the attention from supply side economics to the necessity to stimulate demand in times of crisis, and the inevitable role of governments in this respect. His impact on economic policy is felt to this day across the globe since Keynes’ thinking enjoyed a resurgence after the crisis of 2008.
The aim of the documentary is to rediscover the man behind ‘The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money’, published in 1936. I conducted a series of interviews in Cambridge, London, near Brighton and in Belgium. I spoke to economists, relatives of JMK and authors who have written about his private life. I also examined his father’s diaries at the University Library in Cambridge. All of this made me realize that Keynes was so much more than an economist, but rather an intellectual with a wide range of interests and a great patron of the arts.
The 50-minute documentary will be broadcast on Belgian TV late October or November.