Sunday, February 08, 2009

Infinite Are The Arguments Of Mages

The following letter comes after five interchanges of letters between Keynes and Hayek and a summary letter by Keynes. Keynes was trying to get at what definitions of saving and investment Hayek was using, what Hayek meant by "forced saving", and why Hayek thought a constant proportion of the money in circulation must be saved to keep the capital stock at the same level. The date of this letter is 29 March 1932, and it is reprinted in The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek: Volume 9: Contra Keynes and Cambridge: Essays, Correspondence (edited by Bruce Caldwell, Chicago University Press, 1995):
Dear Hayek,

I will certainly reserve you space in this June [Economic] Journal for a reply to Sraffa. But let it be no longer than it need be. It is the trouble of controversy - from an editor's point of view - that it is without end. Your MS should reach me not later than May 1.

Having been much occupied in other directions, I have not yet studied your Economica article as closely as I shall. But, unless it be dealt with in isolation from the main issue, I doubt if I shall return to the charge in Economica. I am trying to re-shape and improve my central position, and that is probably a better way to spend one's time than in controversy.

Yours sincerely
J. M. Keynes

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