Böhm-Bawerk’s policies resulted in social despair

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Sir, Thomas Mayer praises the reactionary Austrian finance minister Eugen Böhm-Bawerk who insisted on the virtues of the gold standard and balanced budgets in pre-1914 Austria (“Carney is wrong about how to solve Europe’s problems” , January 30). The resulting immiseration and social despair in Austria of this pre-Keynesian rejection of counter-cyclical public investment helped shape the thinking of a young Austrian who denounced such economics as he used populist xenophobic politics to rise to power in Germany after the first world war. The UK is lucky to have a governor of the Bank of England who does not worship at such shrines.

Denis Macshane

London SW1, UK

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