John Maynard Keynes and the American Loan

Britain’s two world wars were fought as much by economists as they were by generals. Finding a strategy to pay for the wars against Germany and her Axis allies was a key part of Britain’s national survival. Hitler’s economic strategy was based around conquest and plunder, with occupied peoples paying for his wars and Germany’s standards of living. In Britain’s case, the USA by 1941 was the country’s source of economic salvation and it was John Maynard Keynes who had most interaction with the American treasury officials and diplomats to negotiate not only the wartime loans but also the shape of the post war world economy. In this podcast, we explore the implications for Britain of the post war loan negotiated by Keynes, that was secured from the USA in 1945 and the high price America extracted in return.

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