Episode 12
Featuring Steve Keen
Demetri Kofinas speaks with economist Steve Keen about the history of economic thought from the time of the physiocrats to the present day. Where did our ideas of rational preference, utility maximization, and market equilibrium come from? How have these ideas been debunked by the events, insights, and theories of the last 100 years?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with economist Steve Keen. Steve is Professor of Economics at Kingston University in London and one of a handful of economists to correctly anticipate the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Professor Keen is also the popular author of “Debunking Economics,” as well as the timely book, “Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?”

In today’s conversation, we tear up the textbook of contemporary economics. We dispense with equilibrium. We embrace irrationality. We internalize economic externalities and drop assumptions about the world that do not comport with the reality of lived experience. We begin our history of economics with the physiocrats, enlightenment thinkers of the early 18th century who concerned themselves with the question: “where does stuff come from?” We move through the classical period of economics, exploring the philosophies of Adam Smith and David Ricardo. We stop to question the assumptions of the Newtonian minded neoclassicists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who saw fit to squeeze a complicated world into a set of simple models. Where did our ideas of rational preference, utility maximization, and market equilibrium come from? How have these ideas been debunked by the events, insights, and theories of the last 100 years? What was the role of John Maynard Keynes and his Keynesian revolution? Where did he and the Austrian Friedrich von Hayek meet? Where has the evolution of economics taken us since World War II? What is the role of banking in the economy? How is money created? How does it circulate? What is the role of credit? How might this almost Godly instrument of wealth creation have become a source of global instability and financial distress? Finally, Steve Keen and Demetri explore the landscape of the modern economy. They look at China, with its ghost cities and massive state-directed banking system. They explore Australia, Canada, and South Korea, as possible sources for the next financial crisis and consider possible solutions for society, as well as the individual.

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

Steve Keen (born 28 March 1953) is an Australian economist and author. He considers himself a post-Keynesian, criticising neoclassical economics as inconsistent, unscientific and empirically unsupported. The major influences on Keen's thinking about economics include John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx, Hyman Minsky, Piero Sraffa, Augusto Graziani, Joseph Alois Schumpeter, ThorsteinVeblen, and François Quesnay. Hyman Minsky's financial instability hypothesis forms the main basis of his major contribution to economics which mainly concentrates on mathematical modelling and simulation of financial instability. He is a notable critic of the Australian property bubble, as he sees it.

Keen was formerly a Professor of economics at University of Western Sydney, until taking voluntary redundancy in 2013. In 2014, he became a professor and Head of the School of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University in London. He remains a Professor of Economics at Kingston University, is an Honorary Professor at University College London, and is now crowdfunded via Patreon at

Keen developed the Open Source monetary modelling program Minsky (see His latest books are Can we avoid another financial crisis? and eCONcomics: Taking the CON Out of Economics. He is currently working on the role of energy in production, a 3rd edition of Debunking Economics, and a cartoon book on money called "Funny Money".



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