A Treatise on Money – John Maynard Keynes (2nd printing) (2 vols)


A Treatise on Money – John Maynard Keynes (2nd printing) (2 vols)


A scarce 2nd printing of Keynes’ 2-volume Treatise on Money, published before his more famous General Theory, in excellent condition.

Title: A Treatise on Money, in Two Volumes. Vol 1: The Pure Theory of Money, Vol II: The Applied Theory of Money

Author: John Maynard Keynes

Publisher: Macmillan and Co., London. Vol 1 printed 1933, Vol 2 printed 1934. Both are stated 2nd printings of the first edition.

Condition: Hardcover, no dust jacket. Very good. Very slight foxing to both volumes, with very slight rubbing to spine edges, bumping to corners, and slight dust soiling to bottom edges. The colour of the bindings don’t match exactly, as issued. Vol 1 has a small bookseller’s sticker to front endpaper, vol 2 has a small inscription to ffep. Text clean, binding tight, covers bright, pages clean. A heavy set. Overseas shipping will cost extra.

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About the book (from Wikipedia):

In the Treatise Keynes drew a distinction between savings and investment, arguing that where saving exceeded investment, recession would occur. Thus, Keynes reasoned that during a depression the best course of action would be to promote spending and to discourage saving. Keynes most notably clarified his Theory of Money in catty dialog with other famous economists of the day, such as Friedrich Hayek and Dennis Robertson. Keynes described his rejoinder as such “in my Rejoinder to Mr. D. H. Robertson, Published in the Economic Journal for September, 1931, I have endeavored to re-state in a clearer way what my own theory actually is.”

In Keynes’ Treatise, he does not agree that booms and busts happen solely because of extrinsic random variables such as “sunspots”. Instead, he believes that economic events emerge when there are discrepancies between savings and investments. According to Keynes, a true measure of a nation’s prosperity is not anything of physical value such as gold or silver, but by national income. To him, the most important characteristic of national income is consumption.

In Keynes’s Treatise, he explained how recessions could happen, but not long-term depressions. He was able to address this further in The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. In his General Theory, Keynes argued against the seesaw theory and said that the economy was more like an elevator that can stop at any level. This is because once the economy reaches the bottom, individuals would have no excess income to save. No savings results in no investment so the economy cannot save itself. Without the savings, there is no pressure to lower interest rates, so there is no incentive for businesses to invest. In his theory on money he asserts that investment is an “undependable drive wheel for the economy,” and when no new investment can be found, the economy will begin to falter.