J. M. Keynes and the Personal Politics of Reparations

Schuker, Stephen A. "J. M. Keynes and the Personal Politics of Reparations." Diplomacy and Statecraft. Vol. 25, Iss. 3 (2014), pp. 453-471.


Some observers still regard John Maynard Keynes’ polemic against the Treaty of Versailles as serious economic analysis. In fact, Keynes continued to play an unacknowledged partisan role in reparation diplomacy during the 1920s. He suggests in a memoir that he never saw the Hamburg banker Carl Melchior alone again after October 1919. Using German sources not exploited by Keynes’ principal biographers, this analysis shows that the intimate relationship continued. Melchior drew Keynes into the highest governing circles of the Reich. Keynes supported the 1922–1923 German hyper-inflation on political grounds and helped craft the German reparations note of June 1923.

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