Tuesday, April 04, 2006

For Journalists Accuracy is a Virtue(?)

To the Editor of Fortune,

Ellen McGirt in “Fortune 500 a Banner year writes”:

That and other significant mergers, such as the acquisition of Premco by Valero (Research) (No. 15), were encouraging signs of the "animal spirits" that Adam Smith considered the mark of an economy in fine fettle.”

Could you ask Ellen McGirt when and where Adam Smith said or wrote about ‘animal spirits’?
John Maynard Keynes certainly did make such a reference, but not to my knowledge Adam Smith.

Is it important, you may ask, but the image of Adam Smith as a sort of ‘red in tooth and claw’ believer in competition is at variance with his moral philosophy and political economy, and his two main books, Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations.

Kind regards

Dr Gavin Kennedy (Professor Emeritus)
Author: Adam Smith’s Lost Legacy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)


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