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If you’re so smart: John Maynard Keynes and currency speculation in the interwar years

Accominotti, Olivier and Chambers, David (2016) If you’re so smart: John Maynard Keynes and currency speculation in the interwar years. The Journal of Economic History, 76 (2). pp. 342-386. ISSN 0022-0507

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0022050716000589


This article explores the risks and returns to currency speculation during the 1920s and 1930s. We study the performance of two well-known technical trading strategies (carry and momentum) and compare them with that of a fundamentals-based trader: John Maynard Keynes. Technical strategies were highly profitable during the 1920s and even outperformed Keynes. In the 1930s, however, both technical strategies and Keynes performed relatively poorly. While our results reveal the existence of profitable opportunities for currency traders in the interwar years, they suggest that such profits were necessary compensation for enduring the substantial risks that all strategies entailed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Economic History Association
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2015 10:15
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2016 14:48
Funders: Newton Centre for Endowment Asset Management, Judge Business School, Cambridge University

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