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John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes, (5 June 1883 21 April 1946) was a British economist whose ideas have profoundly affected the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, and informed the economic policies of governments. He built on and greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and is widely considered to be one of the founders of modern macroeconomics and the most influential economist of the 20th century. His ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics. He was the British representative in 1944 at Brenton Wood Conference that set up the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

He was an economist who made important contributions to probability theory and mathematical economics. He became a lecturer in economics at Cambridge, where he was educated, until the start of World War I when he worked for the government. In 1921 his Treatise on Probability was published although it had been completed 10 years earlier. It was an attempt to put probability on a firm mathematical basis.

In The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, Keynes wrote about his thoughts on employment, monetary theory, and the trade cycle among others. His work on employment went against everything that the Classical economists had taught. Keynes said that the real cause of unemployment was insufficient investment expenditure. He believed that the amount of labor supplied is different when the decrease in real wages (the marginal product of labor) is due to a decrease in the money wage, than when it is due to an increase in the price level, assuming money wages stay constant. The General Theory, also founded modern macroeconomics, and virtually all of the work in that field emerges from Keynes' work, if not positively as extensions and adaptations then negatively as criticism or the extension of criticism of it. In his Theory of Money, Keynes said that savings and investment were independently determined. The amount saved had little to do with variations in interest rates which in turn had little to do with how much was invested. Keynes thought that changes in saving depended on the changes in the predisposition to consume which resulted from marginal, incremental changes to income. Therefore, investment was determined by the relationship between expected rates of return on investment and the rate of interest.

Keyness fame as an economist and his personal success in the markets led to his being offered and accepting positions managing money on behalf of Kings College, Cambridge and the National Mutual and the Provincial Insurance companies. Keynes enjoyed great success managing these portfolios - particularly Kings Colleges. Keynes became first bursar of Kings in 1924, taking on responsibility for the colleges financial well being. He decided to concentrate all of the colleges resources over which he had discretion into a fund called the Chest. He intended using his trading and investing skills to considerably increase the Chest Funds value. The Chests initial capital was 30,000. By the time Keynes died in 1946 the fund had grown to 380,000 - an annual compounding rate of just over 12 per cent. Keynes was ultimately a successful investor, building up a private fortune. His assets were nearly wiped out following the Stock Market Crash of 1929, which he failed to foresee, but he soon recouped. At Keynes's death, in 1946, his worth stood just short of 500,000 equivalent to about 11 million ($16.5 million) in 2009.