Why had so few economists foreseen the crisis? The main reason is that economics has turned into a branch of applied mathematics, detached from real world institutions. In a monetary economy of production, real factors and financial factors are intertwined, and crisis is consequently no mere chance. Keynes and Marx show that the opposite is true: equilibrium can only come about by accident or design, for equilibrium "ein Zufall ist". The shortcomings of the economic society in which we live are its failure to provide for full employment and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes, i.e. the same faults denounced by Keynes in 1936. And Keynes’s social philosophy is the only way out.
Keywords: Role of economics, Role of economists, Financial crisis, History of economic thought
Jel Code: A110, G010, B000