Radical Uncertainty with Prof. John Kay CBE

Radical Uncertainty: Decision making for an unknowable future is a timely new book from eminent British economists Professor John Kay and former Bank of England Governor Lord Mervyn King. I recently interviewed Professor Kay about the book and our conversation is now available as the latest Economics Explained episode.

A transcript of the interview is available on my business website.


Use these (approximate) timestamps to jump right to the highlights:

  • 2:34 – John Kay on what is meant by Radical Uncertainty, beginning with references to Maynard Keynes and Frank Knight
  • 8:40 – discussion of what Kay and King see as the critical question, “What is going on here?”, in the context of coronavirus
  • 14:35 – discussion of non-stationary process
  • 16:25 – discussion of the usefulness of economic models, with me asking John to explain the statement in the book “You cannot derive a probability or a forecast or a policy recommendation from a model…”
  • 26:10 – John explains the importance of robustness and resilience in systems in response to a question referencing climate change

It goes without saying that this book is highly recommended reading. I picked up a copy from Dymocks on Queen St Mall, Brisbane which I expect still has some copies available.

This episode was recorded on Friday 24 April 2020 using Zoom.

Radical Uncertainty book cover

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