The history of science is full of useful lies, myths created and repeated in order to advance a particular narrative. One of the great myths of economics is the myth of Keynes as an unerring investor of genius. In fact, Keynes had a very rich daddy who bailed him out whenever he got himself in financial trouble, and Keynes even managed to lose tons of money in the midst of the great 1920s stock market boom. This experience seems to have convinced Keynes that he needed to give up on his career as an “investor genius”, and Keynes finally managed to make money in the 1930s when he abandoned speculation, and instead bought and held corporate stocks for the long term.
Not a small amount of Keynes’ reputation in the University community came from his repute as a brilliant man of finance, enhanced among professors by Keynes’ control of a a large endowment at Kings College, Cambridge. Records at King College show (pdf) that Keynes changed not only his personal investment strategy after 1929, but he changed also his strategy with the King College endowment. Keynes became less interested in proving himself an investment genius “calling the market”, and set about securing dividend-producing long term assets for the long term health of the college.