Well-known Harvard professor Niall Ferguson apologized Saturday for what he called “stupid and tactless remarks” suggesting sexual orientation influenced the polices of famed economist John Maynard Keynes.
On Thursday, Ferguson suggested that the British economist lacked foresight about future generations because he was childless, and that he was childless because he was gay.
Ferguson made the comments during a conference in Carlsbad, Calif., during a discussion on Keynes’ famous line, “The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.”
Keynes, who died in 1946, is considered one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. During the recent Great Recession, economists recalled Keynes’ idea that in an economic downturn, the government should borrow and spend where the private sector could not.
Ferguson, a former advisor to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), has been a critic of the Obama administration’s economic strategies.
“The point I had made in my presentation,” Ferguson wrote in his apology, “was that in the long run our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are alive, and will have to deal with the consequences of our economic actions.