Two renowned economists engaged in a fierce debate at the IMCA New York Consultants Conference on Tuesday on a question that both admitted had no concrete answer: What can the government do to repair the economy?

That question comes several years after a massive federal bailout in the U.S., and as some European nations totter on the brink of requiring rescue of their own. But the discussion titled “Keynes vs. Hayek,” in honor of the famed debate between economists John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek more than 80 years ago, shows that different approaches to those problems exist just as much today.

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