Radio 4: Yo Hayek! Hey Keynes! (Hey Marx?)
Like two rival sound systems on an edgy council estate, the Austrian School of economics and Keynesianism have been squaring up throughout this crisis, their jeans metaphorically drooping to reveal ideological undershorts of deeply contrasting colours.
There's even - really (!) - been a jokey rap song composed dramatising the theoretical conflict between Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes.
Now, on BBC Radio Four, we are doing our bit to raise the tone of this debate by devoting two whole half-hour programmes to the renewed controversy between left and right in economics.
Last night, on Analysis, Jamie Whyte explained the key precepts of Hayekian economics, showing how the onset of fiscal crisis has added weight to its objections not just to heavy regulation but to the modern role of central banking. You can listen to the programme here.
Next Monday I'll be presenting a companion piece about the Financialisation School. Originating in sociology, human geography and that corner of economics where Marx and Keynes rub shoulders, these theorists argue there's been a structural transformation in the past 20 years, in which finance has come to dominate everything else: company structure and investment priorities; consumption behaviour and of course banking.
The Financialisation School is critical of mainstream Keynesian economics and its remedies go way beyond tweaking consumption upwards through fiscal and monetary stimulus. They want an economy where wages rise and credit declines, where companie stop aiming for double-digit profit rates, where public provision replaces privatisation and where the banks face regulation designed to outlaw activities we see as normal.
Says Costas Lapavitsas, professor in economics at London's School of Oriental and African Studies:
"Market negating regulation is what we need - regulation whereby the state intervenes and stops the financial market from following its own often mad impulses. This market negating regulation will have to be about prices - controlling interest rates in other words; will have to be about quantities, controlling the flows of credit. We're talking about capital controls and about credit controls."
"So the pre-Thatcher era?" I ask.
"That's it", he says. "The benefits of the dynamic globalised financial economy are very hard to pin down. It is very difficult to see what free movement of capital has contributed to the growth of the global economy."
Tune in next Monday night at 20.30, BBC Radio Four. Catch the first programme here, or again on air on Sunday night, 21.30.