From the foreword by G. C. Harcourt:
As I wrote in my remarks when Jan and I were the co-recipients of the 2011 Veblen Commons Award, “I regard Jan as the best all-round general economist alive” (Journal of Economic Issues, XLV, June 2011, 261). I have been nagging him for years to bring out a volume (preferably volumes) of his essays for surely, in his case, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, splendid though each part is. … Jan is steeped in the history of our subject. He has an intimate knowledge and understanding of the work of past greats and the relevance of their contributions to their times and ours. Jan has an especially deep understanding of the nature of money and finance, and of the institutions associated with them and of the indissoluble relationship between them and the real economy, whether in developed or developing economies. He couples this with a flair for designing humane, realistic policies, in the process bringing out clearly the shortcomings of existing institutions and policies in a wide variety of settings.