animal spirits

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The term used by John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946) to convey the idea that major investment projects are usually undertaken not on the basis of careful calculation of the profits they are expected to make, but on the strength of ‘hunches’ of entrepreneurs that, beneath the uncertainties that would make a rational and cautious person delay a decision, there is an opportunity to be grasped by whoever has the courage to try.

Subjects: Economics.

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