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Shortlist for the Revere Award for Economics

March 31, 2010

This Award is named in honour of the American revolutionary hero Paul Revere, who rode through the night to warn of the approaching British army. In this its inagural year, it will be awarded to the 3 economists who first and most clearly saw the Gobal Financial Collapse coming and whose work is most likely to prevent another GFC in the future. 

To its great shame, the economics establishment has attempted to evade responsibility for the Global Financial Collapse by calling it an unpredictable, “Black Swan” event.  That assertion is manifestly untrue. Numerous non-neoclassical economists foresaw the crisis and warned the public (usually at the cost of ridicule) of its approach. The Revere Award aims to give these economists the professional and public recognition that they deserve, to encourage others to utilize their methods, and – most important — to increase the likelihood that, for the benefit of humankind, empirically responsible economists will be listened to in the future

97 people have been nominated for the award.  Some of these did not fit the requirement stated in the original announcement of the award, that the nominees should be economists (broadly interpreted) and to have publicly warned of this particular collapse, not collapses in general.  From those nominees who filled these requirements and through consultation with this blog’s community of authors, a shortlist of 12 has been selected.  All of them are worthy of our special regard.  If any of them had been listened to by the powers that be, a colossal amount of human misery would have been avoided.

Criteria used in the selection included the following:

  1. that the prediction was not whimsical or lucky, but was driven by theories, methods, and tools that are clearly within the domain of ‘economic thought’;
  2. that the forecast could be replicated given similar data; 
  3. that the forecast was made public, and
  4. that the methods and tools used will spur the development of economics such that the subject gains rather than loses traction as a result of the crisis.

As with the Dynamite Prize, which attracted over 7,500 mostly economist voters –, the ballot will be conducted by PollDaddy.

You may vote for three of the shortlist nominees.

The prize will be awarded jointly to the three economists receiving the most votes.

But before voting (the ballot box opens in a few hours), please consult the post Foresight and Fait Accompli: Two Timelines for the Global Financial Collapse.

Shortlist for the
Revere Award for Economics

Dean Baker, formerly a professor at Bucknell University, is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. He is the author of many research papers, an economics columnist for the Guardian, a weekly online commentary on economic reporting, and several books, most recently False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble Economy.

Wynne Godley is professor emeritus of applied economics at Cambridge University and more recently a Distinguished Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, New York. He is noted for his research that uses accounting macroeconomic models to reveal structural imbalances.

Michael Hudson is a Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri (Kansas City), president of the Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends and a Wall Street financial analyst. He has long been a critic of growth induced by asset-price inflation.

Steve Keen is a professor of economics and finance at the University of Western Sydney and a specialist in financial instability. His analytical framework draws on Minsky, Fisher and Keynes. Beginning with the 2001 publication of his book Debunking Economics, he gained international prominence through his mathematically oriented attack on the neoclassical mainstream, his explanation of why the latter is such a poor guide to the way the economy actually works and his hypothesis of financial instability.

Paul Krugman is Professor of Economics at Princeton Univreisty, winner in 2008 of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel and op-ed columnist for The New York Times.

Jakob Brøchner Madsen was a professor of economics at the University of Copenhagen until 2006, when he moved to Monash University in Denmark. 

Ann Pettifor is the author of several books on debt and international finance.  Beginning in 2000, she headed the New Economics Foundation’s research unit on global macro-economics.  Currently she is executive director of Advocacy International, which undertakes research and advises governments and organisations on matters relating to international finance and sustainable development.

Kurt Richebächer (1918-2007) was chief economist for Dresdner Bank from 1964 to 1977, when he left it for private consultancy. He wrote one of the longest-standing investment newsletters, “The Richebächer Letter,” in which he warned against the bubble in technology stocks in the late ’90s. Paul Volker, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, once remarked that the challenge for today’s central bankers “is to prove Kurt Richebächer wrong.” He died on August 24, 2007, two weeks before the collapse began.

Nouriel Roubini is Professor of Economics and International Business at the Stern School of Business, New York University, Research Associate at the NBER and Research Fellow with the CEPR. He is a former advisor to the U.S. Treasury Department and former member of the  White House Council of Economic Advisers. He runs the Roubini Global Economics Monitor and the blog Roubini Global Economics.

Robert Shiller is a Yale economics professor.  Like Richebächer he warned against the dotcom bubble.

George Soros, legendary financier and founder of a global network of charitable foundations, has authored numerous books on finance and economics, including The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998). Like Richebächer and Shiller, he warned against the dotcom bubble. His analysis identifies fundamental instabilities in capitalism, most notably — and reminiscent of Keynes — the reflexivity of markets.

Joseph Stiglitz holds chairs at Columbia University and Manchester University and in 2001 received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.  He is know for his critical views of globalization, free-mrket fundamentalism, the IMF and the World Bank.

Before you vote be sure to look at Foresight and Fait Accompli: Two Timelines for the Global Financial Collapse

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