Monday, 1 May 2006


I wished him a Happy 96th Birthday in 2004 but for some reason I failed to mark his 97th last year; he died yesterday.
So farewell then, John Kenneth Galbraith. His assertion that he was the tallest man in the world, at 6ft 8in, was almost certainly false, but as a visionary economist he towered over all others.
Just one quotation from hundreds of possible ones: "The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable".
(I showed a photo of him once before, but here is a much better one by Richard Mildenhall in the Guardian).

P.S. And I liked the Guardian leader comment: "Hypocrisy will sleep more sweetly tonight for the knowledge that Galbraith is no longer around to look down from his very great height and skewer it".


Ruth said...

Maybe not, but you did mention his poor state of health in a post about 2 weeks after his birthday, in a post about Noam Chomsky and his spectacular nose hair.
I have seen Chomsky since that post and can confirm that he maintains this strange facial hair and also that he is not particularly tall.
Goodbye, JKB, you will be missed.

Tony said...

So I did, Ruth, so I did.
I am immensely impressed to hear that you have been able to get near enough to NC to check on his nose hair and stature. Lucky old you!
I never met John Maynard Keynes personally, but he was generally believed to have been of average height. His biographies do not mention his nose, and of course he is chiefly famous for being the only economist to marry a Russian ballerina.