Economist Paul Samuelson, Dead at 94

Leo Kolivakis's picture

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Leo Kolivakis's picture

From WSJ, Remembering Paul Samuelson. Also read Paul Krugman's obituary, Paul Samuelson, R.I.P., from which I quote:

It’s hard to convey the full extent of Samuelson’s greatness. Most economists would love to have written even one seminal paper — a paper that fundamentally changes the way people think about some issue. Samuelson wrote dozens: from international trade to finance to growth theory to speculation to well, just about everything, underlying much of what we know is a key Samuelson paper that set the agenda for generations of scholars.

Anonymous's picture

Righto...If being spectacularly wrong for so long means being a great thinker.

From the 1989 edition of Samuelson's Economics:
"Contrary to what many skeptics had earlier believed": "The Soviet economy is proof that ... a socialist command economy can function and even thrive."

Mind you this was 1989, not 1969.

Anonymous's picture

I would hardly call GDP the equivalent of Mexico, "thriving".

What a ivory tower hack.

Anonymous's picture


As you are no doubt already aware, the Beagle never made port in the US. Evolution stopped somewhere between Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon in this land we call USA, where there is never a disagreement so slight that violence or profanity is not the solution. That you continue to have the patience to write thoughtful posts, and to take a moment such as with this article to demonstrate a touch of humanity, is lost on the crowd that has deteriorated into the One Party school of You Can‘t Spell Gold without God, Death to Goldman, Death to Fiat Money, Death to Debate on Climate, Death to Everything and Everyone who Disagrees with Any Part of the Script, Woe to the Bilderbergers, Rothschilds, CIA, Trilateralists, Mason’s, Knight’s Templar, and any CNBC announcer without massive breasts. And when gold tumbles, I predict we’ll have a thousand comments detailing the “obvious conspiracy”, engineered by any or all of the aforementioned bogeymen.

The weak and powerless always resort to chest-puffing. Self-hatred does that. Losing traders always blame someone else, too.

Anyway, though I do not agree with everything you write, I welcome the chance to hear opposing views so as to be forced again to question my own, and I appreciate the civility you bring to this site. (But next time the Beagle makes port, I’m getting on board and leaving this sinking rat and the vermin that has taken over every strata of society, from WS to WDC to ZH.) We’re a nation of carnival people.

Leo Kolivakis's picture

"And when gold tumbles, I predict we’ll have a thousand comments detailing the “obvious conspiracy”, engineered by any or all of the aforementioned bogeymen."

Priceless...thanks for this comment.

Anonymous's picture

Sanuelson was a great economist. But there is no such thing as a benevolent government. As such, Keynesianism is well intentioned, but poorly implemented. It can only lead to massive disasters such as that we are experiencing.

Leo Kolivakis's picture

I don't doubt that massive fiscal deficits can lead to a disaster, but what is the alternative? To let the market's "invisible hand" solve our economic woes? It's been invisible for far too long.

Comrade de Chaos's picture

I disagree with the "let the market's "invisible hand" solve our economic woes?"

Sometimes the most courageous thing a human being can do is to say I don't know. That's what we should do, try to find an efficient solution rather than rush a quick and costly patch. Also when the rules are fair, well written and well supervised nothing works better than the "invisible hand."  (for most of the goods with the exemption of certain public goods, etc.)


And yet again, thank you for your posts, please ignore the haters. 

Anonymous's picture

I can't decide what's more entertaining: your inanity, or the likely fact that you went into debt in acquiring your economic "education."

Read more. Post much, much less.

Anonymous's picture

Uh, no. Samuelson wasn't great; he was influential. And as George W Bush can tell you, merely influencing public policy does not make one great.

And "poorly implemented?" Are you actually claiming that the tenets and logic of crude Keynesianism works in theory? Yikes. Keynesianism can be boiled down to one fatal flaw: no matter how hard you try, you can't get something from nothing (though as Hopalong Ben and his merry gang of monetary sycophants can attest, you can certainly get nothing from something).

Anonymous's picture

Shows the lowbrow level of this site. Samuelson wasn't even as good as Sraffa--and Sraffa was a constructivist propagandist, not an economist.


Mr. Kolivakis
is an ignoramis
who doesn't his bum
from general equilibrium
(and neither did Samuelson).

Hey Leo baby, get an ejikashun. Start by reading A. Garciadiego, BERTRAND RUSSELL AND THE ORIGINS OF THE SET-THEORETIC 'PARADOXES.' By the way, CAN you read?

Leo Kolivakis's picture

Another ZH moron. If you must know, Bertrand Russell was one of my favorite philosophers. Unlike your pathetic attempt to discredit me, his wit was a pure joy to read. And if you want to know who the greatest economist of all-time was, he didn't win any Nobel prize. Hint: he wrote a book on the treatise on probability.

Deep's picture

Leo the cut and paste specialist. Again do you ever post anything origianl? How ZH lets you post is beyond me. Can I be a contributor, I cut and paste great articles from the WSJ.

Leo Kolivakis's picture

Be my have no clue how hard it is to write a blog on a daily basis and then respond to idiots like you.

Lionhead's picture

The only folks that will "miss" this person are the CFA's like you Leo. You have the balls to post an article about a person that wasted his life & education on a failed economic policy?

"The world lost another great thinker today." Really, what planet do you live on Leo? Are you so disconnected from reality, your illusions are your reality. Great thinker & giant in economics; I disagree.

Your posts are terrible. Please no more obituaries of dead Keynesians. Not interested...

agrotera's picture

you are awesome Lionhead...excellent roar!

(no offense Leo, I see you took off your gloves, so i don't think you need anyone's sympathy.)

Leo Kolivakis's picture

Samueson was a giant and you're an idiot for posting this reply. And I never wanted to be a CFA. I have a Master's in Economics and tons of pertinent work experience. Some of you need a basic course in history of economic thought because to dimiss Samuelson so casually just confirms your ignorance on the subject.

Anonymous's picture

Pertinent work experience = lackey coffee fetcher/number cruncher for some Keynesian PhD's worthless and reality impaired "models."

Anonymous's picture

Ouch, reality is a painful mistress.

Comrade de Chaos's picture

thanks for the update Leo.



Paul S.

Anonymous's picture

While I admire the man's intellect, I can't say that I am too distraught over the death of a Keyenesian hack. That being said . . . R.I.P.

Gordon_Gekko's picture

Another Keynesian bites the dust. Good riddance. Nobody is going to miss a Keynesian minion, except perhaps the bankers/governments. Seriously folks, if these Keynesian a--holes are all going to take that long to die off and live till freakin' 94, we're totally f--ked.