Anna Schwartz obituary as published by AIER

Below is the obit for Anna Schwartz writen by my friend Walker Todd of American Institute for Economic Research -- Chris


AIER [website homepage,]

Anna Jacobson Schwartz, 1915-2012


Written by Walker F. Todd, PhD, JD, and Enrolled Agent, Research Fellow


Friday, 29 June 2012


One of the great American monetary economists, Anna Schwartz, died

Thursday, June 21, 2012, in New York City. She was 96 years old.


I first met Anna Schwartz in 1987, and we subsequently became friends.

Anna knew several of the monetary scholars who attended AIER’s summer

programs, and she visited and contributed articles to AIER over the

last 15 years or so.


Anna was best known as co-author with Milton Friedman of A Monetary

History of the United States, 1867-1960 (1963). She also was the staff

director of the United States Gold Commission, 1981-1982. Critics

sometimes misinterpret the Commission’s final report. They say that

the report should have taken a forthright stand in favor of the return

of the gold standard.


In a telephone interview during AIER’s May 2004 conference on the

feasibility of resuming the gold standard, Anna observed that the

staff could report only recommendations that the Commission was

prepared to make. Most members of the Commission were willing to go

only so far as to recommend that the U.S. Treasury issue commemorative

gold coins.


Anna noted that President Ronald Reagan was presumably in favor of the

return of gold and that he appointed several members of the

commission, including members of the executive branch. As she put it,

the Republican appointees were waiting for a signal from the White

House that never came. Her own role frequently was misunderstood, but

she faithfully reported the actual state of mind of that commission,

as was her custom. Rest in peace, Anna, for an intellectual life well



—Walker F. Todd, Research Fellow


Below are links to some of Anna's articles:

    "Globalization"—Sep, 2007

    "What to do About the Dollar"—Jan, 2007

    "The 1981-82 Gold Commission"—May, 2004

    "Risks to the Long-Term Stability of the Euro"—Sept, 2004

    "What to Do About the Dollar"—May, 2005

    "Bailout’s Purchase Plan Remains Unclear"—Oct, 2008

    "Geithner in an Ideal World"—Mar, 2009 • 1 (888) 528-1216 • 1 (413) 528-1216 • 250 Division St

• PO Box 1000 • Great Barrington • MA • 01230-1000


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