Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lords of Finance - Irving Fisher

I continue my posts on Lords of Finance(see here for instance) with an entertaining description of Irving Fisher by Liaquat Ahmed. Irving Fisher got his name from the Fisher rule(or maybe it's the opposite), the one that tells you that the nominal interest rate is equal to the real interest rate plus expected inflation, which then tells you that the real interest rate is usually negative when you're at the 0 lower bound. Apparently, Fisher was weird:
Originally a mathematician(...)Fisher was quite a[n] odd bird(...). [H]e had emerged from the sanatorium a committed vegetarian. He suffered from terrible insomnia and, to cope with it, had designed a bizarre electrical contraption that he hooked up to his bed and was convinced helped him to fall asleep. He was also a proponent of selective breeding and was secretary of the American Eugenics Society; he believed that mental illness originated from infections of the roots of the teeth and of the bowels and(...) was a fervent advocate of Prohibition

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