An appreciation of John H. Makin, May 29, 1943 - March 30, 2015
Many macroeconomists thrive on being outrageous. Academics like to be counterintuitive if not confusing, to advance their standing in the profession. Market pundits gain notice (and clients) by making outof-the-money forecasts until one comes true. Policy advocates gamer influence by getting a distinctive voice that stands out.
John Makin engaged in none of these self-promoting distortions, and yet was respected by the academic profession, was a proven success as an advisor and portfolio manager in global markets, and had ongoing influence on major policy debates.
John had the power instead of being profoundly sensible: he had a deep understanding of financial markets and of policymaking, but most of all of what real-time economic data meant (including when it meant nothing and was just noise). Whether discussing the role of monetary...