Paul Samuelson, fully Paul Anthony Samuelson

Paul
Samuelson, fully Paul Anthony Samuelson
1915
2009

American Economist, Winner of Nobel Prize in Economics, Author, Professor of Economics at MIT

Author Quotes

The recent market run-up that appreciated run-of-the- mill shares also chanced to send up those token gold holdings. Pure luck, undeserved and unlikely to reoccur. Good questions outrank easy answers.

You could be disqualified for a job [at Harvard] if you were either smart or Jewish or Keynesian. So what chance did this smart, Jewish, Keynesian have?

A force that operates year-in and year-out, whenever we are at high employment, to push up prices. It's a price creep, not a price gallop; but the bad thing about it is that, instead of setting in only after you have reached over full employment, the suspicion is dawning that it may be a problem that plagues us even when we haven't arrived at a satisfactory level of employment.

I couldn't reconcile what I was being taught at the university of Chicago, the lectures and the books I was being assigned, with what I knew to be true out in the streets.

No author can complete a survey of Keynesian economics without indulging in that favorite in-door guessing game: wherein lies the essential contribution of the General Theory and its distinguishing characteristic from the classical writings? Some consider its novelty to lie in the treatment of the demand for money, in its liquidity preference emphasis. Others single out the treatment of expectations.

The stock market has forecast nine of the last five recessions

You know what happiness is: 'Having a little more money than your colleagues.' And that's not so tough in academic life.

A new system, that is what requires emphasis. Classical economics could withstand isolated criticism. Theorists can always resist facts: for facts are hard to establish and are always changing anyway, and ceteris paribus can be made to absorb a good deal of punishment. Inevitably, at the earliest opportunity, the mind slips back into the old grooves of thought, since analysis Is utterly impossible without a frame of reference, a way of thinking about things, or, in short, a theory.

I don't believe we're converging on ever-improving forecasting accuracy.

Of course, the great depression of the thirties was not the first to reveal the untenability of the classical synthesis. The classical philosophy always had its ups and downs along with the great swings of business activity. Each time it had come back. But now for the first time, it was confronted by a competing system?a well-reasoned body of thought containing among other things as many equations as unknowns; in short, like itself, a synthesis: and one which could swallow the classical system as a special case.

The very name of my subject, economics, suggests economizing or maximizing. But Political Economy has gone a long way beyond home economics. Indeed, it is only in the last third of the century, within my own lifetime as a scholar, that economic theory has had many pretensions to being itself useful to the practical businessman or bureaucrat. I seem to recall that a great economist of the last generation, A. C. Pigou of Cambridge University, once asked the rhetorical question, ?Who would ever think of employing an economist to run a brewery?? Well, today, under the guise of operational research and managerial economics, the fanciest of our economic tools are being utilized in enterprises both public and private.

You shouldn't spend much time on your investments. That will just tempt you to pull up your plants and see how the roots are doing, and that's very bad for the roots. It's also very bad for your sleep.

A respect for evidence compels me to incline toward the hypothesis that most portfolio decision makers should go out of business -- take up plumbing, teach Greek, or help produce the annual GNP by serving as corporate executives. Even if this advice to drop dead is good advice, it obviously is not counsel that will be eagerly followed. Few people will commit suicide without a push.

I don't care very much for the People Magazine approach to applied economics.

Politicians like to tell people what they want to hear - and what they want to hear is what won't happen.

There are very few people or organizations who have any presumptive edge over a low-cost, no-load set of indices, particularly on a risk corrected basis. People used to say that you're settling for mediocrity. Isn't it interesting that the best brains on Wall Street can't achieve mediocrity?

Reasonable men are not reasonable when you're in the bubbles which have characterized capitalism since the beginning of time.

Profits are the lifeblood of the economic system, the magic elixir upon which progress and all good things depend ultimately. But one man's lifeblood is another man's cancer.

Macroeconomics, even with all of our computers and with all of our information, is not an exact science and is incapable of being an exact science.

It isn't that greed's increased. What's increased is the realization that you've got a free field to reach out for what you'd like to do.

Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.

In this age of specialization, I sometimes think of myself as the last 'generalist' in economics, with interests that range from mathematical economics down to current financial journalism. My real interests are research and teaching.

I'm not sure most of the people that get caught up in the middle of a bubble can be described as irrational. It seems pretty rational to buy a house and flip it in the next few weeks at a profit when that's been happening for a long time.

If we made an income pyramid out of a child's blocks, with each layer portraying $1,000 of income, the peak would be far higher than the Eiffel Tower, but almost all of us would be within a yard of the ground.

Globalization presumes sustained economic growth. Otherwise, the process loses its economic benefits and political support.

Author Picture
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Samuelson, fully Paul Anthony Samuelson
Birth Date
1915
Death Date
2009
Bio

American Economist, Winner of Nobel Prize in Economics, Author, Professor of Economics at MIT