Friday, August 9, 2013

Glasner Responds on Friedman's Treatment of Fischer Black

David Glasner emails:

 I realized after I posted that charge about Friedman on my blog that I misremembered the reasons for Black leaving Chicago. It was because of family reasons not Friedman. I corrected that assertion on my blog, and wanted to correct it on your blog, but the comment didn't manage to penetrate your comment screening system. I see that someone else has appropriately corrected the error. However, although it was not Friedman who caused Black to leave Chicago, that doesn't excuse Friedman's treatment of Black while he was there. See the quotation form Mehrling's book which I provided in a reply to a commenter on the post from which you quoted:

“Friedman’s Workshop in Money and Banking was the most famous workshop at Chicago, and special rules applied. You had to have Friedman’s permission to attend, and one of the requirements for attendance was to offer work of your own for discussion by the other members of the workshop. Furthermore, in Friedman’s workshop presentation was limited to just a few minutes at the beginning. Everyone was expected to have read the paper already, and to have come prepared to discuss it. Friedman himself always led off the discussion, framing the issues that he thought most needed attention.

“Into the lion’s den went Fischer with the very paper that Friedman had dismissed as fallacious. Jim Lorrie recalls, ‘It was like an infidel going to St. Peter’s and announcing that all this stuff about Jesus was wrong.” Friedman led off the discussion: “Fischer Black will be presenting his paper today on money in a two-sector model. We all know that the paper is wrong. We have two hour to work out why it is wrong.” And so it began. But after two hours of defending the indefensible, Fischer emerged bloodied but unbowed. As one participant remembers, the final score was Fischer Black 10, Monetary Workshop .”

Earlier relevant posts:

 Milton Friedman as an Intellectual Bully 

Milton Friedman as a Pussy Cat

Milton Friedman as Nothing But An Extended Footnote

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