A Letter From Keele, Professor Les Fishman, 2 September 1985

I have no idea what must have gone wrong with the earlier correspondence, unless it turns up in a pile I have not yet excavated. I got on well with Les, both in my capacity as a student and as a students’ union officer. He was, in my experience, a wonderful lecturer and steward of his undergraduate students. So my comment about the long-forgotten faux pas would have been tongue-in-cheek on my part, as would Les’s rebuttal have been on his part.

Les Fishman Letter 2 September 1985

In 2008 I went to the memorial mini-conference Professor Peter Lawrence and others held in Les’s honour. I ended up meeting and hiring Les’s grand-daughter, Leo, who thus worked at Z/Yen for a few happy years.

4 thoughts on “A Letter From Keele, Professor Les Fishman, 2 September 1985”

    1. Strangely, I was going to commend this book by Keith Smith – click here to you in partial answer to your question. Keith was my final year tutor and I would say a protege of Les. But I can see that you got to that link before me, John, and see Keith and Les coming from diametrically different camps.

      So to try and answer your question, both Les and Keith I’m sure would have seen excessively tight monetary policy as the single largest factor. That, together with policies of rapid deindustrialisation, born largely from the Conservatives desire to shed nationalised industries.

      Neither Keith nor Les foresaw the relatively rapid replacement of those commodity & goods based industries with a flourishing services sector.

      Sadly, too few UK economists today seem to realise the importance of that services sector, otherwise they would be shouting “REMAIN” from the rooftops and explaining why the Treasury models of Europe Out v Europe In vastly understate the economic damage an out vote would have on the UK economy.

      I learnt a great deal from that Keele course and believe it to be the bedrock of my knowledge of the subject today. I’m sorry to learn that you didn’t get much out of it.

      I hope you will try reading my own (joint, award-winning) contribution to the subject, The Price of Fish – click here. I would genuinely like to know what you think of it.

  1. PS My guess is that the quoted models say that change causes uncertainty, uncertainty reduces investment, therefore never do anything for the first time.

    Obviously, a free trade zone would remain. Hopefully, trust and shared trading standards would be negotiated; the UK would negotiate back-in to shared banana classifications and anything else that saves having dozens of different ones in each country.

    I wouldn’t vote leave if the leave vote was likely to win, because it would expose the UK to a lot of economists who want free trade deals with china, so I should stop writing as this train of thought fizzles-out.

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