Memorial Conference for Les Fishman, Management Centre, Keele University,15 October 2008

Professor Peter Lawrence (who had been my P2 economics tutor) got in touch with me about this conference and I was delighted to make space for it.

Firstly, I had very fond memories of Les Fishman, Peter Lawrence and indeed other tutors from the economics department at Keele.

Secondly, with the 2008 recession having just kicked off big time and no-one knowing what was going on, it seemed a good opportunity to find out what my alma mater’s economists thought about it all.

Thirdly, with only a month or less to go until my Gresham lecture on Commercial Ethics, I thought some clear head time in the rarefied atmosphere of the Keele Hill might do me some good for that project too.

Peter Lawrence offered to put me up, but I explained what a terrible house guest I am, so checked in to the Crewe Arms in Madeley Heath.  I don’t think we ate there that night – I think Peter picked me up from there and took me to a gathering elsewhere. Several of the other academics and visitors were there that night, including Keith Tribe and I think also Shirley Dex.

Here is the programme from the Wednesday conference:


I also was sent a copy of Les Fishman’s seminal paper about the effect of the Vietnam War on the US economy: vietnampaper-1 and also a paper by Norman Flynn about the economic impact of the Iraq War econwar.

The conference was very interesting. I especially remember David Leece (who was my P1 tutor) explaining how relevant the work of Hyman Minsky was becoming in the light of this particular recession – spot on.

Fun networking with several of my former tutors/lecturers, a few other former students (Paul Smith I recall), several delightful members of the Fishman family and others too.

One strange unintended consequence was meeting Leonore Fishman who (with a bit of encouragement from her dad, David) subsequently asked me for a job and ended up working for Z/Yen for a few years.

Stuff happens.


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