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Mike Mussa (1944–2012): A Brilliant and Beloved Colleague

by | January 17th, 2012 | 01:54 pm
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The Peterson Institute for International Economics mourns the passing of Michael L. Mussa, senior fellow at the Institute since 2001, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and former member of President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. Mussa, who was 67, died of heart failure at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC. Before joining the IMF, he had been a professor of economics at the University of Chicago Business School and at the University of Rochester. His extraordinary career as an economist and policy adviser was matched by his ability to enliven every discussion and conversation with insight and wit. The Institute has issued a press release and appreciates the many condolences that have been received.

C. Fred Bergsten, director of the Institute, said: “Mike Mussa was one of the most talented international economists of his generation. He was an indispensable, respected, trusted, and beloved colleague at our Peterson Institute for International Economics for the past decade. We deeply regret his premature passing and will miss him sorely.”

We have received expressions of sympathy from a number of colleagues and will be posting these on our RealTime forum along with personal reflections from colleagues at the Institute.

From Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England:

“On behalf of the Bank of England, could I express our collective sadness at learning that Michael passed away. He was well known to many in the Bank and will be remembered for his contribution to economics as a rigorous discipline and to policymaking as an exercise in applying rigorous thought to problems of the day. Mike refused to be intimidated by any political considerations. The combination of his intellect and his courage made him a formidable player in the crises to which we have unfortunately become so accustomed in recent years. I will never forget his clear dissection of the proposed programs for Brazil and Argentina when he forced the international community to face up to realities. He will be sorely missed. On behalf of the Bank of England, let me express to you and your colleagues our deepest condolences.”

From Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF:

“It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Michael Mussa. For nearly a decade, he served the IMF and the international economic community with great distinction. On behalf of the IMF, I wish to offer our deepest condolences. Michael Mussa was a public servant of the highest caliber and an esteemed intellect that will be missed, although his contributions to the economic community and the IMF will live on.”

For other remembrances of Michael Mussa, see also the Wall Street Journal’s article “Remembering Economist Mike Mussa.”

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