End of An Era
Jude Wanniski
February 26, 1991

 

Remember those great teams: Fred and Ginger, Martin and Lewis, Desi and Lucy, Baker and Darman? They were on top of the world while they lasted, and they didn't do badly when they split up either. Now we contemplate life after another peerless song and dance team: Wanniski and Reynolds. Except for Evans & Novak, it seems, all good things come to an end, and it is with no little melancholy that I must announce Alan's departure from Polyconomics after nine remarkably productive years.

I'd thought for sure a year ago that he would be snapped up by the Bush Administration, and he did come close. Instead, he will be moving in the other direction. The appeal of the peace and quiet of Indianapolis and the Hudson Institute was too much for Alan to resist, when that notable think tank invited him to be its director of economic research. After nine hectic years of trying to divine daily squiggles in stocks, bonds, commodities and business statistics, Alan has decided the pastoral allure of Indiana is just what a 47-year-old world-class economist needs to recharge his batteries and prepare for the mega-career that surely lies ahead of him. He tells me he plans considerable pipe-smoking and chin-pulling for his writings to come. There is a magnum opus in him, and a lot of other books that he has been threatening to write for many years. But if I know him as well as I think I do, he will not be able to resist frequent forays and skirmishes in the daily battleground of ideas. We will see his by-line in all the business journals as the spirit moves him and he says he will consider favoring us now and then with a commissioned epic. He'll know more of his plans after he settles down at Hudson late in the spring. Alan will be with us for several more weeks, winding up one of the most important projects we've ever undertaken the first supply-side study of Mexico's economy.

I've already been hard at work meeting with candidates for the chief economist's position at Polyconomics. There is a growing possibility that we will be following our Mexico study with a study of the Soviet economy, if Moscow gives a green light. Which means we may actually need several additions to the dozen on our staff. I'm not going to rush into any decisions, and I welcome any thoughts and recommendations from you as the search proceeds. It's not easy finding people who can operate within my analytical framework, which is why it took so long to persuade Alan to join us in 1981. He was worth waiting for, as the important and influential portfolio of insights he compiled here attests. Bon voyage and sayonara.