Sunday, January 04, 2009
Sir Alan Walters Dies
I have just heard that Sir Alan Walters, Margaret Thatcher's economic guru, has died.
He was one of the first economists in Britain to advocate monetary solutions to the inflation of the 1970s. He was a professor at the LSE from 1967 to 1976, before joining the World Bank and becoming a Professor at John Hopkins University. He was appointed to be Margaret Thatcher's economic adviser in 1981, a position he held formally for three years. He returned in July 1988 but almost immediately fell out with Thatcher's chancellor, Nigel Lawson, over his policy of shadowing the Deutsche Mark as a precursor to joining the ERM. Lawson resigned over an interview Sir Alan had given to the FT prior to his taking up his Downing Street job. Sir Alan felt his position was untenable and he resigned too.
Since then he has held various academic and business posts but in recent years has suffered from Parkinsons Disease. He was taken to hospital a week before Christmas but returned home on Boxing Day, where the next day he celebrated his 33rd wedding anniversary with his beloved wife. He was 82.
Many of us will remember the huge contribution he made to the success of the Thatcher project. He was a truly great man.