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Mike Mussa (1944–2012): Perceptive Analysis Wrapped in Humor



"In Washington, the truth is just another special interest, and one that is not particularly well-financed."

That quotation from a short paper by Mike Mussa in the American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 83. No. 2, 1993) on why it is so difficult to convince the general public about the merits of free trade, is quintessential Mussa: perceptive analysis but wrapped in humor and wit, a quip or anecdote, that raises the analysis from the clever to the eruditely profound. For many of us, it has been a rare and extraordinary privilege to witness firsthand Mike wielding his wit and dispensing his wisdom, especially at the Friday lunchtime seminar at the Peterson Institute which he single-handedly elevated to the level of the scintillating.

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