Carnegie Mellon University
Allan Meltzer

Turnaround Economics

Allan Meltzer is a legend for his work in economic policy and in CMU’s community.

When the history books are written, Allan Meltzer will be recognized for his role in ending the Great Inflation and influencing U.S. and foreign economic policy. His opinions about bailouts, monetary discipline, and the recent financial failure of institutions have been influential in shaping policy and reversing practices that led to higher inflation over the last four decades. “Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin,” Meltzer first said, and has been requoted often.

Meltzer was heralded for advocating reason over politics when setting monetary policy and for opposing governmental bailouts, and was a key advisor to many administrations, including a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan, as well as the Federal Reserve System, the Treasury Department, foreign governments and central banks.

Professor, economic adviser and CMU legend Allan Meltzer passed away in May 2017 at age 89.

“Allan Meltzer was one of the greatest economists of the 20th century," said Marvin Goodfriend, the Friends of Allan H. Meltzer Professor of Economics in the Tepper School. "His path-breaking scientific work and effective advocacy revolutionized the theory of central banking.”

Meltzer was the first recipient of the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. He wrote the two-volume work that is recognized as the definitive history of the U.S. central banking system. In total, he authored 10 books and 400 papers during his 50-year tenure at Carnegie Mellon.

A rigorous scholar, revolutionary thinker, global consultant to governments and industries, Meltzer left a long-lasting mark on economic policy, and a legacy that endures.