Albert Gailord Hart retired in 1978 as professor of economics at Columbia University, where he had taught since 1946. The constant theme of his academic career was apparent already in his 1936 Ph.D. dissertation, "Anticipations, Business Planning and the Cycle." Inevitably, he became interested in monetary economics, and his influential 1948 text Money, Debt, and Economic Activity went through four editions. He remains convinced of the importance of collecting and disseminating economic information, the better to inform and coordinate business anticipations of an unknown future. In this respect he worries about the distortion in today's advertising and mass media.
Perry Mehrling is currently an assistant professor of economics at Barnard College, Columbia University, where he has been teaching since 1987. His work with Hart dates from their meeting at the faculty seminar on financial reform organized by Hart. Mehrling's work concerns the foundation of monetary theory. His search for new directions has led him to study the history of monetary thought, and he has a book forthcoming on the development of U.S. monetary thought from 1920 to 1960. He has also investigated the potential of alternative theoretical formulations, as in his "Note on the Optimum Quantity of Money" ( Journal of Mathematical Economics, 1995).