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Lauchlin Bernard Currie Edit Profile

Economist

Lauchlin Currie was a Canadian-born economist.

Background

He was born to Lauchlin Bernard Currie, an operator of a fleet of merchant ships, and Alice Eisenhauer Currie, a schoolteacher. After his father died in 1906, when Currie was four, his family moved to nearby Bridgewater where most of his schooling was done.

Education

He later attended schools in Massachusetts and California where he had relatives. In 1922, after two years at Saint Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Currie moved to the United Kingdom to study at the London School of Economics under Edwin Cannan, Hugh Dalton, A. L. Bowley, and Harold Laski.

From the LSE, Currie moved to Harvard University where his chief inspiration was Allyn Abbott Young, then president of the American Economic Association. At Harvard, he earned his Ph.D. in 1931 for a dissertation on banking theory.

Career

He got US citizenship in 1934, when he became a senior analyst for Treasury Secretary Morgenthau. In July 1939 Currie became Roosevelt's personal economic adviser and one of his six administrative assistants. Called by his many detractors an inflexible enthusiast, a consummate academician who looked at China through the eyes of a Keynesian economist, Currie undertook the first in a series of missions to China in January 1941. At first he thought Stwell had the right approach toward helping China, but on 24 August 1942 he recommended that the general, Amb Clarence E. Gauss, and T. V. Soong be recalled for having irreconcilable differences with Chiang Kai-shek. No action was taken, but the economist’s wrongheaded convictions grew during the next two years until the China Lobby finally won out. Barbara Tuchman.

Personality

The short, self-assured Scot.

References

  • The Life and Political Economy of Lauchlin Currie: New Dealer, Presidential Advisor, and Development Economist eBook: Roger J. Sandilands: Kindle Store Lauchlin Currie’s contribution to monetary theory and policies during the New Deal and in the postwar period when he became one of the most important economic advisors to several presidents of Colombia is the subject of this biography. Currie was a major economic advisor to president Franklin D. Roosevelt, and as his administrative assistant from 1939 until the president’s death in 1945 helped shape Roosevelt’s thinking on economic issues. His involvement in U.S. policymaking in China, where he directed Lend-Lease operations from 1941-1943, was one of the factors leading to his confrontation with Senator Joseph McCarthy. In 1949 he directed the first World Bank mission to Colombia. Roger Sandilands had access to Currie’s own papers and to previously unpublished material. In this biography he provides the reader with a critical evaluation of Currie’s contribution to the literature on the theory and practice of economic development in general, together with an analysis of how his concepts were shaped during the New Deal and in post-World War II Colombia. Lauchlin Currie’s contribution to monetary theory and policies during the New Deal and in the postwar period when he became one of the most important economic advisors to several presidents of Colombia is the subject of this biography. Currie was a major economic advisor to president Franklin D. Roosevelt, and as his administrative assistant from 1939 until the president’s death in 1945 helped shape Roosevelt’s thinking on economic issues. His involvement in U.S. policymaking in China, where he directed Lend-Lease operations from 1941-1943, was one of the factors leading to his confrontation with Senator Joseph McCarthy. In 1949 he directed the first World Bank mission to Colombia. Roger Sandilands had access to Currie’s own papers and to previously unpublished material. In this biography he provides the reader with a critical evaluation of Currie’s contribution to the literature on the theory and practice of economic development in general, together with an analysis of how his concepts were shaped during the New Deal and in post-World War II Colombia.