dave backus

David Backus

I became friends with Dave the summer after my final year of graduate school. We worked together for Tim Kehoe and Jaime Serra  who had some sort of a grant to do computational general equilibrium work, and while the two of us didn't accomplish much we did manage to write a paper together

Backus, D., H. Blanco and D. K. Levine [1985]: "The Financial Sector in the Planning of Economic Development," in Financing Problems of Developing Countries, ed. Armin Gutowski, A. A. Arnaudo and Hans-Eckert Scharrer, St. Martin's Press: New York, 42-58

The following year I visited Dave who was then teaching at Queen's University in Kingston Ontario. At that time the Canadian dollar at a particular low relative to the U.S. dollar so as patriotic Americans we burned Canadian dollar bills over drinks at the bar. After Dave drove me to give a talk at Western. We stopped the night with Mike Veall and Deb Fretz in Hamilton where Mike was was teaching and Deb was working for Ontario Hydro. We stayed up the entire night mostly talking and perhaps drinking a bit. The next day Dave drove me to Western. Arriving about two hours before the talk we lay down in front of the faculty mailboxes and fell asleep - I believe we were famous at Western for some time for having prevented faculty from collecting their mail.

I have a few other stories, but for another time. Meanwhile I remember Dave's dry sense of humor, immense calmness, and that sly laugh of his. I miss you Dave. You can read the obituary Tom Cooley wrote here.