Throughout his career Fisher Black has described a view of business fluctuations based on the idea that a well-developed economy will be continually in equilibrium. In the essays that constitute this book he explores this idea thoroughly and reaches some surprising conclusions.
Provocative and clearly written, Business Cycles and Equilibrium will be of value to students of macroeconomics as well as those of finance and the international economy.
Since the late 1960s I have been working on theories that depend on the idea that economic and financial markets are in continual equilibirium. Equilibrium menas there are no opportunities to make abnormal profits; more generally, it means that there are no easy ways for people to shift position in a way that makes everyone better off.
Fischer Sheffey Black (1938 – 1995) was an American economist, best known as one of the authors of the famous Black–Scholes equation. Black graduated from Harvard College in 1959 and received a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard University in 1964. He was initially expelled from the PhD program due to his inability to settle on a thesis topic, having switched from physics to mathematics, then to computers and artificial intelligence. Black joined the consultancy Bolt, Beranek and Newman, working on a system for artificial intelligence. He spent a summer developing his ideas at the RAND corporation. He became a student of MIT professor Marvin Minsky, and was later able to submit his research for completion of the Harvard PhD.
Black joined Arthur D. Little, where he was first exposed to economic and financial consulting and where he met his future collaborator Jack Treynor. In 1971, he began to work at the University of Chicago. He later left the University of Chicago to work at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In 1984, he joined Goldman Sachs.