I never have trouble remembering Friedrich Hayek’s birthday (May 8) because it’s the same day as my late sister’s birthday and VE Day.

Here is a link to some memories of my first meeting with Hayek. A highlight from that link:

In June 1975, when I attended the Second Austrian Conference in Hartford, Connecticut, I approached Hayek, who was in attendance, and said to him, “Professor Hayek, your analysis of prices and production makes sense to me only if we reject rationalism. I hope you Do you agree?” He shrugged and disagreed but I still didn’t understand what he said. (By the way, when Hayek’s cab pulled up on the Sunday afternoon before the conference started and the driver pulled Hayek’s large suitcase out of the cab, I looked at a group of fellow graduate students who were more into Austrian economics than I was, assuming one of them had a narrow suitcase. would offer to carry it up the stairs. None of them would, and so I offered to go up and do it. Hayek graciously accepted. That suitcase was heavy. On the way up the stairs, I said, perhaps a little too brazenly, “It’s heavy; What have you got here?” Hayek replied with a smile, “Books.”)

An additional story that I didn’t tell in the interview from which this is taken is that we talked about Hayek’s appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press that morning on television. I think I said something like “I thought you did a good job.” (I did.) It talked about journalists as our interviewers. Hayek said with a twinkle in his eye that he found it surprising that any American reporter who had never interviewed him did not take notes in shorthand where it was common for European journalists to do so. He couldn’t understand why a skill that seemed so important to him wanting to do his job well would be so rare.

I also remember that the way I saw the interview was that Dr. William Hutt, his wife, and I were passing through an airport (Cleveland, I think) on our way from Athens, Ohio to Hartford from a Liberty Fund conversation. . It’s vague recall, but I think we saw it on an overhead TV while waiting for our flight. Better than CNN.

While researching this post, I found a transcript of the June 22, 1975 NBC interview in my home library. I sent my 25 cent check to NBC and got it in the mail.

Here is an audio recording of the interview, but it misses about the first 3 minutes.

Which means it misses one of the best parts:

Mr. [Irving R.] Levin: How do you cure inflation?

Dr. Von Hayek: You stop printing money.

He later went on to explain more precisely:

In a sense, stopping the printing press is a metaphorical expression, as it is now being done by the Federal Reserve System by creating credit.

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