Thanks to a selection by Eric Thompson for the Historians of Economic Thought mailing list, I came across this article remembering Basil Yami. Yami died in 2020 at the age of 101. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years ago. He was kind and generous with his time – and as sharp as a razor.
This article by RH Macquarie highlights Yamei’s impressive contribution to the history of accounting. The LSE obituary recalls Yami’s interest in the arts: he was a long-time trustee of the National Gallery and published a superb book Art and Accounting.
He was a colleague and friend of Peter Bowe and the two of them must have had the closest co-writing relationship. In this affectionate tribute to Bauer, Yami, quite consistent with his usual understatement and his kind and gentle demeanor, emphasized his friend’s work and downplayed his own contribution. But clearly their partnership was a mutual effort, relying heavily on Yami’s input as well. He brought a keen eye to entrepreneurial endeavors, part of their critique of foreign aid and its consequences. Both of them were perfectionists in writing and tried to write well, eloquently and elegantly. Their work is still a pleasure to read. A good starting point, if you’re interested, is Economies of underdeveloped countries.