Brittan, former FT economics editor, dies at 86
Samuel Brittan, the former economics editor at the Financial Times, has died at the age of 86.
Alan Budd and Andrew Hill of the FT write, “Brittan, who has died at the age of 86, wrote columns in the Financial Times that were essential reading for anyone who wanted to understand economic policy for nearly 50 years. Written in an elegant and witty style, they ranged from sharp observations on macroeconomic policy to discussions of academic papers that had attracted his attention.
“In an interview with then FT editor Lionel Barber on his retirement in 2014, Brittan described himself as a ‘sort of individualist liberal’, sceptical of political labels. ‘Most of the interesting questions can’t easily be posed in left or right [wing] terms,’ he said.
“It has been said that, in the US, professors of economics write newspaper columns, whereas, in the UK, newspaper columnists write books. Brittan was a perfect example of this rule. His first book was The Treasury under the Tories 1951-1964, published in 1964. It combined, for the first time, an account of economic policy with a description of the internal processes of the Treasury, something the instinctively secretive department found uncomfortable.”
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