Friday, 31 October 2008

Larry Sechrest, 1946-2008 [updated]

SS354 Free Radical and NOT PC readers who've enjoyed the writing of economist and enthusiastic human being Larry Sechrest will, like me, be tremendously saddened to hear news that he died this morning of heart failure.

You can read his obituary here at the Mises site.

Larry was a stalwart and engaging pillar in the battle for liberty, and a tremendous supporter of The Free Radical magazine, for which he most recently wrote these remarkably prescient lines on the illusory idea of "price stability, "pointing out that "as long as there is continuous monetary equilibrium" -- for which we he maintained we should remove the Reserve Bank's monopoly powers, and denationalise the currency -- "all other desirable monetary goals become superfluous."

   Mark this well. Central banks are the source of both inflation and business cycles. Tragically, many people seem to believe that both inflation and boom-bust cycles are somehow an intrinsic part of a market economy. They thus turn to the central bank to solve the problems that the central bank itself created. I might add that the very existence of a central bank introduces into all markets pervasive “regulatory risk” that would not otherwise exist. That is, market participants expend real resources in an attempt to forecast---and then cope with---the manipulations of money, credit, prices, and interest rates undertaken by the central bank. It all sounds frighteningly familiar...

But he wasn't just an economist.  Read Larry's magnificent speech on the nature and motivation of capitalism's enemies (or watch or listen to it).  Or read his thoughts on 'Violence, Virtue and Vice.'  Or simply enjoy and reflect on his ebullient 2005 toast to The Wonderful Life :

    Raise your glasses. Let us drink a toast to the essentials, those things without which life becomes tepid, tasteless, colorless, and silent. Of course, some of us are too blind—or too repressed—to recognize that these are the essentials. Do not heap scorn upon those who fail to see. Chide them if you must, but do it gently if you can.
    What are these "essentials"? Ever the analyst, I will offer you a taxonomy...

His list of the essentials of life is not just a taxonomy of all the good stuff that makes life worth living, it's also a clue to understanding Larry Sechrest's life, and the man he was.

R.I.P Larry.  You'll be missed.

NB: For those who want to explore Larry's work and his many enthusiasms, the Mises archive has much of the former; the SOLO site much of the latter.  Enjoy!

UPDATE: Lindsay Perigo pays tribute to his friend: Larry Sechrest Dies. This Renaissance Man, says Perigo, "was the sweetest of souls, an elegant and witty speaker, and a braveheart."


  1. Yes, rather sad news.

    I read quite a bit of his writing and briefly corresponded with him about 5 years ago.

    A splendid chap!

  2. richard mcgrath1 Nov 2008, 14:36:00

    I'm very sad to hear of Larry's passing. Though I never met him, I appreciated his intelligence, and enjoyed the eloquent articles he wrote for The Free Radical.

    Farewell to one of nature's gentlemen.


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