110th Birthday of Acclaimed Hungarian-American Nobel Prize Winner, Economist Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman was born in 1912 in New York, the child of Jenő Saul Friedman and Sára Eszter Landau, who moved to the United States from Beregszász, Hungary (now Berehove, Ukraine). After finishing school in 1928, he studied mathematics and statistics at Rutgers University and then economics at the University of Chicago and Columbia University.
Prior to and during World War II, he worked for the U.S. government and taught economics at the University of Wisconsin. In 1943, he returned to Columbia University, where he worked as a statistician, focusing on weapons design and military tactics. After earning a doctorate at Columbia in 1946, he began teaching economics at the University of Chicago in 1946, where he remained for 30 years. He was a central figure in the Chicago school of economics, which produced several Nobel Memorial Prize winners. Minimum government intervention and the free market system were the core elements of Friedman’s political philosophy and monetarist economic approach. In 1950, he worked on the Marshall Plan as a US government advisor. This period triggered his interest in floating exchange rates. He was Richard Nixon’s economic advisor during the 1968 presidential campaign.
In 1976, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize for his work on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy. In 1988 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science. After retiring in 1977, he and his wife moved from Chicago to San Francisco, but he remained extremely active in his latter years. He died on November 16, 2006, at the age of 94.
To mark the 110th anniversary of the birth of this Nobel Memorial Prize winner, Hungary is issuing a 15,000 forint silver and a 2,000 forint copper-nickel commemorative coin entitled. The obverse bears an image of Friedman’s hand balancing a pencil. The pencil, which he used regularly in his lectures, is a symbol of cooperation. Above the pencil is the equation for the monetarist theory “M×V=P×Q”, which plays a key role in Friedman’s reinterpretation of money supply. (M is the money supply, V is the velocity or number of times per year the average dollar is spent, P is the price of goods and services and Q is the quantity of goods and services).
The reverse bears a portrait of Milton Friedman. The legend “MILTON FRIEDMAN” is found in two lines to the left of the portrait, along with the dates of his birth and death, “1912” and “2006”. The designer mark of sculptor E. Tamás Soltra is located at the middle of the back right edge.
Diameter: 38.61 mm
Metal: .925 silver
Weight: 31.46 grams
Mintage 4,000 pieces
More information on Beregszász/Berehove is available here: https://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Berehove/Ber001.html