It is an honor and great pleasure to deliver a few remarks on Prof. Timberlake’s profound book, Constitutional Money (Cambridge University Press, 2013). At 90 years of age, Dick is still at the top of his game. Why? I think the secret lies in what Winston Churchill said when he returned from the Boer War: “there is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.”
Dick knows all about Churchill’s feelings of exhilaration — literally. As recounted in his autobiography — They Never Saw Me, Then — Dick was a member of the 388th Bomb Group during the Second World War. The 388th was based in England. For his part, Dick flew his B-17 over the channel into Germany on bombing runs 26 times in 1944. Well, the Germans wounded Dick three times, but they never took him out — fortunately.
Since then, Dick has produced a steady stream of scholarly books and papers, in which he has gotten down into the plumbing of money and banking. He has been a target of many academic hacks — without result. This must have been exhilarating, too.
Now, let’s turn to Constitutional Money. First, allow me to say that I second the endorsement of my friend, the great economist Professor Leland Yeager. As Prof. Yeager, who is only a couple years Dick’s junior, noted on the book’s dust jacket: “Timberlake writes smoothly, with flashes of brilliant phrasing and an attractive mix of short and moderately long sentences.”