Students & Colleagues

Geoff on Fred Bloch

I first met Fred in 1967 when I returned from Cambridge. Fred was employed by what was then the National Bank. When he got a First the Bank very decently released him and he was appointed to a Tutorship in Commerce. To make up (a bit) for what was a big drop in salary, I recommended him to be Assistant Coach for the Blacks, a playing coach until his back gave in. The rest, as they say, is history.

Fred and I were in many scrapes together, not least at Prosh Day breakfasts. One year I made national headlines by custard tarting Molly Meldrum, our honoured guest! Another year Fred got me to play Susie Quattro, singing by dubbing “I’m in love, I’m all shook up”. My pelvic thrusts had to be seen to be believed. Another year (1974) I was Frank Sinatra and Fred, one of my men of respect, as we drove through town on the back of a truck miming “I did it my way”. I still have the photo from the ‘Tiser of the five of us (three men, two women) outside the Napier Building. We also won the Friendly Four section of the annual City-Bay Run a couple of times with the legendary Ben Hunt and John Hatch of the Economics Department as the other members of our four. With Fred’s help I was also the winner (or was it runner up?) of the J.T. Goose award.

Fred used to give me a lift to the University each day and I read the drafts of what was to be his Master’s thesis. I quickly realised he was writing an excellent PhD dissertation, I spoke to Eric Russell and we had his candidature up-graded – hence Dr Bloch as we now all know him. Fred was a stalwart supporter and Patron of the Campaign for Peace in Vietnam (CPV) during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The CPV advertised in the footy Record that Fred, still a North Adelaide legend, urged support of the CPV. Fred and I also ran the D’s for the University cricket team one year, the team that was allowed two ‘veterans’ to go with the under 19s who made up the bulk of the team.

Not much football as such here I’m afraid, but I hope enough incidents to illustrate what an extrovert and extraordinary good bloke Fred is.

Geoff (as Frank Sinatra) with Adelaide Colleagues, 1970

Geoff Harcourt Visiting Professorship

Geoff’s contribution to the community has been recognized by the University of Adelaide with the establishment of the Geoff Harcourt Visiting Professorship. From the Adelaide website:

“The Geoff Harcourt Visiting Professorship will annually invite a global leader in a field of economics to share their knowledge and experience not only with economic and business students and staff but also with the business community.

Geoff Harcourt is a person who makes an impression — whether as a distinguished academic, a gregarious storyteller, or an influential teacher. He is an influential member of the School of Economics with a lasting impact upon his students and colleagues. His contribution to the University is celebrated through the Geoff Harcourt Visiting Professorship.

Each year the School of Economics invites a global leader in a field of economics to be the Geoff Harcourt Visiting Professor. During the period of appointment the Professor shares their knowledge and experience in a public lecture and in meetings with alumni, students, staff and the business community.”

Stephanie Kelton
Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Stony Brook University
Geoff Harcourt Visiting Professor 2020

Please wish your Dad the very best from me. It was a great honor to see him and to hold the Harcourt Visiting Lectureship Professorship last year. Not just—easily—the highlight of 2020 but a most distinguished honor of my career. He is truly one of the great ones!

See: Visiting economist explodes the myths of public deficits

Professor Kelton at the Harcourt Lecture

John Davis
Marquette University and the University of Amsterdam

Geoff Harcourt has been an inspiration and source of support to many including me. Early in my career he showed me how economics could challenge existing views and provide alternative theories and explanations. His leadership was especially important in mapping out a broader and deeper view of well-being and human welfare. I am deeply grateful for his contribution to a progressive economics, and will always value his influence on me.

See: Harcourt as a Historian of Economic Thought

Geoff Harcourt and John Davis

Bill Russell, Professor
University of Dundee, Scotland

Bill is the son of Eric Russell.