Yellen twice won a coveted Berkeley teaching award. And she and Akerlof, sometimes in partnership with others, collaborated on research that benefited from their different styles, colleagues said.What caught my eye was how supportive Akerlof was of his wife in her career [emphasis added]:
"George was less disciplined, more artistic and perhaps creative; Janet was more grounded, sensible, and a paragon of common sense," said Andrew K. Rose, who was hired by Yellen and now serves as associate dean of Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Rose collaborated with the couple on several papers, including a year of research on the East German economy.
Jim Adams, a University of Michigan economics professor who has known Yellen since 1973 and also did research with her, said her relationship with Akerlof shows "how mature they are that they can be so deeply in love as people who are so different from each other."
Yellen returned to the Fed in 1994 with her appointment to the central bank's board, and Akerlof commuted between Washington and Berkeley, continuing to teach. When Yellen moved to the President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, Akerlof took leave.I can recall that when I left Merrill Lynch in early 2007, I quoted Todd Harrison in my farewell email to friends and colleagues entitled "Cam really is leaving to spend more time with his family" (see Retirement: It's not just about money)
He tended the household and helped raise their son, but his main support for Yellen while she was at the White House was "providing psychological support in the daily political storms," he wrote. Yellen maintained balance, friends say, with mothering and gourmet cooking.
I'm not going to say that success is insignificant, we know that's not true, but I can tell you, from experience, that if you look for happiness in a bank account, you're missing the bigger trade.The girl I married needs me, Mr. President*
I also remember being touched by the actions of John Danforth, who left the post of the US ambassador to the UN in order to take care of his sick wife. In his resignation letter, he wrote:
Forty-seven years ago, I married the girl of my dreams, and, at this point in my life, what is most important to me is to spend more time with her.It's nice to see that even UN ambassadors, Nobel laureates and Fed Chairs aren't just focused on their career. Family and personal relationships matter too. Bravo!
How would you like to be remembered?
* Addendum: Added details about John Danforth's resignation.
Cam Hui is a portfolio manager at Qwest Investment Fund Management Ltd. (“Qwest”). The opinions and any recommendations expressed in the blog are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions and recommendations of Qwest. Qwest reviews Mr. Hui’s blog to ensure it is connected with Mr. Hui’s obligation to deal fairly, honestly and in good faith with the blog’s readers.”
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