Professor Eric Ghysels, Bernstein Professor of Economics, was invited to present the inaugural Emil J. Gumbel lecture at the University of Heidelberg (Germany) on 15 September 2017.  He spoke on the subject “Back to the Future: Backtesting Systemic Risk Measures during Historical Bank Runs and the Great Depression”.  The event was held in the historic Alte Aula hall at the University of Heidelberg.  As you can see from the photo, the lecture hall has a decided Old World flavor.

His topic was appropriate to the individual honored. Professor Gumbel was born in Munich in 1891 and taught first at the University of Heidelberg.  He was forced from that position in 1932 for his political views, and lived first in France, and then in New York City from 1940 to his death in 1966.  He was one of the foremost statisticians of his time, and was instrumental in the development of extreme-value theory.  This theory, characterizing the distribution of the extreme highs and lows in prices or interest rates (for example), is especially apt during the crisis times associated with bank runs and economic depressions.

Congratulations to Professor Ghysels for being selected to present this inaugural address!




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