We were deeply saddened by the death of S Jay Levy, a longtime friend and benefactor. A noted economist, he was widely recognized for his economic forecasts. Indeed, one respected commentator observed that he “probably has the best record of any economist in the U.S.” According to Bloomberg News, in 2005 Jay predicted that “the deflating housing bubble” would precipitate a recession that would have a deep impact on the financial sector, which occurred in 2007-8. His knowledge of finance and insights into markets were sought by government officials, corporations, and the media.
Jay’s interests went beyond his work as an economist. He was deeply interested in, and committed to, academic freedom and free expression. He became a staunch supporter of NCAC when he learned, in the early 1980s, about the organization’s work tracking and opposing book challenges around the country, and using these situations to build wider public appreciation for the value of intellectual freedom and First Amendment rights.
Jay’s keen intellect and commitment to principle were not disguised by his warm and gracious manner. Having a discussion with Jay was both a pleasure and a learning experience. He was a force for good in the world. He will be remembered fondly and greatly missed.